Historic New Castle will celebrate the 99th anniversary of “A Day in Old New Castle” on Saturday, May 18th from 10 AM to 5 PM. The event is especially timely this year as 2024 is the 200th anniversary of the Great Fire on The Strand which destroyed 23 homes and forever changed the landscape and lives of the residents of New Castle. Numerous newspapers featured the headline story, and horse drawn fire trucks, along with financial support, came from as far away as Boston to douse the flames that raged for nearly 24 hours.

According to one newspaper account, "...the wind was blowing fresh from the south which sent the flames northward to Jeremiah Bowman's lumberyard and from there continued north, consuming the remaining houses, stores, and the Union Line Hotel before being stopped by the 120 feet wide vacant lot opposite the mansion of George Read."

On May 18th, 2024, from 10:00 AM- 4:00 PM the New Castle Community Partnership will pay tribute to the resilience and community spirit with “A Day in Old New Castle: Stories Ignited," a multifaceted event commemorating the 1824 Great Fire.

  • Historic Fire Apparatus Showcase on Delaware Street.
  • Community Rebuilding Narratives: Visitor Center at the Arsenal compelling stories about residents. *Timed walking tours of The Strand from New Castle Historical Society.
  • Historic Houses & Gardens Tours: Explore the resilience of New Castle's iconic houses on the Strand, some surviving the fire and others rising from its aftermath.
  • Read House & Gardens: *Tour George Read II's home. Hear stories of the destruction of his father Declaration signer George Read's home located in today's parterre garden.
  • Garden games & peony sale. See Delaware Historical Society collections objects pertaining to firefighting.
  • Town-wide exclusive *private house and garden tours.
  • Vendors: Shop the Green and the Streets of New Castle from antiques to photography, soaps to honey to jewelry.
  • Adopt a new best friend from the BVSPCA.
  • Kalmar Nyckel at the Wharf & Shipboard Cooking Demonstration. Special shipboard tours for ticket holders.
  • Food Trucks: Indulge wity the Meat House, OhmyBBQ, Outlandish food trucks or Bailey's Dawgs and Kona Ice.
  • Children's Bucket Brigade & Crafts with New Castle Court House Museum, military drill, play games, interact with soldiers, and walk through the encampments of the First Delaware Regiment (American Revolution) and the New Amstel Garrison.

Activities on the Green and Fire Apparatus Showcase FREE. Tickets/ bracelet ($25 adults, $5 children over the age of 5 years) required for private homes, tall ship, special tours and exhibits, house museums, and gardens. To purchase tickets www.historicnewcastle.com