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Dover ready to celebrate a major milestone


The City of Dover’s 300th birthday celebration officially kicks-off next month.



While Dover was founded in 1683, it wasn’t officially laid out as a city by the Delaware General Assembly until 1717. 

That was enough to convince city officials like Mayor Robin Christiansen to call 2017 Dover’s 300th birthday.

Credit Delaware Public Media
Mayor Robin Christiansen helps announce plans for Dover's 300th birthday celebration

"As many of you know, I’m a history buff and last summer we were going through some papers upstairs on my desk and we discovered that the City of Dover was going to turn 300 years old this year. And we felt that we would be remiss if we did not celebrate the people that went before us, the people who live here today and the people who will live in Dover in the future," said Christiansen.
Nina Todd with the state’s Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs says 300 is a pretty significant milestone for a city.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are over 35,000 cities and towns [in the U.S.] and less than 100 of them have ever turned 300," said Todd. "So, this is a big, important anniversary.

The city’s celebration of 300 years begins with the 84th annual Dover Days Festival May 5th and 6th – including a birthday cake and fireworks on Friday night the 5th.

The Downtown Dover Partnership will also spend the remainder of the year gathering items for a time capsule it plans to bury in December.

The city is also hoping to use its 300th birthday to make people aware of other events and activities happening in the state capital, including the first open house at Dover Air Force Base since 2009 and the annual Dover Comic Con held by the Dover Public Library.  Both of those events are planned for August.

Information on those events and other “pop-up” events and exhibits being planned for Dover’s 300th birthday will be available at one central website – along with videos and photos chronicling the city’s history and this year’s celebration.

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