NOTE: Sussex Beat is a mix of news, analysis and commentary by Eric Magill, publisher of Sussex County Online.
The traditional start of the summer season in Lewes will focus on the quaint resort town's historic past more than recreational activities.
The city will host a variety of Memorial Day events including a unique sea battle between a pair of small ships, fireworks, and a Memorial Day parade. Sponsored by the Delaware River & Bay Authority and Lewes Chamber of Commerce, the events will recall Lewes' 17th Century history.
The weekend starts on Saturday, May 27, but the centerpiece of the festivities will be a re-creation of a 17th Century land and sea battle featuring a pair of tall ships on Sunday, May 28, at 2 p.m.
Battling at sea will be the tall ships Kalmar Nyckel and the Half Moon, while battling on land will be members of the English Civil War Society in 17th Century dress. The battle re-creates land and sea battles between the English, Dutch and Swedes, who fought for sea dominance in the 1600s.
The battle will be near the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal. Cost is $3 to tour one ship or $5 to tour both.
A military encampment will be in Harkins Park at the ferry terminal on Saturday, May 27, as 17th century Dutch and English colonists prepare for Sunday's battle.
There will be a fireworks cruise on the Twin Capes ferry Sunday night at 7:30. Tickets for the cruise are $20 for adults and $10 for children. The fireworks may also be viewed from land for free.
Traditional Memorial Day events will higlight Monday's activities with an observance of fallen military at 1812 Park at 10 a.m. followed by a parade featuring fife and drum corps from the park to Front Street, left on Market Street, right on Second Street, and ending at the Lewes Historical Complex.
The battle over land use continued in a couple of venues in Sussex County with various rezoning and subdivision requests Thursday night, May 25, 2000.
In Georgetown, the town council went against the recommendation of the town's planning and zoning commission to approve the move of the Thompson Building to a site behind the Brick Hotel. The move will clear the way for a new Court of Chancery building on the current Thompson Building site.
The 4-1 approval allows for the subdivision of the hotel property so the Thompson Building can be moved there and also grants a 10 parking space waiver of the 50 parking space requirement and a $10,000 tax abatement.
Merritt S. "Sam" Burke said he will move the Thompson Building to the hotel site within a month. He said he would also change the building's siding, believed to contain hazardous material, to a vinyl siding.
Only councilman Beatrice Hylbert voted against the request, citing concerns about the parking waivers and the tax abatement.
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