What’s Happening at the 2016 Peach Festival



What’s Happening at the 2016 Peach Festival


As always, all activities are free, courtesy of our sponsors and partners.  Please thank them!  Activities of special interest to children are shown bold.


The Parade on Broad and Main Streets begins at 8:45 a.m.  Returning to this year’s parade will be the Philadelphia Mummers’ Woodland String Band, in costume.  And returning from previous appearances, we welcome the 1st Delaware Regiment Fife and Drum Corps; the Delaware National Guard Band; the Middletown and Appoqunimink H.S. Marching Bands; and the always popular Victorians of Virtue and Valor, in period dress.

The parade also always includes Little Miss Peach, antique cars, fire equipment, costumed participants, performing groups, noise and color!


Historical Society Booth at Cochran Square

  • Peaches, peaches, peaches ● Memberships.  ● Information  ● Directions  ● Peach Festival T-shirts

Historical Society Museum and Grounds, Old Academy Building (216 N. Broad St.):

Museum:  The museum is air-conditioned, and offers a welcome break from the August heat.   Handicapped access is provided by a ramp at the back of the building. Volunteer docents will be on hand to help guide visitors.

Downstairs.  ●  Several items will be available at our museum “store”. We will be selling Middletown history-related items downstairs in the middle room, including books on Middletown and $5 Peach Festival T-shirts from past years. The Senior Center will also bring peach pies and jams to serve and sell.

  • A power-point video will be playing describing activities of the Historical Society. ● Meet George Contant, the Society Historian,  Alison Matsen, of the Accessions Committee, and other members and friends of the Society.  ●  Several hands-on activities for the children are  in the building.

There are 2 new exhibits in the museum gallery downstairs.

  • Reflections of Middletown” is a largely graphic exhibit of Middletonians from the 18th to 21st century, of soldiers, merchants, school children, statesmen, farmers and other citizens who have made up Middletown’s rich history.  This exhibit was researched and produced by the Middletown Historical Society staff.

  • The Willis photo exhibit, or “World War II through the Lens of William D. Willis: a photographic exhibit” honors the military service of Delaware native Mr. Willis, who worked as a photographic technician with the Army Air Force during the Second World War.  In addition, the exhibit highlights Delaware’s contributions to the war efforts.  This exhibit was researched, designed and fabricated by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, to whom we are greatly indebted.

                  Upstairs, visitors can view four semi- permanent exhibits: one on planting peaches, picking peaches, preserving peaches, and cooking with them. Come see our antique peach peeler and our old-fashioned kitchen display!  Kids can practice grinding coffee beans in an old fashioned grinder. You can see our “Downtown Abbey” display of 100-year old items from this area, and can visit our school exhibit.  Children are encouraged to sit in the old-fashioned school desks of various sizes, write with a slate pencil on a hand-held slate, and practice their cursive writing. Our children’s “please touch” room featuring old-fashioned toys will also be open.

  • As HyPoint Dairy has generously done for several years, the first 300 people to tour the museum will receive a BOGO coupon good for a one-scoop cone of HyPoint Dairy’s peach ice cream when they buy a $1 cone.  HyPoint is one of the Peach Festival’s earliest sponsors, and was present at the first festival.

Rear parking lot:  The Kids Area features free inflatables from “Jump On Over”, games and Mini Golf,. This is always a big hit with the kids.

Front lawn: 

  • At 11 a.m. ONLY, the Mummers’ Woodland String Band will give a 20 to 25 minute performance, followed by a photo/Facebook/selfie opportunity to pose and talk with band members.

  • The Victorians of Virtue and Valor: With an important election coming up, a well known politician, Thaddeus Ward, will make an appearance. Several new personalities have arrived in Middletown and will be on hand to discuss happenings around town.       Civil war era games and vintage crafts will be available for kids.   Come experience the sounds, smells, hustle and bustle as Middletown longs for an end to the divisive war.  It’s the 1860s; step back in time and learn what life was like for families in Middletown.

Try your hand at a historic craft, and enjoy vintage games, all to the hourly noise of rifled musket demonstrations.  Enjoy period music.

  • The Fort Delaware Society will provide literature and handouts on the sensational Civil War island stronghold. The society seeks to foster awareness of the existence and significance of historic Fort Delaware.

  • The 1st Delaware Regiment will be dressed in Colonial Delaware uniforms, and man a small encampment. The members pride themselves on authentic detail, and welcome questions and comments from the public.

The new Church on Main, located across from the Everett Theatre, will offer:

  • A bouncy house is in the rear yard

  • Free peach punch in the air-conditioned downstairs, 10 a.m. til 11.

  • Peach and vanilla ice cream at $1 per scoop

  • A free concert (1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.) on the historic 1891 pipe organ in the beautiful 2nd floor sanctuary.

  • Meet the new minister, and see the recent renovations to the church.

The Gibby Gallery: Stop at the Gibby Center for the Arts (next to the Everett Theatre) and enjoy peach cobbler, delicious food from 301 Plaza Restaurant, watch artists at work, have your portrait drawn by Craig Hoagland, and enjoy beautiful artwork by local artists including Kathy Ruck.  Kids can take a break and draw a picture, and the folks can check out the exciting fundraiser, Art from the Heart.  This year the event will include a Chinese Auction, and 50/50 chance drawing as well as the silent auction of original artwork from local artists.  The final bidding and fundraising party is on August 27, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.  Join in on the fun at the selfie photo booth, listen to the great sound of Joe Paulus and Doree Hapner, and enjoy the hors d’oeuvres by Immediato’s.  Please help keep the arts alive in Middletown.


Grace Church

  • Gracious Entertainment will headline the music program sponsored by

Grace Church on Pennington Square

  • Visitors are welcome to drop in for a refreshing bottle of water, or sit and relax in our air-conditioned dining area, along with the comfort station. Children should also be on the look out for a ‘Misting station’ and prizes as you walk past the church.

Connection Church:  Fun for all ages at Connection Community Church, across from the Middletown Fire Hall.

  • Come and enjoy giant inflatables,

  • Obstacle courses

  • Children’s activities and games both inside and out.

  • You won’t want to miss the water, popcorn, snow cones, clean restrooms, baby changing station, pet rest station, and air-conditioned rest areas available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All free! Just show up!

Volunteer Hose Company:  The firefighters of Middletown will be opening their station to the public.  Please feel free to stop by and say “Hi” to your town’s firefighters.  We look forward each year to meeting you.

  • antique and modern firefighting and emergency equipment on display

  • discuss children’s and fire safety with members.

  • visit our showcase display of items relating to VHS’s impressive history.

  • visit DNREC Fish and Game’s Hunter Safety Trailer. Ask questions and visit the displays.

Boys and Girls Club:  Open House.  Sit in the cool.  Comfort station. Talk to the staff about youth programs and offerings.  Ask questions about the Boys and Girls Club.  Sign up for activities.


MOT Jean Birch Senior Center:

All day                                    Car Show.  Antique, classic, muscle and special cars.

8:00                            Drop off pies for pie contest

8:00 – 3:00                  Pre-ordered pies may be picked up (receipt req’d)

9:00                            Doors Open

11:00                           Peach Pie Contest

11:00 – 12:00              Salem County Brass Society at the gazebo

12:45 – 1:15                Diamond State Chorus of Sweet Adelines (Inside Center)

3:00                            Car show trophy winners announced

Trophy categories: Best in Show, People’s Choice,

Vintage Antique, Antique, Classic

Other happenings at the center:

  • Home made peach pies and peach desserts for sale, jams and jellies

  • Pies and desserts will also be available at the Senior Center room at the Middletown Historical Society in the Academy Building.

  • Jams & Jellies for sale

  • Gifts – our gift shop will be open. We will also be selling jewelry and purses.

  • Lunch will be served

  • Desserts will be served, and we will be selling pies, cobblers, jelly/jams and baked goods in the Academy Building (museum).