Attend the 12th annual Chautauqua tent show in Lewes, Del., a truly American experience replete with history and culture. Named “Illustrious, Noteworthy, and Novel: Writers and Illustrators of 19th Century America,” this free event mixes education and entertainment with the past and present to offer the whole family a unique way to celebrate the good ole” U.S. of A. From June 20-24, enjoy a variety of free historical reenactments, films, lectures, and live music that offers you a taste of 19th-century life.
Attend any or all events that Chautauqua offers in Zwaanendael Park, Lewes Historical Society, and Stango Park. Journey back to the 1800s and enjoy days of interacting with American culture.
Sunday, June 20
Kick off this American weekend in Zwaanendael Park at 4pm with a musical performance by country and folk group Bare Feet Unplugged. At 5pm, enjoy a historical theater performance of “1860s: A Time of Social, Cultural, and Political Upheaval.” An Afghani jazz guitarist and rubab player performs old blues and spirituals at 5:30. At 7pm Louisa May Alcott, portrayed by Pat Jordan of the American Historical Theater, closes this night of American introspection.
Monday, June 21
Continue your journey through America’s 19th century by visiting the Zwaanendael Park to view an exhibition of Howard Pyle’s illustrations of pirates. Local artists also demonstrate their work at 4pm. Enjoy a 5pm performance by a historical reenactor portraying O.C. Darley, a Delaware artist who illustrated works by Poe and Irving. Muzette, a husband-and-wife duo, serenade visitors with classical, jazz, Celtic, and folk music at 5:30pm. Edgar Allan Poe reenactor Robert Gleason closes the night with a chilling performance at 7pm.
Tuesday, June 22
Summer Concert Series
Briefly return to the 21st century and get ready to move to the sounds of Tad Jones and the Harbor Town Band. This island country group dazzles audiences with its unique mix of rock and blues. The Lewes Historical Society partnered with the Lewes Parks and Recreation Department to bring you this unforgettable performance in Stango Park at 7pm.
Wednesday, June 23
Celebrate another day of America’s past starting at 4pm at the Lewes Historical Society with “Learning Journeys,” a presentation by the Lewes Historical Society and the Delaware Division of Libraries. A 6pm performance by the Ad Hoc Touring Company illustrates what life was like before television by reenacting radio dramas and play readings. Neill Hartley portrays literary artists Washington Irving at 7pm to discuss his early life and narrate his famous work, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
Thursday, June 24
End this week of celebrating America’s culture and art scene with a bang at the Lewes Historical Society at 4pm with a presentation of “Schroeder and Lewis: Elemental Artists” and a presentation by Jason Gloeckler of Timeline Media called “Video Production for Television and Web.” At 5pm, a member of the Lewes Historical Society and author of “Lantern on Lewes” lectures on local writer Gilbert Byron. A discussion on the Rehoboth Beach Film Society, given by the organization’s Education and Outreach coordinator, takes place at 6pm. Acoustic guitarist and songwriter from the southern Delaware music scene Kyle Offidani serenades visitors at 7pm. An 8pm showing of the 1939 version of Huckleberry Finn ends this special week with an iconic image of American life.
For a more detailed itinerary of the 12th Annual Chautauqua Tent Show, visit history.delaware.gov/pdfs/chautauqua2010.pdf