The History of Dover Days. As one of the longest running festivals in the state of Delaware, Dover Days dates all the way back to 1933. What started as a simple flower and garden show staged by the Dover Garden Club, has now become an annual time to remember Dover's heritage with community spirit and an entertaining festival of family events.
Celebrating springtime on a weekend in May, "A Day with the Storied Houses and Gardens of Old Dover, 1683-1933" showcased 20 gardens, and greeted visitors with quadrille dancing, the exhibits of antiques, and maypole dancing on The Green with costumed participants. As the popularity of the event grew, tours were given of the new Legislative Hall. A carriage parade led by the Governor and Mayor, concerts of period music, Governors Tea and demonstrations of old trades, crafts and games were added to enhance the festivities, which drew 3000 attendees by 1936.
Over the next 20 years, the festival was held annually (with a brief interruption for WWII), and by 1955 it became a two-day event, drawing visitors from all over the Mid-Atlantic states. In 1967, a major celebration was held to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Dover, and again for the 275th anniversary in 1992 - "Old Dover Days" continued to showcase Dover at its best in the spring, and offer visitors the opportunity to celebrate the cherished history of this nation's First State. With each anniversary, this exciting festival grows - attracting over 25,000 people to the multi-day event, and adding new traditions every year. No longer "Old," Dover Days promises to remain a treasured part of Dover's past - and future - for generations and decades to come.