The annual Lewes Christmas parade, presented by the City of Lewes and the Lewes Chamber of Commerce, is set for 5 p.m. Dec. 7.

The parade’s theme is “Celebrating an Old Fashioned Christmas in Lewes.”

Jeffrey M. Fried was named the Honorary Grand Marshal. Fried served as president and CEO of Beebe Healthcare for 24 years, from January 1995 until March 2019. Under Fried’s leadership, Beebe Healthcare earned a number of national and local awards during his tenure including its executive staff being named “Top Leadership Team in the Country for Small Hospitals” by Health Leaders magazine, the medical center being awarded the W.L. Gore Quality Award for overall quality and was the first hospital in Delaware to receive this award. Fried has been involved outside the hospital, serving twice as board president of the Lewes Chamber of Commerce, president of the Sussex County Chapter of the American Heart Association and on the board of the Sussex Family YMCA as well as Fulton National Bank advisory board.

Jim Smith, immediate past president of the Lewes Chamber board of directors, will announce the parade for the second consecutive year. Lewes Mayor Ted Becker and councilmembers, followed by the chamber’s board of directors, will lead parade entries from the lineup area on Sussex Drive and the Highland Acres neighborhood down the parade route along Savannah Road to Second Street.

Prizes are awarded in a number of categories including a prize that was introduced last year, funded by John Ellsworth, a longtime parade entrant and multiple-times winner of the Best Original Entry prize. Ellsworth is encouraging entrants to add a sound component to their entries and is funding three cash awards, first, second and third place, for those entries that enhance their entries with sound. Other prize categories are: Marching Group, Band, Clown, Equestrian, Decorated Classic Car vintage 1967 or older, Decorated Vehicle after 1967 or more recent, Fire Company, Commercial Float, Community Organization Float, and Youth Organization Float. All entries need to be decorated. Entrants will be notified in a mailing after Nov. 26 with their entry number and parade lineup time. Lineup will take place from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Entrants are asked to commit to the rain/snow date of Dec. 14, if it is necessary.

After the parade, the tradition has been to officially illuminate the Christmas tree in Zwaanendael Park followed by candlelight caroling in the park, led by Christy Taylor with sound by Bill Larsen. For the third year, the city made arrangements to have a fresh-cut tree moved into Zwaanendael Park between the museum and the Fisher-Martin House. This year’s tree is a Norway Spruce donated by Lenore Koors and the Koors family. The tree lighting ceremony will commence shortly after the last parade entry passes by the judges’ reviewing stand in Zwaanendael Park.

The Christmas Parade is the culmination of a number of special events and activities associated with the celebration of Christmas weekend in Lewes.

Festivities kick off Dec. with the Lewes Merchants’ 33rd annual Hospitality Night from 5-8 p.m. in the historic commercial district. Second Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from 4 to 8 p.m. that night. Santa will make a brief visit to his Lewes house in front of Citizens Bank that evening, in advance of his arrival at the parade.

On Dec. 6, the Children’s Beach House, 1800 Bay Ave., will host a Winter White Holiday Celebration benefit from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The benefit is open to the public and tickets can be purchased by calling 645-9184 or at

The Lewes Historical Society’s 46th Annual Christmas Tour of Lewes is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 7 at the society's main campus, 110 Shipcarpenter St. Also that day, Lewes in Bloom will host its sixth annual Christmas Market at from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Second Street, selling live Christmas wreaths, bundled fresh greens, floral arrangements and Lewes in Bloom merchandise. Also Dec. 7 at St. Peter’s is the ECW Soup Luncheon, set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Parish Hall, in conjunction with the Christmas Tour of Lewes. Tour goers are also invited to visit the Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, to see its holiday decorations and current exhibits.

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