The annual Delaware Burger Battle returns Aug. 26 and benefits the Ministry of Caring and Delaware ProStart
Prepare your taste buds for the annual Delaware Burger Battle, the state’s three-fold celebration of area chefs, parks and—of course—burgers.
The sixth annual Burger Battle will be held on the grounds of Wilmington’s Cauffiel House in Bellevue State Park, on Saturday, Aug. 26.
Some of the state’s most competitive chefs will put their best burgers forward, offering guests unlimited samples as they vie for fame and glory in three categories: Critic’s Choice, Alternative Burger and People’s Choice.
This year’s competitors include Ernest & Scott Taproom, the Brunch Box, Ulysses American Gastropub, Tonic Bar & Grille and more.
In its first five years, the Battle served more than 16,000 burgers to 3,000 people, generating more than $37,000 for Delaware nonprofits.
Proceeds from this all-volunteer-run event will benefit two Delaware nonprofits: Ministry of Caring’s Emmanuel Dining Room, which meets the immediate needs of Wilmington’s hungry, and the ProStart Program of the Delaware Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, an industry-driven curriculum that provides real-life experience opportunities and builds practical skills for high school students studying culinary and restaurant management.
The event begins at noon, with trophies awarded at 2:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $50 or $60 at the door, and include all-you-can-eat burger samples. Beer and wine are included in the ticket price for adults, while soft drinks are available for children and designated drivers. Tickets for teens ages 13-20 are $30, and children ages 5-12 are $10. Children under 5 are free.
The annual Newark festival has become a celebration of community
The Newark Food and Brew Festival (F&B) returns for its 14th year on Saturday, July 22, from noon to 7 p.m. in downtown Newark.
F&B began in 2003 as an event aimed at showcasing the craft beer scene and the many restaurants of downtown Newark. But it quickly became more than a compilation of food and beer, evolving into a representation of the community. F&B gives the citizens of Newark a chance to enjoy their town, listen to live music, eat delicious meals, and indulge in a diverse selection of beers without the usual crowds. It also allows local businesses to connect with the full-time residents of Newark.
“So much of our business comes from not only the college students, but the support staff for the university—professors, staff, and their families,” says Sasha Aber, owner of Home Grown Café and a veteran of F&B. “During the summer, those patrons go their own way, and the locals begin to emerge in droves. It’s great to see people running into old friends and making new acquaintances in the heart of our town.”
F&B was one of the first craft beer events in Delaware. Fourteen years later, it has grown into one of Newark’s most anticipated summer festivals. “Food and Brew highlights the best of downtown Newark,” says Megan McNerney, Community Affairs officer for the city.
This year, 18 establishments along Main Street will participate. Each will be paired with featured beers from a selected brewery. Some of the breweries include Lagunitas, Brooklyn Brewing Co., Victory, Dogfish Head and more. To make the most of the $1-$2 beer samples, available at each establishment, the first 2,000 visitors to this year’s F&B will receive a commemorative five-ounce tasting mug.
Participating restaurants will serve tapas styled bites to go with the brews. “The restaurants are pairing specialty plates with beers to give customers a unique experience,” says McNerney.
Old Favorites, such as Catherine Rooney’s, Home Grown Café and The Deer Park Tavern, will also offer tasty plates. Some establishments, such as Café Gelato, have full entrée deals and larger beer samples for the attendees.
F&B is a pay-as-you-go festival. Attendees can stop at as many of the participating establishments as they wish and get their fill, while enjoying the town and a night out in their community. The pay-as-you-go aspect allows them to participate without breaking the bank—or expanding the waistline.
For more information and the full list of participating restaurants and featured breweries, visit newarkfoodandbrewfest.com.
FranksWine, at 1206 N. Union St. in Wilmington, is celebrating 30 years in 2017. And that’s not all. This month, FranksWine is hosting a fundraiser—a pop-up Golden Wine Event on Saturday, Feb. 11.
After a five-year break, the event is back at Harry’s Savoy Ballroom at 2020 Naamans Rd. Twenty vendors will be pouring wine that comes from various regions, and guests are invited to meander from station to station—which include craft beer from four local brewers. Overall, the drink menu comprises 80 wines and 16 craft brew selections.
Tickets are $100, and $25 of each ticket and 100 percent of the proceeds from the FranksWine Big Bottle Silent Auction will be donated to Kids Runway for Research, which raises awareness and support for The Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.
The Delaware Art Museum is offering free admission and a service project in partnership with the Sunday Breakfast Mission, on Monday, Jan. 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The public is invited to make cards between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., to be distributed with meals for those in need. The Mission serves the homeless, addicted and impoverished through a variety of programs in Wilmington.
Additionally, tours featuring African-American artists and subjects in the Museum’s collection will be available at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. This includes the story behind a 19th-century portrait of Rev. Absalom Jones. Though born a slave in Sussex County, he eventually won his freedom, became a founding member of the Free African Society, was ordained the first African American minister of the Episcopal denomination, and helped to organize a school for African-American children. The tour will also highlight drawings that recorded events of the Montgomery Bus Boycott initiated by Rosa Parks and a quilt by artist Faith Ringgold that will serve as inspiration for the service project.
All galleries will be free and open to the public.
Hockessin native, A. I. duPont High School alumna, and author of the collection of ghost stories Haunted Delaware (Infinity, 2000), Caroline Woods is having a release party for her next book, Fräulein M., at 8th & Union Kitchen on Friday, Jan. 6.
Rebecca Dowling of Hockessin Book Shelf will provide copies of the book, and additional copies will be available at the book store.
The release party, free and open to the public, starts at 6 p.m. and includes JazzChords singers from Cab Calloway School of the Arts, Woods’ middle school alma mater. Woods will offer a brief reading and conduct a book-signing.
Fräulein M. (to be officially released Jan. 10 by Tyrus Books) plays on topics of immigration and gender identity. Sisters raised in a Catholic orphanage, Berni and Grete Metzger are each other’s world, until life propels them to opposite sides of Weimar Berlin. Berni becomes a cigarette girl, a denizen of the cabaret scene alongside her transgender best friend, while Grete is hired as a maid to a Nazi family, and begins to form a complicated bond with their son. As Germany heads toward the Third Reich and ruin, one of the sisters must make a devastating choice.
Yong’s Oriental Grocery, Elsmere
Tucked in a nondescript strip center in front of BJ’s Warehouse on Kirkwood Highway, this compact but well-provisioned store sells all manner of Chinese, Japanese and Korean groceries for both novice dabblers in Asian cuisine and experienced epicures. The staff is gracious and friendly, especially with overwhelmed newbies. The store features more obscure spices and foodstuffs (sambal oelek, anyone?) unavailable in your local supermarket, and even the more familiar flavors (such as sweet chili sauce, black sesame oil, etc.) can be found in larger quantities at lower prices. In addition to the extensive selection of canned and bottled goods, Yong’s also features a number of homemade prepared foods.
— Mark Fields, Movie Reviewer
8th & Union Kitchen
While his 8th & Union Kitchen is still in its rookie season, owner Brian Ashby has been making savvy moves more indicative of a seasoned pro. First came a complete overhaul of the interior space, which includes plenty of welcoming woodwork and a more spacious bar. Second has been his ability to keep a high profile in the Wilmington dining scene without reaching the point of saturation. But most important, he’s figured out how to deliver on the promise of both tasty Asian cuisine and hearty American gastropub fare. The Pho and Pad Thai offer wonderfully paired flavors, while the Kennett Square Burger would satisfy just about any taste. Meanwhile, the Brussels sprouts are out of this world.
— Jim Miller, Director of Publications
PureBread Doberman Bagel
Smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onion, cucumbers, capers, and tomato on your choice of bagel, this open-faced PureBread delight at $9.79 is perfect for any meal of the day. The staff is always so friendly, too, at any locations of the local chain.
— Krista Connor, Associate Editor
Marsh Road Diner
Just off Philadelphia Pike, at 407 Marsh Rd., this 24-hour eatery offers what every good diner should: good ol’ American food served quickly and in generous portions. Seems to be one waitress for every four patrons, so there’s no waiting for those ham and eggs, T-bone, or club sandwich. For dessert, try the rice pudding.
— Bob Yearick, Contributing Editor
Bella Coast Kitchen & Market
This place has been open for a little over a year on Rt. 202, but my fiancée and I just finally tried it this past fall. We fell in love with our first meal there. The place looks awesome and features a small Italian market. She had a Napolitano hoagie and I had a handcrafted pepperoni pizza. Both were deliciously amazing, but their ricotta cheese cheesecake with caramel and apples took the cake (pun intended). Once you’ve tried this place, you won’t go back to any of those “Italian” chain restaurants.
— Tyler Mitchell, Graphic Designer
LOMA Coffee & Breakfast Wrap
A few weeks ago, fellow O&A-er Marie grabbed us some coffees and breakfast wraps at Market Street’s LOMA Coffee. My wrap, the build-your-own breakfast burrito filled with scrambled eggs, hot sauce, cheese and spinach, was amazing. The coffee is great, too. As I write this I’m considering running out of the office for a mid-morning snack.
— Krista Connor, Associate Editor
Newark Szechuan explosion
Newark’s Main Street (and just beyond) is undergoing a startling multiplication of hard-core, ultra-authentic Szechuan-style restaurants, all of them filled (as if to confirm their worth) by Chinese international students from campus. On Main Street proper, there’s Red Bowl (153 E. Main) and Colorful Yun Nan (59 E. Main), and just around the corner on South Main (i.e., “Elkton Road”) is the intriguing Kung Pao Palace (259 S. Main)—all worthy of brave forays into the sometimes daunting world of real Chinese food.
— Eric Ruth, Contributing Writer
Sakura Japanese Restaurant of Elsmere
A few weeks back, I stopped by Sakura for a late lunch, mostly consisting of sushi. While the storefront doesn’t scream “Japanese restaurant,” the interior takes you somewhere else. Definitely a traditionalist set-up, music included. The quality of rolls and presentation were above average and the staff was very friendly.
— Ryan Alexander, Contributing Designer
Indian-food neophytes won’t find a more comforting introduction than this taco-esque creation: a silky bowl of simmered-spicy chickpeas, perfectly suited to folding into the accompanying rounds of delightfully oily and puffy “puri” bread—lusciously executed in Newark at the Tavva Café, 215 E. Main St.
— Eric Ruth, Contributing Writer
Breakfast at Hank’s Place
There are not many things I’d wait in line for. Breakfast at Hank’s Place is one I would. This folksy Chadds Ford eatery, located at the intersection of Route 1 and Route 100, is nearly as famous as the Wyeth family. And wouldn’t you know it, Hank’s is one of the Wyeths’ favorite breakfast spots. The French toast is great, the omelets are even better and the corned beef hash is a must-try. One piece of advice: If you venture there on the weekends, prepare for a wait.
Welcome to our sixth annual Worth Trying Issue. Though we feature Worth Trying suggestions monthly, each January we devote much of the magazine to personal recommendations from staff, contributors and friends of Out & About. These suggestions on where and what to eat, drink, see and do are scattered throughout these pages, interspersed with our usual assortment of feature stories, news items and other fun stuff.
Enjoy, and have a very happy New Year!
Trolley Grooming Lounge
Technically, this isn’t from me, it’s from my hubby. On a tip from our bestie living in “Trolleywood,” Scott visited Trolley Grooming Lounge for a quick haircut. He loved the stylists and the chill atmosphere. It’s become location of choice for all his ‘scaping needs. (And it’s not just for the boys. Gals are welcome too, and they now have their own product line.) Best of all, it comes with the “MKF Seal of Approval.” You can “like” them on Facebook at Trolley Grooming Lounge.
— Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Contributing Writer
The Central YMCA
This time of year we all make resolutions to get in better shape, so if joining a fitness center is in your plans, pay a visit to the Central YMCA. Though the facility has been serving the Wilmington community since 1929, the fitness center is state-of-the-art, offering 96 high-end workout machines in an invigorating setting accented by a giant glass wall that overlooks 12th Street. But what’s unique about the Central Y is its egalitarian feel. One day you’ll be working out next to a U.S. Senator, the next day you’ll be sweating it out with your mailman.
— Jerry duPhily, Publisher
REI (Recreation Equipment Inc.), Christiana Fashion Center
When REI opened its voluminous (23,500 square feet) Christiana store earlier this fall, outdoor cognoscenti anticipated a serious dose of “wilderness porn.” The store does not disappoint. Although many sporting goods stores carry basic hiking, camping, and other outdoor gear, REI focuses exclusively on those pursuits with a larger and more varied selection of clothing and goods. The store also offers seasonal classes, trips, and bike repairs. An added benefit: REI provides a low-cost membership that gives discounts and an annual rebate based on one’s purchases.
— Mark Fields, Movie Reviewer
Himalayan Salt Lamp
These are big, hollow salt crystals that are mined from underground salt mines in the Himalayan Mountains with a light bulb inserted in the middle. People claim they can neutralize pollutants in the air caused by electronics, like TVs and computer screens, by emitting negative ions. They also claim other “benefits,” such as reducing respiratory symptoms and improving mood and creativity. I have one next to my computer screen at work, and one at home in the living room. I’m not too sure how beneficial it’s been to my health, but I think it’s definitely improved my mood and creativity, especially on rainy days. And it looks pretty cool. I got mine at Home Depot.
— Tyler Mitchell, Graphic Designer
I wanted to repaint some of the rooms in my house recently, and in an attempt to save a few bucks I bought paint from Home Depot. What a mistake! It wasn’t too long before I stopped using that stuff and headed down to Shinn’s on Lovering Avenue—where I should have started in the first place. Higher quality paint requires far fewer coats and applies so much better. And when you need advice on the best products for your job, the folks there never steer me wrong.
— Marie Graham, Director of Digital Media
Balance That Body
At 36, it takes more effort to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle. A friend and co-worker introduced me to Scott at Balance Strength and Fitness Center and I’ve never felt better. It’s conveniently located at 4th and Greenhill, so I can work a visit into almost any busy day. BalanceFitnessTraining.com.
— Matt Loeb, Creative Director
John Saward, Vice Magazine
I used to write, but I stopped when I started taking photos. Others do it much better. Take Vice Magazine’s John Saward (Google him, but be prepared to lose your afternoon). He’s young, unflaggingly honest and writes these gloriously poetic tantrums. He wrote that American Bro (“The Worst Person In The World”) article that went viral last year. I love everything I’ve read of his, and it’s been a long time since a new voice stopped me. I predict Bob Yearick will hate him because his grammar takes liberties, but they do have their similarities.
— Joe del Tufo, Contributing Photographer
Winterthur Museum Store
This under-the-radar treasure boasts some of the most unique home-decor accessories (and wow-worthy gifts) in the state, but few know it exists—or that Winterthur conveniently allows shoppers to park near the shop instead of taking a shuttle all the way from the visitors’ center.
— Eric Ruth, Contributing Writer
Gloss Hair & Makeup
I have been going to Tateum at Gloss for several years and love her and the salon. They always make you feel and look great. They offer a wide variety of options from wedding services to eyelash extensions. For more information, check out salondelaware.com.
— Kelly Loeb, Account Manager, Catalyst Visuals, LLC
My 2-year-old daughter wanted pink boots for Christmas. I wanted to get her something warm and functional. My research led me to Bogs. The company started in Oregon with a focus on footwear for the farm industry. In addition to being super durable, comfortable, and easy to maneuver in, they are machine washable! After hearing all that, I was sold. So I was even more excited to find out that the company dedicates a portion of its sales to outdoor education and urban farming. I can’t wait to get a pair of my own. (Available online and locally at Trail Creek Outfitters in Glen Mills, Pa.)
— Marie Graham, Director of Digital Media
If you haven’t paid a visit to the up-and-coming little town of Smyrna recently, pick a Friday night and swing by Blue Earl Brewery for some seriously good suds, food truck magic and live music. Things get started at 5 p.m., when the designated food truck or cart (usually Mr. BBQ or The Wise Pig) starts cranking out its wares, followed by local acoustic musicians like Nik Everett and Bruce Anthony, playing from 6-9 p.m. All the while, you’ll be able to drink craft brews like Walking Blues IPA and the Top of the World Imperial Stout. The 45-minute drive from Wilmington is totally worth it.
— Rob Kalesse, Contributing Writer
The Conowingo Dam
A trip to the banks of the Susquehanna River around the Conowingo Dam is an excellent outdoor adventure. Birds, birds and more birds await you. Bald eagles, 11 species of gulls, blue and black-crowned night herons, terns, vultures and osprey all vie for airspace. On good days you can see more than 100 bald eagles soaring in the wind currents. There are parking and viewing spots on the Harford County side of the dam. Dress warm and enjoy the scenery.
— John Murray, Contributing Writer
River Towns Ride
Cyclists are discovering that the 10-mile stretch of road between historic New Castle and historic Delaware City is a great circuit. Both ends of the route offer fantastic views of the Delaware River, it’s mostly flat, the majority of the road is recently paved, and a wide shoulder complete with sharrows (bike path designations) allows riders to feel safe. You can do the official River Towns Ride the first Saturday in October…or you can check out the ride on your own. rivertownsride.com.
— Jerry duPhily, Publisher
The Restaurant Depot
Opened last February, this big-lots food wholesaler targets restaurant owners, but membership is open to owners of any business. Just provide your EIN (employer identification number) for your free membership card, and start shopping instantly. Imagine paying wholesale for items like whole beef tenderloins and pork rib racks, an extensive selection of fresh produce, frozen hors d’oeuvres, dairy, dry goods, even paper and chemical products for the kitchen, home or small business. Located at 200 Cornell Rd., Wilmington, it’s part of a chain of stores open in 34 states and first in Delaware.
— Chef Robert Lhulier
Francesca’s for Accessories
This Greenville shop is my favorite go-to when I need jaunty, fun baubles (earrings, necklaces, etc.) for dress-up or if I need a new swag bag, tote, or wallet. The staff is friendly, fun and helpful, and I always seem to walk out with something cool…mostly just what I was looking for, but also things I never knew I wanted!
— Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Contributing Writer
After the crazy holiday time, do yourself a favor and head to Pure Yoga in Trolley Square for a yoga, Pilates, yoga/Pilates fusion or barre class. This intimate studio allows you to practice in a class where the teachers are able to be attentive to your needs. I love this place and its teachers. For more information about class times and schedules visit pureyogapilatesstudio.com.
— Kelly Loeb, Account Manager, Catalyst Visuals, LLC
Look for more Worth Trying suggestions throughout this issue!
Say farewell to cabin fever with this collection of classes, exhibitions, performing arts, and more
Ushering in post-holiday doldrums and cooped-up blues, winter is arguably one of the dreariest times of year. But fear not: we’ve compiled a list of fun indoor options to get you off the couch and out of the house. From concerts to children’s activities to beer-or-wine-and-yoga sessions (yes, you read that right), we’ve got every taste covered.
Floral Fun at Longwood Gardens
At Longwood Gardens, winter is far from bleary, thanks in part to the annual Orchid Extravaganza, on view this season free with Gardens admission from Jan. 23-March 27. The Conservatory transforms into a tropical oasis featuring Longwood’s largest and most diverse display of orchids ever.
For a personal challenge, try the Botanical Illustration Studio. Use your artistic skills to illustrate plants and flowers from Longwood’s greenhouses and grounds. The studio time gives you a chance to receive individual attention, constructive suggestions, and encouragement. Work at your own pace on your project, large or small, surrounded by fellow artists. This is a six-session course, on Mondays from 12:30-3 p.m., Jan 4-Feb. 8.
Johnny Gallagher at The Queen
Wilmington native Johnny Gallagher—musician, award-winning actor and Broadway performer—will come to World Cafe Live at The Queen on Friday, Jan. 22, to showcase his singer-songwriter skills.
His debut album, Six Day Hurricane, is set to be released Jan. 15 via Rockwood Music Hall Recordings. The first single of the album, “Two Fists Full,” is available through Soundcloud.
The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15-$25.
For those up for a jaunt to New York City, Gallagher can be seen on Broadway in the Roundabout Theater Company production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night starting in March.
The Musical Box: Recreation of Genesis’ Foxtrot
In 1972, the English rock band Genesis toured to promote their fourth album, Foxtrot. The first concert on the tour began a trend of combining music and theatre.
The Musical Box—a Sunday, Jan. 17, performance at the Grand’s Copeland Hall—undertakes the reproduction of the original concert to give people an illusion of being at the actual Genesis show. Visual reconstruction of the show is based on photos and slides of the original concerts, magazine articles and first-hand experiences. Tickets are $32-$39.
Cinderella at the baby grand
First State Ballet Theatre—Delaware’s professional ballet company—presents Cinderella, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 20-21, at the baby grand in Wilmington. The classic fairy tale with the ultimate happy ending is told with wit and elegance. Tickets begin at $14 for students ages 18 and under. Senior, group and military discounts are available. The performance starts at 7 p.m. on Feb. 20 and 2 p.m. on Feb. 21.
Wine, Cheese & Honey Pairings at Penns Woods Winery
Penns Woods Winery in Chadds Ford, Pa. is teaming up with local cheese and honey artisans to bring exclusive wine, cheese, and honey pairing events on select dates (Jan. 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31). Indulge in a sit-down pairing of five premium Penns Woods wines matched with various cheeses and honey from local farms. Admission is $28; reservations are required. Live music is on Jan. 9, 16, 23, and 30 from 2-5 p.m.
Contact Penns Woods at 610-459-0808 to make a reservation.
Great Balls of Fire!
From Feb. 6-May 30, the Great Balls of Fire! exhibit at Delaware Museum of Natural History explores the pop culture fascination of a catastrophic impact from an asteroid or comet. If there was a dinosaur-killer in earth’s past, is there a human-killer in our future? The exhibit asks: What are the chances and how do we assess the risks? For that matter, what are asteroids, comets, and meteorites, and where do they come from?
Chicago—The Musical at The Playhouse Chicago – The Musical has it all: a universal tale of fame, fortune and “all that jazz,” one show-stopping song after another, and fantastic dancing. The award-winning show is coming to The Playhouse Feb. 23-28. Based on a 1926 play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins, it’s based on actual criminals and crimes she covered. A satire on corruption in the administering of criminal justice, the performance explores the concept of the “celebrity criminal.”
Poetry in Beauty: the Art of Marie Spartali Stillman
Marie Spartali Stillman (1844-1927), one of a small number of professional female artists working in the second half of the 19th century, was an important presence in the Victorian art world of her time and closely affiliated with members of the Pre-Raphaelite circle. Poetry in Beauty, the first retrospective exhibit of Spartali Stillman’s work, runs through Jan. 31 at Delaware Art Museum. In addition to approximately 50 of her pieces, works from public and private collections in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, many of which have not been exhibited since Spartali Stillman died, will also be on view. After the exhibition, her art will be transported overseas and on view at the Watts Gallery in Guildford, England, through June 5.
Winter Classes & Fun at CCArts
Center for the Creative Arts in Yorklyn offers a bounty of fun and productive wintertime activities. First up, “Ballet for Adults” runs Tuesdays (10-11 a.m.) from Jan. 12-March 15. Study under Ballet Master Val Goncharov in these adult classes. Tuesdays (9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) from Jan. 12-March 1, try your hand at oil painting. Learn basic techniques through demonstrations, discussions and application. Tuition is $184 for members and $204 for non-members. For a one-day class on Saturday, Jan. 9, “Glass Fusion” (9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.) will explore the art of melting glass into designs to create one-of-a-kind pieces. Create a sun-catcher, pendant, tray or dish using glass that will be provided. Tuition is $40.
Additionally, try out “Yorklyn Live,” a CCArts Open Mic Night every third Thursday. It’s free, with a cash bar and food. Lastly, a Dinner Theater called “Blind Love” on Saturday, Feb. 6, is about how a blind man sees what a fool does not. People can come for dinner, drinks and dessert. The show is at 7:30 p.m. and tickets, which can be purchased online, are $35.
Call 239-2434 for more information about these activities.
Robots: they’ve explored the far reaches of space, the depths of oceans, and the inner workings of the human body. Now children ages 4-14 can explore robots themselves at Hagley’s Invention Convention, from Jan. 16-18.
The weekend includes robotic demonstrations, hands-on engineering challenges, and in-person conversations with professionals who use robots in their daily work. Visitors will discover how the Wilmington Police Department uses bomb robots to dispose of explosive devices, and guests also will take part in tinkering tables, create-an-invention fun, and a hands-on science fair. Invention Convention will be in Hagley’s Soda House and Library. Admission is $8 and $6 for children. Hagley members and children ages 4 and younger get in free.
Additionally, Hagley features the exhibit “Driving Desire: Automobile Advertising and the American Dream” through autumn. It explores the relationship between automobile advertising and Americans’ car buying decisions. Driving Desire is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Yoga in the Paradocx Tank Room
Uncork, relax and unwind at Paradocx Vineyard in Landenberg, Pa., on two Sundays—Jan. 10 and Jan. 24—for Yoga in the Tank Room at 11 a.m. Your focus will be drawn away from the everyday hustle and bustle with this unique yoga class in the winery tank room. Each class is designed to relax the mind—and open the senses to encourage a mindful wine-tasting experience. Tickets are $25, and the event includes a 60-minute yoga session with wine tastings of four wines to follow. (Bring your own yoga mat.)
Winterthur Book Club & Exhibition
Embrace learning and quality time at Winterthur’s Pages of Time: Mother & Daughter Book & Craft Club. On the first Thursday of each month through May, from 6-8 p.m., this is ideal for book worms and crafty girls in 4th-6th grade. Discussions will revolve around historical fiction books, and there will be tasty snacks and crafts related to the book each month. Tickets are $25 per member adult/child pair; $35 per nonmember pair for the complete seven-month series. Winter dates and books include: Jan. 7, Betsy Zane: The Rose of Fort Henry; Feb. 4, Seaman: The Dog Who Explored the West with Lewis and Clark; March 3, The Smuggler’s Treasure. Call 800-448-3883 to register and for more dates.
Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia, an exhibition running March 26-Jan. 8, 2017, examines the profound influence of Asia on the arts of colonial Americans. This scholarly exhibition is the first Pan-American study to explore how craftsmen across North, Central, and South America adapted Asian styles in a range of media—from furniture to silverwork, textiles, ceramics, and painting.
Delaware Theatre Company Acting Classes
Attention, aspiring actors: ready to take a step in the right direction? Have fun while exploring characters and scenes in a six-week course at Delaware Theatre Company, Sundays from Feb. 7-March 13 (5:15-7:15 p.m.). Take on the actor’s role of examining scripts, finding characters’ objectives, and exploring various acting techniques to bring out your richest performance. Though no experience is required, students should be ready to participate, to jump in and work together—and have fun. The course is $180, and open to adults ages 18 and up. Classes are also available for children and teens.
Touch Tank: Lunch and Learn
Join the Delaware Children’s Museum staff daily from 12:30-1:30 p.m. for feeding time at the Touch Tank Aquarium. Learn about the food marine creatures eat, the habitat they live in, and special facts about the vertebrates and invertebrates who share the tank. Or stop by Try Science: Be a Physiologist, Jan. 9-10, from 11 a.m. to noon, to learn about the body’s parts that work to keep it running. Children can become junior doctors or nurses as they take a hands-on and entertaining look at the organs and systems inside a very unusual patient—the DCM’s 7-ft. doll, Stuffee.
Beer & Yoga at Victory Brewpub
Victory Brewing Company’s Kennett Square brewpub is hosting Beer & Yoga on Saturday, Jan. 9, at 9 a.m. After the yoga session, enjoy food and beer pairings. Instructor Diane Rogers will guide participants through the yoga process. Tickets are $30.
A collaborative workspace with digital and traditional fabrication tools, classes, consulting and events, NextFab is coming to downtown Wilmington
To Ryan Harrington, NextFab is “a Disney for makers.”
Mona Parikh says “it’s cool…so much fun.”
Jessi Taylor considers it another after-hours option, an alternative to bars, concerts and television.
Carrie Gray says this “high school woodshop on steroids” will be a key anchor for Wilmington’s developing Creative District.
And Bernice Whaley sees it as an economic engine, a place where men and women can learn and develop skills needed to transition into new jobs or launch entrepreneurial careers.
Clearly, NextFab means different things to different people, but what else can you expect when an operation brands itself as a “gym for innovators”?
Area residents will get their chance to create their own description in late spring or early summer when the Philadelphia-based makerspace opens a 3,500-square-foot satellite studio in the Creative District, the designation that the Wilmington Renaissance Corporation has pinned on the area bordered by Shipley, Fourth, Washington and Ninth streets. As of mid-December, NextFab CEO Evan Malone wasn’t about to reveal the exact location, saying he didn’t want to jinx the nearly concluded negotiations on the lease.
Malone, enticed by Gray, the Wilmington Renaissance managing director, came to visit Wilmington nearly two years ago, as planning for the Creative District was in its infancy, and quickly bought into the concept. “This is incredibly important, something I want to be part of,” he says, referring to a master plan to make the area immediately west of Market Street a residential and commercial hub for artists, crafters and tech-savvy entrepreneurs.
“This is a new era for Wilmington,” Malone says.
Financed in part by a $350,000 start-up grant from the Delaware Economic Development Office, NextFab’s Wilmington center will be designed to offer the attractions that have already won it an influential cadre of Delaware boosters, albeit on a smaller scale than in Philadelphia.
Gray’s “woodshop on steroids” analogy is appropriate. Think of a warehouse-like setting filled with tools for woodworking and metalworking—more than your average handyman could put in a garage or basement (if he or she could afford to buy them all). Add a section for making jewelry. On top of that, layer in the whiz-bang 21st-century technology—3D and large-format printers, laser cutters, CAD software, and more. In addition, NextFab will offer classes and its staff will be trained to show new users how to handle the equipment.
“The focus is on digital manufacturing—using computer designs in digital format to drive robotic tools,” Malone says, “but we also have a complete metal shop, with computer-controlled machine tools and manual tools like mills and lathes, and a complete welding area.” The wood shop, with its saws, sanders, drills and routers, he adds, “is a great entry point for people who are nervous about making things for themselves for the first time.”
To use the gear, members pay monthly fees, which range from $49 to $359, depending on anticipated usage. “The low end is for weekend users and hobbyists. The ultra-premium level is aimed at professionals, those who are using the facility for their business,” Malone says. Wilmington members will also have access to NextFab’s two Philadelphia sites for no extra charge.
Access to all three spaces is important, Malone notes, because there might not be enough space in Wilmington to accommodate all the gear that’s available in Philadelphia.
However, he adds, the Wilmington site will have one or more features to distinguish itself from NextFab’s Philadelphia locations—to give Philadelphia-based members some incentive to make occasional visits to Wilmington. No decisions have been made on what those special features might be.
Key figures within Wilmington’s creative community are anticipating NextFab’s arrival.
“It’s a great way for people to learn,” says Harrington, education coordinator at 1313 Innovation, the year-old co-working space in Hercules Plaza. “They come with experience.
They’re starting with a platform that works, as they’ve proven in Philadelphia. It’s another outlet for people, whether they’re in technology, in a startup, or part of the maker community.”
Parikh, managing director of the Start It Up Delaware co-working space and community builder for the Archer Group digital marketing agency, recently visited NextFab in Philadelphia, where she and friends signed up to take a couple of basic courses.
“First you must go through their safety training,” she says, and “as part of that you have to make something that works.”
For woodworking, she made a shelf. For metalworking, a bottle opener.
“Who knows?” she says. “If I keep my membership I might be the next metalworking queen.”
Taylor, president of the board of directors of Barrel of Makers, a Wilmington-based collaborative that now holds weekly “Maker Mondays” at 1313 Innovation, thinks NextFab will provide “a great space to have cross-communication with people you wouldn’t ordinarily meet in your field.”
NextFab has approached Barrel of Makers about possible partnerships. “We think that’s great,” Taylor says, “but we’re going to have to talk it through” to see how the relationship evolves.
Barrel of Makers, she says, has about 30 core participants and a total of nearly 200 people who show up occasionally for activities, and many of them are likely candidates for NextFab membership.
Besides reaching out to Barrel of Makers, Malone says he has contacted area colleges and universities about possible collaborations. And he has learned from his experience in Philadelphia that professional organizations, hobby clubs and school groups will be interested in visiting the site and learning about the technology. Some of these visitors, of course, ultimately will become NextFab members.
Whaley, the director of the Delaware Economic Development Office, says NextFab “will directly support our innovative entrepreneurs” and also bolster indirect job growth in the surrounding area. The terms of the state’s $350,000 grant require NextFab to hire five fulltime employees and serve at least 120 members in its first three years of operation, she says.
Noting the uncertainty surrounding the DuPont Co.’s merger with Dow Chemical and the long-term location of the headquarters for Chemours, the DuPont spinoff created last summer, Whaley pointed to NextFab as a facility that could assist downsized employers in transitioning to new careers.
“We’ve seen it with AstraZeneca and others. [Downsized] workers say ‘I can do these things’ or ‘I can go out on my own.’ This is one way they can develop new skills,” Whaley says.
NextFab, Wilmington Renaissance’s Gray says, “will make accessible equipment, technology and training that might not otherwise be available” to area residents.
What can they make with that equipment?
Well, in Philadelphia, Malone says, members are using large-format printers to make vehicle wraps and window graphics, tools in the advanced electronics studio to design and assemble circuit boards, and laser cutters to make holiday ornaments and candle holders.
One heavy-duty user, who has his own business, is using a “water jet” (that’s shorthand for a five-axis abrasive water jet cutter) to experiment with new designs to make window air conditioners more energy efficient.
To Gray, however, more important than what NextFab’s makers make is the potential impact the center can have as the Creative District develops.
By filling a currently vacant building, she says, NextFab will “bring more energy and life to the stretch just west of Market Street.”
The impact will be gradual, Malone cautions, because his plan to be “up and running by summer” most likely means operating at about 75 percent of capacity while advancing to close to 100 percent capacity later in the year.
“Because a lot of our users have day jobs, we will have evening and weekend hours,” Malone says. “Activity on the street and in our space will help activate the entire neighborhood.”
That activity, he says, will bring new customers to restaurants and service businesses in the neighborhood, and to the vendors who can provide the raw materials that artists and crafters use in their work. “There’s a lot of indirect economic activity,” he adds.
Getting more people onto the streets in the evening and on weekends, Gray says, should make the neighborhood more appealing for potential residents —the 10-unit Willing Street Artist Village housing rehabilitation project is now under way in Quaker Hill, in the southwest corner of the Creative District—and visitors alike.
Parikh envisions NextFab’s arrival as a launching pad for fresh synergies among the artists and crafters who use the space and the graphic designers and coders who frequent the CoinLoft on Market Street, Start It Up Delaware’s collaborative space.
Features from around the world include dramas, comedies and thrillers
On a cool night in the fall of 1997, five film fans met in Rehoboth and devised the idea of working with local restaurants to screen independent films. After spreading the word of this event to other film buffs and members of the coastal town’s community, the Rehoboth Beach Film Society was formed and the festival premiered in 1998.
Since then, the film society has expanded to a not-for-profit arts organization that sponsors a wide range of film programs for the community, including the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival. The society’s growing popularity made way for the Cinema Art House, a professionally designed theater that seats 108 and is set to open in early 2016.
This year, the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival celebrates 18 years of promoting cinematic arts and providing education and cultural enrichment. Featured this year will be more than 50 films, and genres include comedy, drama and thriller, imported from countries such as the United Kingdom, Iceland, Spain, Germany and India.
Set for Saturday, Nov. 7, through Sunday, Nov. 15, the festival will be held at several venues: Cape Henlopen High School, Metropolitan Community Church, Atlantic Sands Hotel, Inn at Canal Square, Lewes Canalfront Park, Rehoboth Art League, Rehoboth Beach Bandstand, Rehoboth Beach Public Library and South Coastal Library. All venues are within minutes of each other by car.
A Festival Pass is required each year to purchase tickets for the Film Festival. Six levels of Festival Passes are available, offering different benefits. The levels include: Director ($200), Producer ($90), Screen Writer ($40), Film Buff ($20), Student ($10) and Mini ($5). Valid for one individual, a pass allows the purchase of one ticket per film title. Members of the Film Society are not required to buy a Festival Pass. The final day to purchase a Festival Pass and Film Society membership is Nov. 5. After that, passes and memberships can be purchased at the Festival Box Office.
Although this event is fun for all ages, viewer discretion is advised, and each film will be rated accordingly. For more information, go to rehobothfilm.com/festival.html.