Schellville draws big crowds, Jimmie Allen in town and more

Schellville draws big crowds, Jimmie Allen in town and more
Rehoboth Bay with the Indian River Inlet Bridge in the distance. Photo by Taylor Goebel

News in brief from around southern Delaware

Did someone say free entertainment?

Sussex Countians apparently like the sound of “free.” Schellville, the Christmas village/extravaganza put on behind Tanger Outlets in Rehoboth Beach has become something of a phenomenon. Schellville is basically a Christmas village gone wild put on by the Schell Brothers, a major developer in the area, and they don't charge admission.

The organization’s Facebook page announced Nov. 28 that 10,000 people had come the night before. Although I have no way to confirm that number it seems likely there was a substantial crowd. Schellville reported long lines and said it is now accepting reservations for time blocks, and will also let seniors and families with young children tour the village portion early starting at 2 p.m.

“If you do not have a reservation, we cannot guarantee you access to the event … be prepared to wait in lines,” the post said.

The concept, which has morphed in recent years into what what Schell Brothers is calling an “enchanted winter celebration,” runs from Nov. 20 to Dec. 31 (5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays). It includes a snow zone for snowball fights, a maze with elf houses and Christmas trees and the like, a Santa in residence, a village of 18 miniature houses, trains and a roller rink.

Much of it is free except for options like skate rentals if you don’t bring your own and of course, food vendors and shopping options. There’s also a beer garden for adults who are feeling a little overdosed on Christmas magic and need a break.

Another local show in high demand: Jimmie Allen

Tickets didn’t last long at all for a benefit concert by country artist Jimmie Allen, who hails from Milton. Allen, who was recently named new artist of the year by the Country Music Association, is coming off a national tour and now will play a smaller stage, the Rusty Rudder restaurant in Dewey Beach on Dec. 17 and 18. Tickets were only $30 for Allen’s performances, with proceeds benefiting Mariner Middle School in his hometown. The Rusty Rudder announced the shows Nov. 23 and offered the tickets for sale starting at 10 a.m. on Nov. 26. Commenters on the restaurant’s Facebook page reported tickets running out in a matter of minutes.

Sign up to get this weekly news roundup delivered to your email inbox.

All the scrapple you could want

Scrapple fans who want to buy in bulk (stocking stuffers, anyone?) can conveniently load up at the Harrington Fire Company’s drive-through sale on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the fire station on 20 Clark Street. Scrapple is generally sold in 1 or 2 pound packages in-store, but customers will be able to get a 5 pound loaf of Kirby and Holloway scrapple for $18. Kirby and Holloway sausage patties, ham and bacon will also be available. Find details on the fire company’s Facebook page.

Local high school football playoff matchups

Delaware high school football playoff semifinals are this week, with the winners moving on to the multiple championships in the state's new three-division setup.

In the 1A bracket, Laurel will play Indian River. Both teams are on a roll. Laurel beat Odessa last week 49-0, and Indian River dominated St. Andrew’s 36-0. The game is Friday at 7 in Laurel.

In 2A, Wilmington Friends will come to Woodbridge Friday night at 7. Woodbridge blew out Tower Hill 31-0 last week to remain undefeated on the season, while Wilmington Friends squeaked by Delmar 21-20 in overtime.

Ticket sales are online only and available on GoFan.

Those who can’t make it to the games can watch a livestream via the NFHS Network. A month’s subscription is $10.99.

Find a meal, or help provide one

To-go dinners are available at the Cross building in Seaford every night through March 15 from 6-7 p.m. for people "experiencing homelessness or hunger." The Cross is part of Love INC, a Christian organization that works with area churches to help people in need. The Cross needs volunteers each night to help out with cooking and serving meals (sign up here). The building is at 703 East King Street, Seaford.

Santas everywhere

Santa’s southern Delaware itinerary is starting to look a little exhausting, frankly, and even raises some feasibility questions related to physics and the space time continuum. But here are a few planned appearances in the area:

Santa will do a meet and greet at the Harrington Public Library on Thursday, Dec. 9 from 5-6:30 p.m. He’ll take gift requests and pose for photos. The event is free for children 17 and under.

He then will tour Harrington in a fire truck sleigh from Dec. 14 to 16, beginning at 6:30 p.m. each day, weather permitting. The entourage with flashing lights and sirens will hit the west side of the railroad tracks on Tuesday, the east side on Wednesday, and developments and shopping centers on Thursday. Santa has also committed to appearing in Greenwood with the Greenwood Volunteer Fire Company, but that will only take one day, Dec. 20, starting at 6 p.m. The tour will hit every street in Greenwood, the town said. Because of social distancing, Santa will wave hello but will not get out to greet kids.

Then there are the parades, which Santa customarily attends, sometimes on multiple floats.

Local Christmas parades

The Harrington Christmas parade is set for Friday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. City police are asking residents to have their vehicles off the parade route by 5 p.m. that day. Owners who leave their vehicles longer than that may get a towing bill for Christmas. The parade will follow its usual route from the elementary school south on Dorman Street, left onto Commerce Street and continuing on Clark, left onto Delaware Avenue, then left onto Center Street and back to the school.

Laurel’s parade was supposed to be Friday, but because the Bulldogs, as mentioned previously, are playing a high school football playoff semifinal Friday night, the town said it has postponed the parade to Monday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. Apparently Laurel didn't plan on the football team doing so well this season.

The Seaford Christmas parade is Saturday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. It begins at the intersection of Nylon Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue and ends at Market Street by Seaford Middle School.

Delmar’s parade is also on Saturday, at 2 p.m. Parade floats will go down York Street, turn left on North Pennsylvania Avenue, take another left on State Street, where the judges are located, and then turn left on 8th Street ending at the high school.

As previously noted in this newsletter, Greenwood is joining the Christmas parade club with its first such parade in many years on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.

Bridgeville’s parade is slated for the next day, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m., and the deadline to register is Friday, Dec. 3. The theme is “Winter Nights and Magical Lights.” Contact the town at or 302-337-7135.

But wait, more Christmas stuff

This is not quite a parade, but sort of a combination of parade and bake sale. Ellendale Fire Company is holding what they're calling a Christmas Cookie Walk on Dec. 12 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the fire house on Main Street. For $10, you can fill a box with cookies of your choice. Santa will make an appearance and hot chocolate and cider will be for sale. Proceeds benefit a family in need, the fire department said.

Milton will host its annual Holly Festival Saturday, Dec. 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will feature more than 75 vendors downtown. Santa is rumored to be making an appearance and there will be a Christmas village, face painting and more.  


The Brandywine Valley SPCA is holding a Mega Adoption Event with $35 adoption fees at all its campuses, including Georgetown. The event is Dec. 4-5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

Caroling on the Circle in Georgetown is Monday, Dec. 6, at 6:30 p.m. There will be traditional English and Spanish carols, as well as performances by local singing artists, Sussex County announced. The event is free, but the county asks people to bring nonperishable food to donate.

In case you missed it:

If you haven’t gotten your Christmas tree yet, you might want to do it this weekend. Some local growers anticipate that shoppers this weekend will take many of the best remaining trees, as supply chain issues have contributed to a nationwide tree shortage. We talked to tree farmers about the situation and compiled a list of local growers in southern Delaware and nearby.

Where to get a fresh-cut local Christmas tree
If you use an artificial Christmas tree, this article won’t be very helpful. But if a chlorine and ethylene-based “tree” grown in a factory somewhere and painstakingly crafted to look like an actual tree doesn’t quite fit your idea of holiday tradition, read on. Actually, people with artificial tre…

A recent fire that left a man in a homeless camp in critical condition is a reminder of people living without shelter in Delaware. Statistics in the state show a need that is more acute than ever. But at the same time, those fighting homelessness offer hope that more can be done to meet that need. Our story for paying subscribers ran earlier this week.

Out of sight, Delaware’s homelessness crisis grows. What can be done?
Local news in your inbox

A brief note here on the paywall. The online version of some articles will have a paywall, but subscribers are welcome to forward the email version to friends who don't subscribe. This is sort of the digital equivalent of sharing a newspaper clipping. A person could in theory get around the paywall by having a friend email them every single subscriber-only article, but that's a lot of effort and we hope someone that dedicated will just spring for their own subscription.