A new era in Dover Days’ decades-old history is coming. And a new group is taking over the annual festival.
Kent County Tourism says it will hand over managing and producing the festival to the newly formed Dover Days Committee starting in 2020.
“So the Committee was formed to help produce and fundraise and manage the annual Old Dover Days Festival. It will include quite a few community leaders, including downtown organizations like the Destination Downtown Dover, the Downtown Dover Partnership, Kent County Tourism, the Friends of Old Dover, the mayor of Dover and the City of Dover will be involved as well,” said John Doerfler - sales and event manager for the Kent County Tourism Corporation
Dover Days has been a spring staple in the state capital since 1933 and has grown over the years to include everything from English country and Maypole dancing, to all kinds of traditional artisans.
“We really felt that the best way to preserve those traditions is to make sure they’re with us in the planning. There is so much out there that we’re aware of, but so much stuff that we’re NOT aware of and we wanted to make sure that they were involved. And this way we can make sure that the tradition grows for another 86 years and that’s really what we want to see done; the community loves it and we’re really looking forward to it,” said Doerfler.
He says the Dover Days Committee will be comprised of Downtown Dover organizations and community partners, allowing for “the continuation of a story.”
That includes the possibility of expansion. Doerfler says Dover Days currently takes up four city blocks downtown - but this partnership could could easily push it to six or seven blocks when it’s held on May 2, 2020.
This year’s event is May 4, 2019.
More information about Dover Days can be found here.