Unique water-related events are highlights of Nanticoke Riverfest

The Nanticoke Riverfest is one of the most unique festivals in the area with its own series of special events including the event that started it all eight years ago — the Nanticoke Float-In. This year’s Riverfest will take place in downtown Seaford and Blades on Friday, June 21, and Saturday, June 22. Last year, more than 500 people jumped into the Nanticoke River at the Nautico Restaurant and floated the one-mile to the take-out point at the Seaford canoe launch on Water Street. The Riverfest started from the idea of a float-in and a cookout and has grown to include two days of activities including Seaford and Blades this year. In fact, the date of the Riverfest is selected when high tide coincides with a Saturday in the summer in the afternoon. This year’s Float-In will have a new twist and will begin at 6 p.m. instead of the traditional afternoon starting time. With the change of date because of the cancellation of the Delmarva Chicken Festival, the float-in is being moved to 6 p.m. Registration and shuttle service will take place at the Peninsula Oil parking lot next to Uncle Willie’s on the Blades Causeway starting at 4:45 p.m. There is another change as well. Truck inner tubes, the mainstay of the flotilla, are fast becoming history (there are less than 100 remaining for sale). Floaters are urged to have their floating devices ready before registration. The Riverfest Committee has a limited number of tubes (like those at waterparks) for sale at city hall for $5 (below retail cost). The cost to float this year will be $1 per person. All floaters must register and sign a waiver. Children under the age of 12 are required to wear a lifevest (they are not provided). Any type of non-motorized floating device is permitted in the Nanticoke Float-In. Members of the Seaford and Blades Volunteer Fire Departments will be in the water as part of the safety crew. Another unique event to the Riverfest is the annual Duck Dash. Tickets are on sale at city hall for $5. Winners will receive cash prizes. Other events taking place during Riverfest include a full schedule of entertainment on three stages, a special children’s activities area, a car show, youth fishing tournament, arts and crafts show, Kiwanis Home & Trade Show at the Seaford fire hall, numerous food vendors, boat parade, Little and Jr. Miss Pageants, a large carnival, and much more. The grand opening of the Blades Marina will take place during the Nanticoke Riverfest. There will also be a treasure hunt with prizes taking place in downtown Seaford and Blades. For more information, contact chairman Shannon Sapna at 629-9173.

Home & Trade Show
The Kiwanis Club of Seaford will have a Home & Trade Show during the Nanticoke Riverfest. The show will take place inside and outside the Seaford Fire Hall just one block off High Street in downtown Seaford. Show hours will be 6-8 p.m. on Friday, June 21, and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 22.

Downtown streets closed during Nanticoke Riverfest Several streets in Seaford and Blades will be closed on Friday, June 21, and Saturday, June 22, due to Nanticoke Riverfest. The following streets will be closed from 3 p.m. Friday until midnight on Saturday:
  • High Street from the Market Street intersection to the Cannon Street intersection.
  • Front Street and Market Street on both sides of Gateway Park.
  • The Blades Causeway from the Concord Road intersection to the Seaford-Blades bridge (next to Gateway Park). Local traffic only will be permitted.
  • With the streets being closed, the bridge over the Nanticoke River between Seaford and Blades at Gateway will also be closed.
Parking for Riverfest will be on side streets and at the Fred Douglass School parking lot and shuttle service will be available. There will be no parking on the Blades Causeway.

Riverfest sign ups
Entries are sought for both the Nanticoke Riverfest Little/Junior Miss Pageant and Youth Fishing Tournament. Contestants for the Little Miss Riverfest Pageant must be between the ages of 3 and 6 and those for the Junior Miss Riverfest must be between the ages of 7 and 10. The pageant will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 22. The cost to enter the pageant is just $5. All who participate will receive a gift bag. Entries for the Youth Fishing Tournament are being sought. Ages for this event are 3-12 (winners will be awarded in each age category). There is no entry fee. The tournament will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 22. Those who sign up in advance will receive a special gift bag. To enter either event or for more information, contact Shannon Sapna or Laura Cannon at 629-9173 or sswilley@ce.net or lcannon@seafordde.com.

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