By Betsy Reamer, Executive Director, Lewes Chamber of Commerce

Lewes has celebrated the Christmas holiday season for decades with a parade that dates back 91 years. According to Lewes historian Hazel Brittingham, the parade even took place during WWII. A few decades later, downtown Lewes merchants began hosting a Hospitality Night the Thursday night before the holiday parade, which takes place the first Saturday in December. Many other Lewes organizations also hold activities making Lewes a destination the first weekend in December. 

This year’s Christmas Weekend kicks off Thursday, Nov. 30 with Hospitality Night in the downtown historic district from 5 to 8 p.m. Businesses will be open later for early holiday shopping. Santa will make a brief appearance in his house on Second Street and the Cape Henlopen High School Jazz Band will perform in front of the Santa House. Second Street will be closed to vehicular traffic during the event. 

The 91st annual Lewes Christmas Parade will take place on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 5 to 7 p.m. Enjoy over 100 entries including Santa riding in a Lewes Fire Company truck. Photo by Brook Hedge

The city of Lewes and the Lewes Chamber of Commerce have worked together for many years to organize the city’s Christmas parade. The 91st annual Lewes Christmas Parade will take place on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 5 to 7 p.m. With more than 100 entries, the parade includes decorated new and classic cars and trucks; commercial, youth and community organizations’ floats; marching groups; equestrians and regional fire companies. The parade concludes with the Cape Henlopen High School marching band followed by the Lewes Fire Company with Santa riding in one of the trucks. After the parade, everyone is invited to gather in Zwaanendael Park for the official tree lighting and candlelight caroling. 

For 50 years, the Lewes Historical Society (LHS) has organized a Holiday Tour of Lewes that includes ticketed-entry to private historic homes, which are decorated for the holidays. The tour takes place Saturday, Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They also have a Holiday Village and Market at the LHS main campus Friday, Dec. 1 from 4 to 7 p.m. through Saturday, Dec. 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are available now for the Holiday Tour online at 

The Children’s Beach House’s Winter Wonder Party and live auction benefit takes place Friday, Dec. 1, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at 1800 Bay Ave. Visit for tickets. They will also have an Art Show on Sunday, Dec. 3, that is free and open to the public. 

More Saturday events take place at the Zwaanendael Museum at 102 Kings Hwy., with free tours of the museum’s festive holiday décor from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Zwaanendael Women’s Club will host a Holiday Bazaar and Raffle at the LHS campus. For details, visit The Cape Artists of Lewes Gallery will feature their holiday/winter themed artwork at 110 W. Third St. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with light refreshments.

A trip to Lewes the first weekend in December promises to be magical for all ages. For more information, visit