Wednesday, December 5, 2007

New Mispillion Art League Gallery

The Mispillion Art League finally has it own permanent gallery! On December 1st, the League signed a lease for gallery and class room space at 127 NW Front Street—in the recently rehabilitated Governor Tharp Building. The building is located at the corner of NW Front and Church Streets. There is ample off-street parking behind the building. (The lot is accessed from Church Street which is one-way going south.)

The public opening of the new gallery will be this Friday during the Downtown Holiday Stroll organized by Downtown Milford Incorporated. From 5 to 8 PM on Friday downtown merchants on Walnut and Front Streets are staying open late to welcome holiday shoppers. Santa’s House will be open for the kids. There will be Horse Drawn Wagon Rides throughout the night sponsored by Dave Wilson of Wilson's Auction. Through out the evening the will be performances by Milford's Christmas Carol Band, Second Street Players Carolers, the First Presbyterian Church, Jesus Love Temple, Hand Bell Ringers, Zwaanendael Dance Academy and Delaware Music School.

So don’t forget to visit NW Front Street for the Mispillion Art League’s Gallery opening, plus stop by at the LadyBug Shop (131 NW Front in the Tharp Building) and the Victorian Lady Tearoom (112 NW Front, the Marshall Building). There will also be live Christmas Jazz by guitarist Phil Henry throughout the evening at the Governor Tharp building.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

New Year's Dinner & Dance

St. John's Church located at Seabury Avenue and School Place in Milford, Delaware has just announced plans for a New Year’s Eve Dinner & Dance. The event will be held December 31st from 7 pm to 12:15 am. Tickets for the night are $40 per person and include dinner and snacks throughout the evening. Swing City will provide the music for dancing. Anyone interested in purchasing tickets for the event can call 302-422-5123 ext. 13. Make your reservations for single tickets or whole tables today.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

People's Day Events

People's Day is an annual event held throughout downtown Milford, Delaware to celebrate services to people in Milford. A variety of events and entertainment have been planned for 2007 People's Day on Saturday, December 1st. They include:

7:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Holiday Bazaar including book sale and entertainment at the Milford Public Library.

7:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. People's Place 8th Annual Choral Breakfast at the Milford Senior Center featuring Musical Performances, All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast, Holiday Gift Shop, Community Service Fair, Poinsettia Sale, and Visit from Santa (7:30-10:30 a.m.). Tickets for the choral breakfast are $6 for adults, $3 for children 12 & under, under 3 free. Or, concert only tickets can be purchased for $3. All tickets can be purchased by calling 422-8033 ext. 183.

10:00 a.m.-4:00 pm. Special Exhibits at the Milford Museum to include Iwo Jima, Milford History, and Holiday displays.

11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Family Fun Day at the Boys & Girls Club. Stop by for games and activities, youth talent show, Santa shop, and poinsettia sale.

11:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. Santa will be in residence at his house located on S. Walnut Street near the Riverwalk.

1:00-4:00 p.m. $1 off general admission, with free parent passes, at the Milford Skating Center.

All Day -Raffles, Sales, and Specials at downtown businesses.

3:00 p.m. "She Loves Me" performance by Second Street Players at Riverfront Theatre.

6:00 p.m. Holiday Glow hosted by Mayor Rogers in Bicentennial Park. This event is presented by the City of Milford.

7:30 p.m. "The Nutcracker" by Diamond Dance Company at Milford High School.

8:00 p.m. "She Love Me" performance by Second Street Players at Riverfront Theatre.

People's Day is brought to you by: Boys & Girls Club, City of Milford, Chamber of Commerce, Diamond Dance Company, Downtown Milford, Inc., Milford Museum, Milford Public Library, Milford Senior Center, Milford Skating Center, People's Place, and Riverfront Theatre.

Questions about the events may be directed to 422-8033 ext. 183.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

The Santa House sponsored by Downtown Milford, Inc. is busy preparing for Santa's arrival. Santa will come to town on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving which falls this year on November 24th. As in year's past, visitors can find Santa and Mrs. Claus at home in their little red house along the Mispillion Riverwalk, just off S. Walnut Street in downtown Milford. A variety of volunteers have been busy cutting and sewing stockings as well as filling those stockings with candy.

Santa will be in residence downtown each Friday from 6-8 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. throughout the holiday season. He'll head North after 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 23rd.

Milford's own Christmas Carol Band will be on site Saturday, November 24th from 10:30-11:00 a.m. to welcome Santa to town. On Saturday, December 1st, the First State Harmonettes will perform from 10:30-11:00 a.m.

There is no charge for visiting Santa. Each child receives a photo, a stocking filled with candy, and an entry into the weekly drawing for a $100 savings bond.

Any questions about the Santa House can be directed to DMI Executive Director, Beth Durham at 302-839-1180.

The Bed Chambers Black Friday Sale

The Bed Chambers located in Downtown Milford, Delaware is hosting their first ever in-store AND online combo sale. On Black Friday, shoppers at the Penney Square location can take advantage of 20% off everything in the store from 7:00-11:00 a.m. For those internet shoppers, don't fret. You can take advantage of the store sale by entering a special promotions code at check-out. All online shoppers can enjoy 20% off everything on the website from 7:00-11:00 a.m. by entering "BFS-23".

The Bed Chambers has made it easy to shop for your holiday gift list while managing to save you money on high quality and high demand items. Items included in the sale include: Spanx, The Cat's Pajamas, Beanpod Soy Candles, Robes, Day Wear, Loungewear, and more!

For those television fans, you may recognize Spanx from the Oprah Show. Also, given much national recognition is The Bed Chambers' product line of The Cat's Pajamas. The pjs have been featured on Will & Grace, Gilmore Girls, Dawson's Creek, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer just to name a few. The Bed Chambers is one of only two locations in Delaware at which shoppers can purchase these Hollywood favorites.

The Bed Chambers can be reached at 302-422-2902. Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Festive Events at the Library

The Milford Public Library, located in downtown Milford, Delaware, is preparing for a busy holiday season. The very popular Christmas Tree Extravaganza will run from November 30th to January 2nd. Visitors are encouraged to vote on their favorite tree by a money donation. All monies collected will be given to a local family and selected senior citizens who are experiencing some temporary hardships. Even if you aren't able to donate, you are encourage to enjoy the Christmas ambiance of over a dozen decorated trees placed throughout the library.

The Holiday Bazaar will be held December 1st from 7:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. to coincide with People's Day. The Friends of the Milford Public Library operate the bazaar and offer many new and used items for sale.

Tuesday, December 4th at 7:00 p.m. brings the delightful musical sounds of Kevin Hubbard. The classical guitar concert with a touch of jazz will include favorites such as "Malaguena", "Aspirations" and the Christmas songs: Greensleeves (What Child is This) and Silent Night. This is a great way to start off your family holiday season.

Holiday Stroll is by far one of the largest downtown events and the Milford Public Library will be open that night with the Friends of the Library "Coffee Boutique" with sweet treats available on the lower level. The Holiday Bazaar will also be open for any holiday purchases.

Rounding out the season's events is Holiday Hors d'oeuvres on December 12th at 7:00 p.m. The annual demonstration of hors d'oeuvres and canapes will provide tips that are sure to delight your guests during the year's busiest season. Chef Phil from "Looking Glass Restaurant" will host the event. Registration is a necessity as samples will be given and seating is limited.

Fore more information about any of the events listed here, please contact the Milford Public Library directly at 422-8996.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Uptown and Over South Exhibit

The Black History Society, a group dedicated to the chronicling of the history of the African-American citizens of Milford and its surrounding area, is sponsoring an exhibit entitled: "Uptown and Over South" in conjunction with The Milford Historical Society and the Milford Museum.

The exhibit currently consists of photographs of Uptown citizens and their daily lives along with churches, schools, businesses, social activities, sports, etc. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a trombone belonging to a locally famous musician and member of a noted African-American marching band known during the early to mid 1900's as "The Orange Blossom Band". Along with the trombone, a thumb nail history is provided.

A photographic collage DVD entitled "Uptown and Over South" is available for viewing which includes touching photographs of Uptown citizens set to provocative music. All are invited to rediscover this small glimpse of local history.

For further information, please contact the Milford Museum at 302-424-1080.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Community Band Fundraiser

The Milford Community Band is currently selling 2008 Entertainment Books to raise money for their programs. While all of their performers are volunteers, the group fundraises to help defray the costs of purchasing music and other much needed items.

The 2008 Entertainment Book sells for $30. Every book sold will raise $15 for the Band. Coupons in the book cover cities from Wilmington to Ocean City and several downtown Milford favorites are also included.

The Milford Community Band performs throughout the year in Downtown Milford, Delaware as well as in various other cities around the state. You may have seen them earlier this year at the 4th Annual Bug & Bud Festival or during the Music in the Park series. Also, look for their performance at the Santa House in early December and Holiday Stroll on December 7th from 5-8 p.m.

To support this local band by purchasing a 2008 Entertainment Book, call Kay Meade at 302-422-2395.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Oktoberfest Coming Fast!

Looks like Fall and St. John’s Oktoberfest will arrive together! The 17th Annual Oktoberfest will begin on Friday, October 5th at 6 p.m. The ‘Jones Boys’ from Seaford will kick off the festivities this year!

Dancing to the music of the Jones Boys is sure to work up an appetite. You won’t go hungry because the ever popular Oktoberfest International food court will be serving up their traditional German entrees, along with Italian, Spanish, Polish, Filipino and American Cuisine. Sounds like something to satisfy everyone’s taste and mostly all “homemade”.

Returning to Milford on Saturday afternoon will be the internationally famous, Joe Kroboth German Orchestra, who started at the very first Oktoberfest in 1989.

On Saturday, festivities begin at 10:00 a.m. with helicopter rides and entertainment to carry you through the entire day. There will be many games, horse rides, and a petting zoo for the children.

Entertainment will run through the day on Saturday. Three major highlights will be the Enzian Folk Group (German dancers) from Reading, Pennsylvania, the Milford Community Band and “Pink Grass”, an all female group playing Blue Grass Music. Everyone’s favorite, The Honey Combs will take center stage to wrap up the weekend festivities.

Mark your calendar for the 17th Annual Oktoberfest Weekend: October 5th and 6th at St. John’s Church located on the corner of Seabury Avenue and School Place in Milford. For more information call 422-5123, ext. 13.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Breast Cancer Tea

The Victorian Lady located in downtown Milford, Delaware will host a special Breast Cancer Tea during October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For $35, each guest will be treated to The Queen's Tea which includes a personal pot of tea, soup, fruit, a delicious scone served with lemon curd & Devon cream, assorted finger sandwiches, and assorted desserts.

The Susan G. Komen Foundation will receive $15 from the cost of each tea and an additional 20% of the days gift shop proceeds. A breast cancer survivor will be on hand to share her experiences while traveling this path.

The Breast Cancer Tea hosted by The Victorian Lady provides a wonderful chance to enjoy an afternoon with friends while supporting a great cause. To obtain reservations or for more information, please call 302-424-8272. The Victorian Lady is located at 112 N.W. Front Street in downtown Milford, Delaware. Seating is limited so make your reservation early.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Botox Pajama Party

Downtown Milford business The Bed Chambers is partnering with Attitudes Medi Spa to bring you a unique and fun-filled evening. Thursday, August 30th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. The Bed Chambers and Attitudes Medi Spa will host a Botox Pajama Party at 808 Seabury Avenue in Milford, Delaware.

Guests can relax and have fun with friends while enjoying decadent chocolate, beautifying with Botox, and of course shopping for new sleepwear items. As an added bonus, shoppers will receive 10% off Bed Chambers merchandise and $50 off Botox all night long.

RSVP is required for this special evening. Interested participants can call 302-422-3356 for more information.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Photography Exhibit

A Photography Exhibit Open Reception will be held Thursday, August 23, 2007 at Angelucci Fine Woodworking & Stained Glass. The exhibit will be open from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the 7 Park Avenue location in Downtown Milford, Delaware.

Digital and Black & White Film students will have their works on display. The Digital Class photographers include Diane Riley Brown, Dean P. Geyer, Kristie Hazel, Margaret Melson, and Barbara Rowe. The Black & White Film Class photographers are Jessica Daleiden, Jamie Holzman, Michelle Peters, and Tejas Sheth.

Instructor Marc Clery is a professional photographer experienced in photojournalism, commercial, wedding, portraiture and fine art photography. The heart of his work is his pursuit of photography as a medium of artistic expression and a means of examining the human condition.

Currently the Director of Photography at the Delaware Coast Press, Clery has received numerous awards from such professional organizations as the National Press Photographers Association, the Florida Press Association and the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association. He has worked with The Miami Herald ,The Vero Beach Press-Journal, The Wilmington, Del. News-Journal and the Delaware State News and his work has also been published in USA Today, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Wall Street Journal newspapers and in Delaware Today and Wine magazines.

Clery started his full-time career in photojournalism in 1978 with The Milford Chronicle, where he was the first and only full-time photographer. “The Chronicle gave me a sense of community that has stayed with me throughout my photojournalism career,” he said.

Marc's photography can be viewed at He can be contacted at 302-228-8616 or via e-mail at

Pictured above: The 2006 Capturing Light Photography class images.

President's Message

Progress is “positive movement”. I am happy to report that Downtown Milford, Inc. (DMI) is making progress in all areas of operation. Some of that positive movement is at a speed we are all pleased with; other movement is slower than expected, but is movement nonetheless.

Since my last message, Dan and Rhonda Bond completed their amazing renovation of the “Governor Tharp Building” at the corner of NW Front and Church Streets. This total rehabilitation of one of Milford’s most historic structures surprised many skeptics who saw only condemnation and demolition in the building’s future. The work was financed in part through monies obtained through DMI. The building now houses offices and the LadyBug Shop on the ground level and five modern apartments on the upper levels.

The week of April 28-May 4 was “Ladybug Week”. It started with the most successful “Bug & Bud Festival” ever and culminated with the “Ladybug Gala & Auction” at which many thousands of dollars were raised for DMI and our partner, the Mispillion Art League--all through ticket sales and the auction of the 15 ladybug art forms that had been on display in local businesses prior to the Festival.

Slower progress, yet progress still, is being made in our two main projects. In partnership with the City of Milford, DMI hopes to complete the process of making Milford a “Main Street” community as soon as the state Main Street Office prepares its new application and schedules a training session for prospective members. While DMI emulates a traditional main street community in its current operations, membership will bring much-needed consultative advice to help us better manage in the future. Information about the nation-wide Main Street Program can be found on their website at

Slow but sure progress is also being made on the extension of the “Streetscape” project on N.E. Front Street, from Washington Street to the renovated Riverwalk Shopping Center. This project will involve the burying of utility lines, removal of utility poles, rebuilding the street surface, and creating sidewalks, plantings, benches, and lighting similar to what we did in the first phases on Walnut and N.W. Front Streets. This project will be funded through the generous help of our local state legislators, Senator Gary Simpson, Representative V. George Carey, and Representative Bob Walls and the in-kind contributions of the City of Milford.

Finally, you may have noticed the unruly bushes along the sidewalks in downtown have been removed by the City. In the near future they will be replaced by annuals and perennials chosen and paid for by DMI’s streetscape improvement fund.

All this work is carried out by our dedicated Executive Director, Beth Durham, and our many volunteers. Ongoing work and future projects will need additional volunteers. Please contact us if you can give a lot or a little of your time.

Pictured above: Downtown Milford, Inc's Board of Directors President, Mitch Crane

Monday, August 6, 2007

Farmers' Market Week Proclamation

Governor Ruth Ann Minner has signed a proclamation declaring August 5 through August 11 as Farmers’ Market Week in the State of Delaware.

The Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA) strongly supports and promotes the development, operation and expansion of First State markets and the “Grown Fresh with Care in Delaware” campaign, as well as other direct-to-consumer marketing activities for Delaware’s agricultural producers. Gov. Minner and Agriculture Secretary Michael Scuse recognize that farmers’ markets provide farmers with excellent marketing opportunities while providing consumers with delicious, nutritious, fresh-picked local fruits and vegetables.

There are currently 10 farmers’ markets throughout the state of Delaware offering consumers a variety of fruits and vegetables, herbs, cheeses, flowers baked goods, meat and much more.

The growth in Delaware farmers’ markets reflects the national trend. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of farmers’ markets nationally increased more than 7 percent between 2005 and 2006.The new numbers are based on an update of the National Farmers Market Directory by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), and the preliminary results of the 2006 USDA National Farmers Market Survey, conducted by AMS in partnership with Michigan State University.

Gov. Minner’s proclamation urges all Delawareans to recognize and support Delaware’s 10 farmers’ markets while celebrating the bountiful production and the significant contributions First State farmers and agricultural producers make to our way of life in Delaware.

Vist Downtown Milford's Farmers' Market on Saturdays through October from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The market is located just off S. Walnut Street near the Mispillion Riverwalk.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Things to do at Milford Public Library

The Milford Public Library, located along the scenic Riverwalk in the heart of downtown, has many exciting programs and events coming up. On August 17th, a cancer screening will be sponsored by the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc. Interested participants can contact Melany or Laura at 888-672-9647 to schedule an appointment and learn more about FREE mammograms for those who qualify. The screening will be done by health professionals in their mobile health van in the library parking lot from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

The Friends of the Milford Public Library will continue their well-known and highly anticipated book sales beginning August 31st at 7:00 a.m. and ending September 8th and 3:00 p.m. Stop in the lower level of the library to browse thousands of titles as well as a variety of second-hand gift items. Put this date on your calendar now!

And of course, the Music in the Park series continues in August with two performances in the library's amphitheater. Bring your picnic blanket or beach chairs. Riverfront Cafe will open at 6:00 p.m. for pre-concert BBQ. Relax in the early evening twilight with your friends and family as highly talented musicians entertain you. The concerts begin at 7:00 p.m. In the case of inclement weather, the concerts will be held inside. August 8th features Mark Mitchell, jazz and gospel saxophonist and on the 22nd visitors will be entertained by Barbara Benedett and Mary Kate Newell's "Pop, Jazz, and Light Classical" concert.

Adult Book Clubs continue to meet once a month for a lively discussion and light refreshments. Call 422-8996 for more information. Each monthly book selection can be Found in the Kent/Sussex Library system.

Be sure to check back here for further details conerning October's Mystery Book Sale and December's Holiday Bazaar.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

August Board Meeting

Downtown Milford, Inc. will hold their monthly Board of Directors meeting on Thursday, August 2nd at 7:00 p.m. at the Milford Public Library Meeting Room. Items on the agenda for that night include reports from Facade & Structural Improvements, House Tour, and Holiday Stroll. The Downtown Milford, Inc. board meetings are open to the public.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Marvel Agency: Existing Business Feature

Marvel Agency, Inc. has been a downtown staple on Walnut Street for 54 years. Since 1977, brothers Harvey Marvel, Jr. and Randy Marvel have owned and managed the business founded by their father, Harvey Marvel, Sr. Their current location, 15 N. Walnut Street was formerly the Milford City Hall and Police Station.

When Marvel Agency was around in the 1960’s and 1970’s downtown was the only retail and business center in Milford. They maintained in place despite a decline in downtown’s popularity during the 1980’s and within the last 10 years have seen the re-birth of a lively business center with offices, cultural institutions, and specialty retail shops. Owner Harvey Marvel cites the commitment of the city government to the streetscape and Riverwalk improvements as a critical component of the current revival.

Marvel Agency is an Independent Insurance Agent, selling all forms of personal and business insurance as well as a Real Estate broker, handling sales and rentals of all types. Their exceptionally trained and experienced staff is comprised of 27 employees, each bringing a different achievement and professional educational designation to the team. Several staff members have multiple decades of experience in their respective fields.

Stop by Marvel Agency during their office hours Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-12 noon. Or call them at (302) 422-9626 to schedule an appointment. Visit their website at to learn more about their business.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Country Flowers: New Downtown Business

Country Flowers, located at 42 N. Walnut Street, brings a much desired service into the heart of downtown. While owners Bill Payton and Todd Bruce were running their first Country Flowers location in Harrington, a mere eight miles away, their Milford customers repeatedly encouraged them to move to Milford. In January of 2007, Bill and Todd opened their second shop here and have been on the go ever since.

With five employees and extra hires for holidays, Country Flowers’ staff stays busy with the demands of every season. The uniqueness of their arrangements and the ability to make each design special for the intended recipient is just one reason that this small business is successful.

Bill Payton has over 15 years experience in the floral business and doesn’t remember a time when he wasn’t growing, cutting, or arranging flowers. He credits his grandmother for encouraging his passion. Potential customers might be surprised to find that this downtown shop is not only a place for exceptional floral finds, but also offers a wide selection of country d├ęcor, candles, balloons, and silk arrangements.

In fact, Country Flowers has really thought of everything when it comes to gift giving options. When looking for something less traditional than flowers, ask the staff about their candy bouquets, junk food, or fruit baskets. Health conscious shoppers need not fret; they will gladly arrange a gift tailored to your loved one. Consistency and class pays off for this local business, just ask their growing customer base, many of whom come from referrals.

Country Flowers is open M-F 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-12 noon. If you don’t have time to visit the store location, they will happily take your order over the phone and arrange for delivery. Call the shop at (302) 424-4457.
Pictured above: Country Flowers staff Bill Payton, Nita Watkins, and Todd Bruce.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bug & Bud Festival Receives National Recognition

Travelocity and IgoUgo have named Bug & Bud Festival as one of their 2007 Local Secrets, Big Finds. Ranging from scenic drives and historic towns to fabulous festivals and cultural events, more than 10,000 nominations poured in from around the continent. Bug & Bud Festival, co-sponsored by Downtown Milford, Inc. and City of Milford Parks & Recreation Department, is one of five Delaware picks and one of 295 winners from Travelocity’s editorial team as a best local find.

According to Amy Ziff, Travelocity editor-at-large, “our expansive collection of local secrets is one of the most valuable tools for travelers in search of authentic local flair or unique charm”. Bug & Bud Festival visitors are encouraged to call the Local Secrets, Big Finds insider hotline at (877) 771-2007 to share their recent experiences from the festival.

Visit and click on Delaware to see all state winners.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

July Board Meeting

Downtown Milford, Inc. will hold their monthly Board of Directors meeting on Thursday, July 5th at 7:00 p.m. at the Milford Public Library Meeting Room. Items on the agenda for that night include reports from Facade & Structural Improvements, Farmers' Market, and Street Beautification committee chairs. Also, up for discussion is DMI's participation in the 2007 Chamber of Commerce Riverwalk Freedom Festival and 2008 Downtown Milford, Inc. House Tour.

The Downtown Milford, Inc. board meetings are open to the public.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Milford Published in "101 Best Outdoor Towns"

Milford, Delaware is one of 101 cities listed in a new book written and prepared by Sarah Tuff and Greg Melville. The book, published by The Countryman Press of Woodstock, Vermont, is titled "101 Best Outdoor Towns, Unspoiled Places to Visit, Live & Play". Downtown Milford Inc.'s own consultant, Dan Bond assisted Melville by submitting information and photographs for his review.

The book touts itself as "a unique guide for the millions of American urban dwellers and suburbanites seeking quick getaways to small, breathtaking locales where there are pulse-quickening activities but a slower pace of life." We are thrilled not only for Milford to be included in this list, but to have many of our downtown businesses noted as well.

The book is already getting top reviews on Amazon and is selling well in bookstores. Remember, if you purchase books from Amazon, go to the Downtown Milford Inc. website and click on the Amazon tool bar before purchasing and DMI will get a commission on your purchase. (at no additional cost to you, of course)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Victorian Lady Announces Special Events

The Victorian Lady Tearoom, located in Downtown Milford Delaware's Marshall House, has just announced their special events for the summer. The Victorian Lady is the premier tearoom in Kent County offering 65 types of loose teas.
On June 30th, The Victorian Lady will host a Bridal Tea at 2:00 p.m. where customers are invited to wear a bridal dress to tea. The ever popular Teddy Bear Tea for children 4 and up will be held on July 13th at 11:30 a.m. For children and adults alike the fun continues on July 21st at 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. with the Princess Tea. In addition to these special themed teas, the Victorian Lady Tearoom is open Wednesday-Friday from 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturdays for Queen's Tea from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Visit the Victorian Lady for a cup of great tea served in true Victorian elegance. Contact them via phone at 302-424-8272 or visit them online at

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Group Advertising Campaign

For over six months, Downtown Milford, Inc. business members have been working together to advertise as a group on a weekly basis. This most recent group advertising campaign is run through two local newspapers: Milford Chronicle and Harrington News Journal. Business members of Downtown Milford, Inc. are eligible for a special rate when advertising in these papers. Each individual ad is 4" x 2" and printed in full process color.

Anyone wishing to advertise in this or future group campaigns should contact the Downtown Milford, Inc. office.

Music in the Park Dates Released

Downtown Milford, Inc. is pleased to embark upon a new partnership with Milford Public Library. MPL approached DMI concerning their summer concert series titled “Music in the Park”. This partnership will allow for “Music in the Park” to be held the second and fourth Wednesdays of June, July, and August; thereby doubling the number of performances offered in 2006. DMI is responsible for the sponsorship of the two concerts in August and marketing endeavors.

While DMI has worked with local and regional live entertainment performances through our Annual Bug & Bud Festival and Holiday Stroll events, this is our first venture into an ongoing event that is truly focused only on the arts. In addition to bringing quality entertainment to the racially and socio-economically diverse Milford population, the “Music in the Park” series will also allow us to showcase downtown’s attributes which include a picturesque amphitheatre, Riverwalk and park areas, and a variety of unique shopping and dining options.

Each concert will begin at 7:00 p.m. and last for the duration of one hour without an intermission. They are held just outside of the Milford Public Library which is centrally located in downtown along the Mispillion Riverwalk. The library’s amphitheatre is the perfect setting for individuals to bring chairs or blankets and truly enjoy an evening of quality entertainment. Local businesses are invited to participate by staying open during the later hours on concert days and offering specials to attendees. In case of inclement weather, the concerts can be held inside the Library’s Meeting Room which easily accommodates 100-150 people.

June will feature Andrus Family Singers on the 20th and Downtown Dixieland Band on the 27th. Performances in July will feature a steel band duo playing calypso, reggae, and soca music on the 11th and lyric soprano and guitarist duo on the 25th.

This August, we have invited jazz and gospel saxophonist, Mark Mitchell to perform on the 8th. Mark is originally from Philadelphia and is currently a saxophone instructor and administrator at the Mount Airy Culture Center. We are thrilled to welcome him to Milford just prior to his August 31st performance at the Tony Williams Jazz Festival over Labor Day weekend. The second performance to be held on August 22nd will offer Barbara Benedett from Philadelphia and her chamber group featuring clarinet and piano. Barbara’s show will feature pops and light classical tunes which are sure to delight the varied group of downtown visitors.

DMI’s partnership with MPL will allow the “Music in the Park” series to be much more visible than any one group going at it alone. This program is made possible, in part, by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware to enhance the quality of life for all Delawareans. The Delaware Division of the Arts provides technical and financial assistance to artists and arts programs and serves as a clearinghouse for information on the arts.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Bug & Bud Festival Offers Big Thank You!

Bug & Bud Festival 2007 was by all accounts the best year yet! The festival organizers, Downtown Milford, Inc. and City of Milford Parks & Recreation department wish to acknowledge the numerous volunteers and capital givers whose contributions helped make this festival an event for the entire Milford community to enjoy.

Capital givers who made this year possible are:

Capital Fund Patrons
Mispillion Development Corp.
Richard Y. Johnson & Son General Contractors
Artisans’ Bank
Country Life Homes, Inc.
Discover Bank
Mobious Investments, LLC
County Bank
Kent County Delaware CVB
LaCrosse Homes of Delaware
Lank, Johnson & Tull
Pepsi of Delmarva
Perdue Farms, Inc.
PNC Bank
Sea Watch International
Smith & Co. Restaurant
The Ladybug Shop

In addition to financial contributions, many community members volunteered their special talents to provide both organization and activities. These include:
Abbott’s Mill Nature Center led by Jason Beale for their hands-on snakes and turtles show as well as their Mispillion River canoe rides, Applebee’s for their children's coupon giveaways, Ben Franklin Plumbing for providing over 400 free kites to children, Bonanza for their raffle contribution, Delmarva Pigeon Club for their pigeon display and roller pigeon demonstrations, Milford Garden Club led by Verna Walls for their information booth coverage, Milford New Century Club with Gesine Abrutyn and Jan D'Agastino for their work with the local school art projects, Milford Public Library and Friends coordinated by Pat Palmer who graciously oversaw the children's art area as well as offering a variety of other activities, Milford Senior Center for donating their time and shuttle bus for festival participants use, Rhoda Friedman for her wonderful photograhy coverage of the event, Wilmington Trust, Co. for their generous raffle donation, and vendor ushers Al Lauckner, Pete Peterson, Scott Adkisson , Steve Robbins, and Don Abrutyn .

We appreciate Michelle Parisi of Zwaanendael Dance Studio for organizing the entertainment which included:
Milford Community Band, Miss Milford Organization, Harmonettes, Zwaanendael Dance Academy, Diamond Dance Company, First State Harmonizers, and Itinerant Dance Theater. A special thank you to Mark Dissinger who entertained festival-goers with his MC talents, Scout Troop 911 for the posting of the colors, Alison Clendaniel for her rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner", and Mayor Ronnie Rogers for his Arbor Day Proclamation. We also wish to thank Mitch Crane for his presentation of the downtown achievement award to Gary Emory.

The list is long, but not yet complete. It is important to recognize the tireless hard work of the staff of Parks & Recreation led by Gary Emory with much hard work by Mary Betts, City Electric, City Ground, Milford Police and Senior Volunteer Police, Houston Fire Co., Sussex County EMT, Downtown Milford, Inc. board members, Patty Masten, and Milford High School Honor Society. We can't forget Susan Newark of the festival committee and downtown farmers' market for her work on media coverage, Don Abrutyn who worked on every detail of this year's festival after retiring as 2006 co-chair, Dan Bond who not only served with his wife Rhonda as parade grand master, but also assisted in the festival planning stages, and Vicki Hudson, Lulu Ross and Banneker elementary art teach for her work on the children's artwork display and hands-on activity held in the library.

I hope that you enjoyed your time at the festival and will continue to visit downtown Milford to enjoy the variety of retail shops, restaurants, and services offered. With the beautiful days starting to become more plentiful I also hope you take advantage of downtown's Riverwalk Trail and well maintained park areas. If you see any of our 100+ volunteers, please join me in thanking them for their hard work!

Gala a Big Success!

All those who attended the Gala on May 4th at the Shawnee Country Club seemed to have a great time. They enjoyed good food, lively dancing and a most entertaining auction. Perhaps the best news is that DMI and the Mispillion Art League will get a significant boost to their operating budgets. In addition, each of the artists who made such great contributions to this effort will receive 20% of the price paid for their ladybug to help cover their expenses. Of course this was all made possible by the DMI Merchants who paid the full cost of purchasing the ladybug forms and having them shipped to Milford. And it would not have been possible without the wonderful support of those who attended the Gala and bid on the ladybugs. We would like to recognize here the artists, sponsoring merchants and buyers:

List in order of Artist, Sponsor, and Buyer:

*Jackie Carmean, The Breakfast Club, Richard Carmean
*Diane Deeney & Terry Marsh, Triple M Farms, Barbara Steele
*William Paul Robbins, Wilmington Trust, Co., Barbara Steele
*Harry Humes, I.G. Burton of Milford, David Burton
*Diane Johnson, The Ladybug Shop, Dan & Rhonda Bond
*Kauriee Wood, Nancy's Fine Foods, Dan & Rhonda Bond
*Katja R. Lackey, Lou's Bootery, Heritage at Milford
*Franklin C. Deputy, Mispillion Art League, David Rutt
*Dee Sudimak & Cliff Clark, Milford Beacon, Peter Gosnell
*Herman S. “Ham” McNatt, Davis, Bowen & Friedel, Mollie Brown Rust
*H. Earl Abbott, Jr., Milford Parks & Rec, Harry Humes
*Deborah Young, Milford Chronicle, Dan & Rhonda Bond
*Sonja M. Frey, That Boutique!, Richard Carmean
*Michael A. Sollazzo, Milford Medical Associates, Barbara Rutt
*Linda Rehm, QUEST Fitness & Kayak, Ryan Durham

And we would like to give special recognition to Gwen Guerke and the Milford Chronicle for all the publicity they gave to this event through their series of articles on the artists and the wonderful full page color poster that they created of all the ladybug sculptures. The poster accompanies this post.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

March Board Meeting

The next Board of Directors meeting will be held Thursday, March 1st at 7 p.m. in the Milford Public Library meeting room. The public is invited to attend this meeting.

Items on March's agenda include Farmers' Market plans for 2007 and Streetscape Project Updates.

DMI Board meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. in the Milford Public Library unless otherwise posted.

Rehoboth Main Street Manager to Address Milford City Council

The Rehoboth Beach Main Street Manager will speak to Milford City Council during their February 26th work session. Fay Jacobs, who has overseen the nearly completed Streetscape improvements on Rehoboth Avenue, has accepted DMI's invitation to address the council at 7:00 p.m. in the City Hall meeting room located at 201 S. Walnut Street.

As Rehoboth's Main Street Manager, Ms. Jacobs has established a highly successful working relationship with downtown businesspeople, city officials, and civic organizations that has helped create an attractive and pedestrian friendly Rehoboth "Main Street".

In addition to her day job, Fay Jacobs is Features Editor of "Letters", the bi-weekly Rehoboth Beach publication, is a regular columnist for that publication, and is the authos of the very popular book compiling her best work-As I Lay Frying-a Rehoboth Beach Memoir.

The public is invited to this work session, but come early as seating is limited!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

A Walk Through History

By all accounts, the City of Milford's Bicentennial Celebration last night was a rousing success. The Milford City Council Bicentennial Committee, chaired by Councilman John R. Workman with assistance from Councilwoman Katrina Wilson, Councilman James Starling, Councilman John Kramlich, and DMI board member Don Abrutyn organized a variety of local history and local entertainment. Almost 40 Milford organizations participated ranging from the oldest, Christ Episcopal Church founded in 1704, to the newest, Mispillion Art League founded in 2004. Downtown Milford, Inc. was one of the younger participants of the night with an incorporation date of October 26, 1995.

If you weren't able to attend last night you may not know that the town of Milford was incorporated by an act of legislature on February 5, 1807. This act specified that the governing body should be a board of five commissioners, one assessor, and one treasurer, to be elected by ballot at a convenient place in town on the first Monday of March. Serving on this board were Dr. Joseph Sudler, John Wallace, Martin Dewaile, and William Davis. The legislation also defined the corporate boundaries of the town according to the lines drawn and specified by Mr. E. Dallas Hitchens on his Milford map c. 1792. Milford of 1807 was completely situated in Kent County, whereas areas south of the Mispillion River were referred to simply as "Sussex County".

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the Downtown Milford, Inc. display. We look forward to building on what started February 5th, 1807 with you.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Bicentennial Celebration

Milford's Bicentennial Celebration will be held Monday, February 5th from 6-9 p.m. at Carlisle Fire Hall. Over 30 civic organizations will be on hand this night tauting their histories, current projects, and future goals. Please join Downtown Milford, Inc. during this once-in-a-lifetime community event.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Revolving Loan Funds Available

DMI currently has funds available in the Revolving Loan Program. The funds assist the commercial revitalization of the downtown area by providing low-interest loans to qualified parties. These loans can be provided to new businesses to help them get started or to existing businesses to help them improve or expand. All loan applications are reviewed by a committee that includes professionals experienced in analyzing business loans. Applicants must provide background financial information and a business plan.

The Revolving Loan Program was initially funded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the amount of $15,000. To date, four businesses have taken advantage of this opportunity.

To learn more about the Revolving Loan Program, contact the DMI office.

Board Meeting

The monthly DMI board meeting will be held Thursday, February 1st at 7 p.m. in the Milford Public Library Meeting Room. The meeting will include action on old business items and the final report of the 2006 Santa House committee.

Nancy's Fine Foods 5th Anniversary

Nancy's Fine Foods is celebrating the fifth anniversary of opening downtown on Valentine's Day, Wednesday, February 14th. Please join us at 1 North Walnut Street from 5 to 7 p.m. to celebrate this milestone. Lots of food and fun will be shared!