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The back story on the Bug & Bud Festival is pretty darn cute. Back in the 1970s, local second graders in Miss Molly Brown Rust’s classroom at LuLu Ross Elementary School petitioned the state legislature to declare the six-legged Coccinellidae to be the official insect of Delaware. The success of that drive is the reason so many people in Milford (and their dogs) don ladybug costumes for the morning parade that kicks things off at this big celebration of spring’s arrival. (The photo of that parade here is by Jennifer Antonik of the Milford Chronicle.)

The daylong affair that follows that parade often draw crowds approaching 10,000 into one of Delmarva’s prettier old downtowns. The place is chock full of old buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Shipbuilding was a key economic engine here—at one point there six different yards up on running on the banks of the Mispillion River. Exploring that downtown is one of the “27 One-Day Adventures on Delmarva” in my first book of Eastern Shore Road Trips.

Stages and vendors will be lined up for during the Bug & Bud Festival both on the main drag of Walnut Street and along the pretty, winding Mispillion River Walk. You can count on finding some fun surprises along the way, too: In recent years, there have been paddle-boat rides, pizza-eating contests, and chalk-art competitions in the mix here.


What: Bug & Bud Festival

Where: Milford, Del.

When: Sat., May 4, 2019

More info: Downtown Milford, Inc.; the Bug & Bud Festival Facebook page; 302-839-1180


Kent County Tourism: website; 302.734.4888.

Sussex County Tourism: website; 800.357.1818.


Abbott's Mill Nature Center in Milford, Delaware• If you are in the spring-fever mood to make a longer day of it, find your way a few miles west of town to the 300-plus acre Abbott’s Mill Nature Center (pictured), with an old gristmill, a 12-acre millpond, and some beautiful hiking trails. Info: website; 302.422.0847.

• Another natural wonder awaits a dozen or so miles to the east, the 10,000-acre Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge on the shores of Delaware Bay. Info: website; 302,684,8419.

• If nature excursions are not your thing, take the short ride up to the state capitol of Dover. One of the trips in my book of Eastern Shore Road Trips is a visit to “Three Dover Museums Full of Inspiring Tales of Old-Fashioned American Ingenuity.”

–posted by Jim Duffy on April 28, 2019; copyright Whimbrel Creations LLC/Secrets of the Eastern Shore. All rights reserved.


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