What's happening at the 2019 Middletown Olde Tyme Peach Festival
Aug 09, 2019 11:07AM
By J. Chambless
As always, all activities are free, courtesy of our sponsors
and partners. Items of special interest to children are shown in bold type.
The Parade as usual kicks off the annual Middletown Peach Festival on Broad and Main streets beginning at 8:45 a.m. It always includes an exciting variety of bands, antique cars, fire equipment, costumed participants, performing groups, noise, horses and color. Among those featured will be our own talented Appoquinimink and Middletown High School Marching Bands.
The Middletown Historical Society Booth at Cochran Square. Volunteers from the Appoquinimink High School Band and Band Boosters will assist in selling peaches, Peach Festival T-shirts and aprons. They will also help with information, directions, and recruiting new Society members. Peaches are available by the piece, bag, or carton.
The Middletown Historical Society Museum and grounds, 216 North Broad Street, the Academy Building
The MHS Museum offers a great place to cool off, sit down, use the restrooms, purchase baked goods made by the MOT Senior Center, and learn about local history. Downstairs is handicapped accessible, with a ramp leading to the back door.
We have two exhibits downstairs: “Reflections of Middletown” shows an interesting collection of depictions of local people through the years, using various media from daguerreotypes to oil on canvas. We have recently added lots of new photos, plus a display of photos from Peach Festivals through the years. Our fascinating World War I exhibit, showing life at the front and at home 100 years ago, has been expanded with more sensory experiences. 2019 marks the centennial of the peace treaty of World War I. We will be closing this exhibit this fall.
The Jean Birch Senior Center offers its signature pies and cobblers, by the piece or whole, for visitors who find it more convenient to purchase here rather than at the Senior Center location.
Upstairs, we have a newly refreshed art exhibit called “Middletown Mixed Media: Artists Past and Present” which features 25 works of art in various media, from sculpture to watercolor to stained glass. The artists all had some connection to the Middletown area. A few were professionals.
* Our “Living Together” exhibit, telling about various ethnic and racial groups that have lived in this area, will be open upstairs.
* The children’s “Please Touch” room will be open with old fashioned, unpowered, silent, games and toys.
* We are pleased to present our new exhibit upstairs on the history of peach farming in this area, especially focusing on the story of Samuel F. Jones, a local African-American man who started on his road to becoming a prominent farmer just after the Civil War through his work with peaches. There are several hands-on components of this exhibit.
* The Victorian school room upstairs has been redesigned and refurbished. Come sit in the old-fashioned desks and try your hand at cursive writing.
* Hy-Point Dairy Farms, one of the Festival sponsors, has generously given us 300 coupons for a free ice cream cone. We’ll be handing out the coupons to visitors who come to learn from our displays.
Outside on the Museum
grounds, we’ll have several booths run by various historical groups. Visit
the Victorians of Virtue and Valor to
see what life was like in Middletown in the 1860s. Visit the soldiers, make a vintage toy, and play old-fashioned games.
They’ll be at the Academy until 4 p.m.
The High-Point Dairy Stand, where coupons for free ice cream may be redeemed is located near the main door.
Behind the museum is the action-packed Kids’ Zone, loaded with games and giant inflateables, provided by Jump on Over, our main Peach Festival sponsor.
Grace Church, on Pennington Square is one of the best-kept secrets at the Peach Festival, featuring the Praise Team tent with live bands and singers performing uplifting music throughout the day. Everyone is welcome to drop in for a refreshing bottle of water, or sit and relax in our air-conditioned dining area (bring your own food), along with the comfort station. Children, big and small, should be on the lookout for our Misting Station, in front of the church on the Pennington street side. Dogs are welcome to the Misting Station also.
Connection Community Church. Although Connection Church has moved to its new location at 4744 Summit Bridge Road north of town, its volunteers continue to work in vendor check-in and setup at the festival. Connection Community Church is still a major partner in the Olde Tyme Peach Festival. We thank them for all the years of fun and games they provided at their former Green Street site!
Jean Birch MOT Senior Center:
8 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Pre-ordered pies may be picked up (must have receipt)
9 a.m.: Doors open
11 a.m.: Peach Pie Contest
3 p.m.: Car show trophy winners
· Homemade peach pies and cobblers (get there early), jams, jellies and baked goods (Pies and some baked goods are also available at the Historical Society Museum, Middletown Academy building)
· Expanded Car show at the bandstand – 19 award categories.
· Air conditioning with lunch, featuring Thelma’s chicken salad, egg salad, chicken Caesar salad, baked beans, and pie by the slice (a la mode if you like)
· Gifts; gently used jewelry and purses
Church on Main: (under the town clock, across from the Everett) will offer a place to rest, air conditioning and restrooms, and will sell peach ice cream.
Volunteer Hose Company: The Middletown firefighters will host an open house that will showcase fire safety and best practices. The stunning fire department vehicles and equipment will be displayed along with units from the Delaware National Guard with information and giveaways. A comfort station will be provided by St. Francis Hospital.
The Gibby: Come in from the heat and enjoy peach cobbler and live music.
The Gibby Gallery: Lots of top-notch vendors with unique crafts and jewelry will be showcased. The silent auction fundraiser, “Art from the Heart,” is featured in the gallery. Help keep the arts alive in Middletown.
The Everett Theatre: Cartoons, candy, popcorn, assorted theatrical Entertainment.