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Hot & Happenin' on the Eastern Shore Feb. 28-March 6 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fran Severn   
Sunday, 27 February 2011 16:41


March 2

Ed Okonowicz, “Ghost Stories,” Dorchester County Historical Society, Cambridge, MD. One of the most prolific chroniclers of Delmarva’s folklore entertains with the myths, legends, and spooky events of the Shore. 7 PM, FREE http://www.tourdorchester.org/event.php?eventid=960


Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, Holloway Hall, Salisbury University. Internationally acclaimed ensemble of classic Indian dance. The name means “Dance Village.” 7 PM. FREE. http://www.salisbury.edu/newsevents/fullstoryview.asp?id=4476


Stargazing at the Seashore, Delaware Seashore State Park. Enjoy the night sky, learn to recognize constellations and hear stories about the ancient and current night sky. Telescope, binoculars, and star maps provided. Bring a blanket and pillow so you can lie down on the beach. $5 per person. Call for reservation. 302-227-6991. Meet at the Indian River Life Saving Station. NO FLASHLIGHTS!!


March 3-6

Books Café book sale, St. Lukes Church Queenstown. Oh be still, my book-loving heart! Annual sale of over 15,000 books, most at 90% off the cover price. Proceeds benefit the Wye Parish Episcopal Church and St. Luke’s Curch. Hours: 3-6 on Thursday, 10-6 Friday, 10-5 Sat. 9-2 Sunday. 410-827-8484.


March 4

1st Friday, Chestertown, Easton. Special events, gallery openings, artist receptions. 5-9 PM.


March 5

Rehoboth Beach Chocolate Festival, Convention Center, Rehoboth. Every confection, baked good, candy, cookie, cake, pudding… all chocolate. Contest divisions for restaurants, bakeries, amateurs, kids. Hey, what with flavenoids, calcium, and anti-oxidants, chocolate is a health food! Doors open at 11:30. Sale continues until the chocolate runs out or 3:30, whichever comes first. Entry is $2, samples of chocolate are 50 cents each. No carry out. More information and download the form to enter the contest:



Dog Ball, Melfa, VA. Benefit for the SPCA at the Eastern Shore Yacht and Country Club. Live music, carving table, 50/50 raffle, cash bar. Tickets $50 per person/ $95 couple. Contact Barbara Hall: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Reconciliation Day “Joy of Community,” Prince Theatre, Chestertown, MD. Sponsored by the African American Heritage Center and Prince Theatre, it celebrates the ability of the arts, cultural heritage, and spiritual expression as catalysts to unification. 6 p.m. FREE. www.princetheatre.org.


Mardi Gras Masqued Ball, Denton, MD. Annual event to benefit the Caroline County Council of the Arts. Live New Orleans music, Creole food, live and silent art auctions, cash bar, Masque contest. Tickets $50 in advance $60 at the door. 410-479-1009.



March 6

Gumbo Cookoff, Rehoboth Beach, DE. Stroll through Rehoboth Beach, sampling gumbo at 12 restaurants competing for the title of Best Gumbo North of Nawlins. Ballots are $5 and available at participating restaurants. Jolly Trolley providing transportation between the restaurants if you are too stuffed to walk on your own. Other good foods – beignets, Po’ Boys, Etouffe. Enjoy it now; Lent beings on Wednesday! www.downtownrehoboth.com

SUP the Coast for Wounded Warriors and Ocean Health PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fran Severn   
Friday, 18 February 2011 18:17


Some people want to hike the Appalachian Trail. Mike Simpson and Will Rich want to stand-up paddle the east coast of America. On March 1, the two will leave from the famous ‘southernmost point’ buoy in Key West and head for Portland, Maine on stand-up paddles.


Stand-up paddling (SUP) is a new water sport that is catching on faster than a high-speed catamaran. It’s something of a cross between a kayak and a surfboard. You can stand. Or sit. Or straddle. You use a paddle similar to a kayak paddle to propel yourself along. I tried it last summer with Janis Markopoulis of Delmarva Board Sports last summer. It is impossible to fall off; I know because I tried.


But exploring the marshes and tidal waters of the Chesapeake and near-in coast line of the Atlantic is a lot different that paddling 30 miles a day in the open waters of the ocean. That’s what Mike and Will plan to do. Google maps makes that 2100 miles using the coastal roads. That’s about 70 days, not adding in anything for bad weather, sore arms, or damaged equipment.


The guys are making the trip to raise money and awareness for two causes. The first if the Wounded Warrior Project, which supports returning servicemen and servicewomen from their tours of duty. The second is SUP Cleanup, a worldwide organization dedicated to awareness of the health of oceans and waterways.


As part of their pre-trip planning, they are going to be at Harborside Bar & Grill in Ocean City tomorrow night, Feb. 24, from 7:30- 9:00. Janis has put together a meet and greet information session. They’ll be explaining more about who they are, what they are doing, and will be looking for sponsors (including people to put them up while they are in the area).


For more information about the guys and their mission, go to: www.supthecoast.com

To learn more about Delmarva Board Sports (Janis does a lot of intro sessions when the weather warms up): www.delmarvaboardsports.com

To get directions to Harborside Bar & Grill: www.ocharborside.com

Music, Music in Onancock, Cape Charles, and Virginia's Eastern Shore PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fran Severn   
Friday, 18 February 2011 17:36

I don’t know about the hills, but the marshes of Virginia’s Eastern Shore are going to be alive with music this weekend!


It all starts with the Eastern Shore Community College’s annual Heritage Festival. There will be 50 artisans and a heritage café plus poetry readings, but the focus will be on the musical traditions of Virginia. You’ll hear gospel choirs, blues, American folk, acoustic guitars and vocals, and Stump Hole Water bluegrass and traditional music band. It runs from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The campus is in Melfa, VA.


At 3 p.m., the musical focus shifts to Onancock, VA where the Virginia Symphony Orchestra presents an “Instrument Petting Zoo” at Ker Place on Market Street. Designed specifically for younger kids, it gives them a chance to learn about musical instruments, even try to play a viola or toot a flute. Think of the fun when your four-year-old announces his deepest desire is to play the drums. Or tuba. Or harp. At 4 pm, there’s a live narrative and musical interpretation of Aesop’s fables. It’s a refreshing way to introduce kids to culture. 757-787-8012.


The Symphony moves to Nandua High School on Onley for their 8 p.m. WINTERFEST concert. Tickets are $24 at the door. www.acesva.org or 757-302-0366.


Meanwhile, Stump Hole Water heads for the historic Palace Theater in Cape Charles for the Voices on the Shore Concert with Lady Vee and the Band. You’ll hear an eclectic mix of Americana and all other styles of acoustic tunes. 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 adults/ $8 students. www.artsentercapecharles.org or 757-331-2787

Last Updated on Friday, 18 February 2011 18:20
Delmarva Discover Center PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fran Severn   
Friday, 18 February 2011 17:13


One of the most interesting places to visit on Delmarva is the Delmarva Discovery Center in Pocomoke. Housed in a sturdy red brick building that is itself part of the history of the region, it is a great place to learn about the nature, people, and history of life from Cape Charles to the Chesapeake and Rock Hall to Ocean City.


There’s an amazing amount of information and number of displays shoehorned into the building. Director Brian Garrett delights in showing it all off to visitors. Here’s a Native American wigwam constructed in the traditional way by local Native peoples; crawl inside the human-scale model of a beaver dam; check out the aging market hunting float. He stops by the walk-through mock-up of a steamboat wharf. “We’re always trying to think of ways to make things more interactive while still being educational. I’m trying to figure out a way to show how they used pulleys to load cargo. It’ll teach the physics as well as the history.”


A lot of people offer to donate artifacts to the Center. Usually those offers are turned down. “We don’t have anywhere to store them, first of all. And we don’t want to take something that we can’t display.” There’s also the fear of becoming an annex to Grandma’s attic by accepting lots of things that families don’t want to keep but would feel guilty about hauling to the landfill.


This spring the newest display opened. The Reef Tank shows the geologic history of Delmarva’s waters with corals and fish, including the Atlantic Sturgeon. The needle-nosed fish has been swimming around for something like 40,000 years. They were so plentiful that they were once considered a nuisance. But between their caviar and products that could be made from them, Sturgeon is now severely endangered. The specimens cruising along in the tank may be the only ones you’ll ever see. There’re also gar (looking like the stretch limo of aquatic life), largemouth bass, and bluegills, several types of crustaceans, and corals and anemones swaying in the current. This is one of those exhibits where the more you look, the more you see.


One of the Center’s goals encouraging families to join as members. There are at least one or two special events each month, with the cost included in the daily admission. But that racks up quickly during a year. Most of the events, though, are covered if you are already a member. Which means that a one-time $40 family membership gets you into every special event as well as all the visits you want to make at any other time. (The regular admission is $10/adult $5/kid. Each visit.)


This weekend is an example of the special programs the Center puts on. “Reptiles Alive” is all about turtles, lizards, frogs, and – of course – snakes. There are special presentations hourly throughout the afternoon. Find out why spring peepers peep and other mysteries of nature. And learn a lot more about Delmarva. www.delmarvadiscoverycenter.org

Digital Storytelling: Preserving Delmarva's Traditions PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fran Severn   
Friday, 18 February 2011 15:34


A few years before he passed away, I had a chance to interview Scorchy Tawes for Chesapeake Life. The chronicler of life and lore of Delmarva mentioned that he still had files of people and stories he never had the chance to cover before he retired. It would have been terribly rude of me to ask to have access to those files, but I thought about it then and since. Now, like Scorchy, most of those contacts are gone forever.


Delmarva is a fragile thing in that respect. Isolated from the mainland of Maryland and Virginia with most of Delaware also removed from the metros to the north and west, it developed its own culture and traditions. That’s changing as technology and communication homogenize the planet. The things that make this place unique are vanishing and with them, some of our soul goes, too.


Preserving the legacy is the goal of a project of the Worcester and Somerset County Libraries. Using a grant from the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, they’ve started “Your Story: A Digital Storytelling Opportunity.” Once a month people with stories about the region from the past are invited to come and record them. The idea is to create an in-depth picture of life here from 1914-2000.


“We want to capture the stories so future generations can see and hear them,” says Lisa Outten-Stant, who runs the adult programs and public relations for the Worcester Library System. “We are looking for older people who remember what the county was like. There were so many jobs, like canning or the railroads. What the towns were like. What life was like.” There are World War 2 veterans who have their memories of the war and what it was like leaving here and then returning, and members of the Civilian Conservation Corps which was deeply involved in the agriculture during the Depression.


The response has been encouraging. Not only are people calling to make appointments for their storytelling, but “we get calls saying ‘You need to talk to so-and-so.’ Most of the time people come to the library but if someone can’t get here, we try to take the equipment to them.”


All of the recordings are up and running at the Ocean Pines branch of the library. Lisa says the new material is added after every recording session, and it’s an on-going project which will continue as long as the grant money lasts or can be renewed.


The next opportunity is Feb. 24 at the Berlin Branch. Other sessions are set up over the next few months at Snow Hill and Crisfield. You need to call to make an appointment and to get the whole schedule. 410-632-3970, 410-208-2910.


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