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May First Friday


April 30, 2019

Diane Laird

Executive Director

Downtown Dover Partnership

(302) 678-2940 (o)     

(302) 540-2407 (c)     

Award-Winning Artist Kicks Off Dover Days

First Friday through Sunday, Downtown Dover will be alive day and night!

DOVER, DE (May 3, 2019) Downtown Dover is brimming with activity!  Beginning this Friday and extending through Sunday, downtown Dover will host daily programs, artists, music, vendors, guided tours and exhibit to celebrate Dover Days

Dennis Young, award-winning plein air artist, studio painter, and owner of Mo'zArt studio in Old New Castle, will kick off Friday evening activities with a pastel demonstration from 5 - 7:45 p.m. amidst a backdrop of live jazz and blues. These activities are free and open to the public at the Dover Art League. "Outside I favor cityscapes and the interplay of light and shadow. In the studio, I especially favor the portrait and the figure," says Young, who has juried into numerous competitive plein air events in the mid-Atlantic region, including in Annapolis, Solomons Island, and Frederick, MD, as well as in Richmond, VA and Tequesta, FL. Bring your own pastels and paper to try some of the techniques or simply watch Dennis Young bring color vibrancy to a simple wooden panel!

Along with Dennis and many local musical favorites, an expanding array of musicians will be featured inside the library and nearly 20 downtown shops and restaurants, including Wesley Melvin playing jazz on sax at House of Coffi and several others from Dover High School playing pop, rhythm and blues. Soon to come, a jazz quartet also from the Dover High, as well as a caricature artist. Dennis’ appearance on May 3 will pave the way for additional visual artist appearances throughout the summer and into fall as the Downtown Dover Partnership continues its programming of artists and musicians inside shops and on sidewalks in downtown.

After arts, shopping, and dining on Friday, join the First State Heritage Park guides though historic Dover and its cemeteries by lantern light, Friday at 8 p.m. Space is limited for lantern tours, so call (302) 739-9194 for reservations. Visit the Upcoming Events section at

Dover Days activities will continue Saturday morning with the traditional parade and maypole dancing at The Green. Held annually since 1933, Dover Days celebrates the Capital of the First State with maypole dancing, a parade, concerts, craft fair, and many more events that contribute to the festivities. First State Heritage Park’s First Saturdays features the "Biggs Kids: Paper Dolls" program to make your own colonial paper doll inspired by the colonial clothes in the paintings at the Biggs museum. Or tour the Old State House, Delaware’s historic Capital Building where visitors will meet Dr. James Sykes and learn how to write with a quill pen. The museum is open from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.  

Or visit the John Bell House on The Green for "Dover through the Decades" and travel through significant events in Dover's history.  Visit for all the weekend events.

On Saturday from 3 – 9 p.m., you won’t want to miss History, Heritage, and Hops - fun for the whole family. Three live bands will be featured outdoors on Loockerman Plaza and Loockerman Street, along with activities for the kids and the area’s best food and dessert trucks.  Visit History, Heritage, and Hops 2019 on Facebook, an annual event hosted by Destination Downtown Dover (D3), also on Facebook.  Then, on First Friday, June 7 from 5 to 9 p.m., D3 will close the streets and launch their lively outdoor programming with bands Bad JuJu and Bros. Stonesifer, libations, food trucks and vendors, weather-permitting.  Nevertheless, indoor arts/music programming will continue year-round on First Friday, regardless of the weather.

Downtown Dover First Fridays is funded jointly by the Downtown Dover Partnership and Destination Downtown Dover, along with a generous grant from NCALL/Restoring Central Dover and will be held rain or shine throughout 2019. Anyone interested having “behind the scenes fun” as a volunteer or to participate as an artist, dancer, or musician in Downtown Dover First Fridays should visit or contact 


The line-up for May 3:   (Subject to change.)


Bayard Pharmacy – Mollie Raley Hall, singer/songwriter on guitar, ukulele and mandolin with an eclectic mix of mostly folk and pop. 


Bel Boutique – Bob Frazier & Friends, singers accompanied by guitar & ukulele performing an eclectic mix of tunes.


Dover Art League – Live demonstration by pastel artist, Dennis Young.  Joe Conner heading up jazz and blues selections accompanied by Earl Read on electric guitar, Anthony Taylor on drums and Vernell Armwood Jr. on bass.


Dover Public Library - In Harmony Concert Series: Vocal music with the Deltones, a co-ed acapella group from the University of Delaware. 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. in Multi-Purpose rooms A & B.


Forney’s Too – Rick Hudson, singer/songwriter on guitar and harmonica featuring blues, old time country and contemporary pieces.


House of Coffi – Enjoy Wesley Melvin playing jazz on tenor sax while visiting the photography exhibit Nature on the Eastern Shore by Jerry Hendrickson.


La Baguette – Mike Nielsen, harpist/songwriter, featuring a soothing Celtic, Classical sound.  


My Roots – Ryan Schumacher and Friends from Wesley College, with Ryan on guitar, Becky on bass and Samuel on piano.  From jazz to more popular tunes in the acoustic style. 


Parke Green Galleries – Original artwork by guest artists Dick Chinery and Jim Rehak.


The Delaware Store – Leilani Wall, singer/songwrite, featuring quiet ballads, classic rock to table-thumping Irish drinking songs. Tom Smith will be spinning tales of historic Dover, including the 1881 Great Fire in the Capitol Hotel. 


The Loocke – Deborah Doukissa and her Belly Dance Troupe, Dendarah Nar. 5:30 to 7 p.m.


The Wedding Boutique – Mike Miller on acoustic guitar, singing Americana themed pieces.  


Simaron Steak Shop – Guest to be determined.


Zuha Trend - Tom Hench, singer/songwriter on guitar/harmonica, mixed folk type storytelling, with humorous to serious overtones.


Enjoy various musicians while dining at The Grey Fox,  33 West and Governor’s Café.



About the project partners:

The Downtown Dover Partnership is committed to driving an improved quality of life for the residents and visitors of Dover, Delaware, through collective collaboration, economic development and promotion of downtown Dover’s unique historic properties.  Visit:

Destination Downtown Dover energizes the heart of Delaware. Our mission is to make our downtown a place where people want to live, work, shop, eat, drink, and play.  We bring the community together through our high energy, family friendly festivals which generate funds for future downtown economic development and beautification projects.  Visit Destination Downtown Dover on Facebook.

Restoring Central Dover is led by NCALL and a steering committee to offer a multitude of strategies for a strong community.

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