GWCVB Press Release Header Lyn Lewis
Twitter: @LynLewisGWCVB
100 West 10th Street, Suite 20
Wilmington, DE 19801
P: 302-295-2212
F: 302-652-4726

December 5, 2012

Subject: Wilmington Celebrates Major Anniversaries in 2013

Wilmington celebrates several major milestones in 2013:

375th Anniversary of the New Sweden Colony

2013 marks the 375th anniversary of the Kalmar Nyckel's arrival in Wilmington and the city is commemorating the founding of the New Sweden Colony with a year-long celebration. The original Kalmar Nyckel sailed from Sweden to the New World in 1638 carrying 24 passengers of Swedish, Finnish, German and Dutch descent and Black Anthony. They established the first permanent European settlement in the Delaware Valley, namely the Colony of New Sweden in present-day Wilmington. When the Kalmar Nyckel is in port, visitors can tour the full-size recreation of the ship or take a day sail. Within easy walking distance of the Kalmar Nyckel shipyard are two of the city's oldest, surviving buildings--Old Swedes Church (1698) and Hendrickson House (1690). Both are available for tours.

DuPont Theatre Turns 100

The DuPont Theatre is the nation's oldest, continuously operating, legitimate theatre. Built in 1913 in just 150 days, the lovely, 1252-seat Victorian Theatre has never had a dark period. Recognized as "Delaware's Broadway Experience", the theatre launched its 100th season with Elvis Lives. The Hotel du Pont also celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2013.

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway

2013 is the 100th anniversary of the death of Harriet Tubman, a former slave and dedicated conductor on the Underground Railroad. Delaware's Underground Railroad showcases the travels of fugitive slaves through fields, forests and waterways in both rural and urban areas. Highlights include the Corbit-Sharp House in Historic Odessa, the Court House Museum in Historic New Castle which was the site of the Thomas Garrett trial, Quaker Meeting House in Wilmington described as the Last Stop on the UGRR, Delaware History Museum and Longwood Meeting House in nearby Kennett Square.

25th Anniversary of the DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival

The DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2013. This popular week-long June event brings some of the biggest names in jazz to the stage in Downtown Wilmington's Rodney Square. The outdoor festival is free, open to the public and held rain or shine.

August Quarterly

The August Quarterly or Big Quarterly celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2013 and has the distinction of being the oldest festival of its kind in the country. The festival has evolved from a one-day meeting into a week-long celebration of religious freedom commemorating the founding of the Union Church of African Members in 1813 by Reverend Peter Spencer, a former slave. Typically held during the last week in August, it climaxes on Saturday and Sunday with a parade, Youth Cultural Day, citywide Sunday Service at the Chase Center on the Riverfront and afternoon festivities in Tubman-Garrett Park.

The Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau is a non-profit organization founded in 1978, chartered by the Governor of Delaware, the New Castle County Executive and the Mayor of Wilmington. Its mission is to serve as the community's customer-focused destination marketing organization, generating economic growth through leisure travel and meetings development by aggressively marketing attractions, facilities, amenities and services for visitors.