DNREC’s First State Heritage Park First Saturday will host ‘First People of the First State: the Lenape Tribe of Delaware’ on Sept. 1

(Photo: Join the Lenape Tribe of Delaware on The Green on Sept. 1, for a celebration of the tribe’s heritage.)

DOVER – DNREC’s First State Heritage Park will celebrate the “First People of the First State: The Lenape Tribe of Delaware,” for the First State Heritage Park’s monthly “First Saturday in the First State” on Sept. 1. The program will feature a variety of free events and activities.

The First Saturday programs will center on sharing aspects of the Lenape culture. “September is a time for Native-American people to gather in their homelands,” said Nena Todd, site supervisor for the state’s downtown Dover museums. “Traditionally, the coming of cooler weather provided a signal for native peoples to transition from a summer of hunting and fishing to more secure winter lodgings.”

This tradition of seasonal gathering continues in today’s Native-American communities with September serving as a time when families come together to honor their heritage with events such as the “The First People of the First State: A Lenape Celebration of Heritage” that will be held on the Dover Green from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Here is a list of programs and activities for First Saturday in the First State:

First Saturday – September 1

9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

  • Biggs Kids: Birds and Lenape
    Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal Street
    Celebrate our visiting flock of John James Audubon bird prints and our state’s Native peoples with a special Lenape-inspired bird craft. Feathers will fly! For ages 5-10.

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

  • The First People of the First State: A Celebration of Heritage
    At The Old State House – 25 The Green
    Join the Lenape Tribe of Delaware as they celebrate their culture and Mother Earth with dancing and demonstrations.

10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

  • “Native American Melodies”
    Johnson Victrola Museum, 275 S. New Street
    In the early 20th century, artists incorporated music found within Native American communities, and recorded it as “The Unique American Sound” for the Victor Talking Machine Company. Listen to these compositions on original talking machines.

Other programs:

9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

  • Digging for Old Delaware
    John Bell House on The Green, 43 The Green
    Roll up your sleeves as you learn the skills of an archaeologist to uncover Delaware’s past.
  • A Capitol Experience
    Legislative Hall, 411 Legislative Avenue
    Tour Delaware’s state capital building and experience Delaware history. Photo ID is required for all adults entering the building.

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

  • Tours of the Governor’s House
    At Woodburn – The Governor’s House, 151 King’s Highway
    Enjoy guided tours of the official residence of Delaware’s Governor since 1965, and Hall House, the Governor’s guest house.

10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

  • Trades of The Green Walking Tour
    Meet at the John Bell House on The Green, 43 The Green
    In honor of Labor Day, explore the many skilled and unskilled trades once practiced on The Green in the past.
  • Hands-On Archaeology
    John Bell House on The Green, 43 The Green
    Get down and dirty with state park archeologists and take part in an actual archaeological dig. Experience the thrill of discovery as you uncover small pieces of Dover’s past. For ages 10 and older. Weather dependent.

10:30 a.m.

  • Trench Art
    Delaware Public Archives, 121 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
    Former director of the Air Mobility Command Museum Michael Leister will talk about the popular art, created out of used military equipment from the trenches during World War I.

1:30 – 4:00 p.m.

  • The Once and Future Courthouse
    Kent County Courthouse, 38 The Green, Courtroom #1
    From the 1690s to the present, learn how this site went from a courthouse to a hotel and back again.

Admission to all park sites and programs is free. Centrally-located free parking is available at the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, located at 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard North. For more information about “First Saturday” events and all First State Heritage Park programs, please call 302-739-9194 or visit www.destateparks.com/heritagepark.

The First State Heritage Park is Delaware’s first urban “park without boundaries,” linking historic and cultural sites in the city that has been the seat of state government since 1777. The park is a partnership of state agencies under the leadership of DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation, working in collaboration with city and county government, nonprofit organizations and the private sector.

Contact: Sarah Zimmerman, DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation, First State Heritage Park, 302-739-9194 or sarah.zimmerman@delaware.gov.

Vol. 48, No. 231