81st annual Dover Days fest pays tribute to Downton Abbey era

 (Image courtesy of Kent Co. Tourism)

(Image courtesy of Kent Co. Tourism)

Since 1933, the Dover Days festival has drawn thousands of visitors to the state capital to celebrate the past. 

This weekend, the 81st annual Dover Days celebration will adopt a “Downton Abbey” theme, based upon the popular television program that airs on PBS stations like WHYY.

“Every year we try to change it up a bit and add new things; this year we have 29 activities related to the Downton Abbey time-period,” said Lorraine Dion, director of Public Relations and Special Events for Kent County Tourism. “From historical American theater reenactors to displays all focusing on that time period, it climaxes on Sunday with a Victorian 1900’s-style picnic right on the Green.”

In addition to the Downton Abbey-related events, traditional Dover Days activities will also be featured.

“People who come down to the free community event will experience Delaware history, our heritage, colonial maypole dancing, and one of the largest parades in Delaware led by Governor and Mrs. Markell in costume,” Dion said.

The festival started in 1933 as a house and garden tour organized by the women who resided in homes surrounding The Green, a historical park in downtown Dover. Since its humble beginning, the festival has grown significantly and now welcomes nearly 50,000 people.

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