First State Heritage Park Celebrates Old Dover Days with Lantern Tours of The Green, Steam Car Rides and Other Activities

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In conjunction with Old Dover Days Weekend, May 2 through 4, the First State Heritage Park at Dover will offer a variety of special programs and activities:

Friday, May 2
Lantern Tours of the Dover Green – Beginning every 20 minutes from 7 to 8:20 p.m.

A stroll across the Dover Green is a stroll across time. The historic town center of Dover was the site of markets and fairs, suffragists and abolitionists, soldiers and slaves, lawmakers and law breakers. Historical interpreters from the First State Heritage Park dressed in colonial attire relate the stories of the sites and sounds of Old Dover by the light of a lantern.

Tours will depart from the corner of Loockerman and South State streets. The program fee is $5 for adults and $2 for children. Tour space is limited and advance reservations are strongly suggested. Reservations may be made by calling 302-739-9194.

Saturday, May 3
Stanley Steamers from the Auburn Heights Collection – 1 to 4 p.m.

These beautiful, early 20th century automobiles are powered by steam, not gasoline.  From the largest single collection of Stanley Steamers anywhere, these cars are maintained and cared for by The Friends of Auburn Heights Preserve, a nonprofit organization located in Yorklyn, Del. Free rides around The Green are available all afternoon. 

Revolutionary Dover Walking Tour – 2 p.m.

Tories! Whigs! Militia! Insurrection! Dover was a hotbed of revolutionary and loyalist activity during the struggle for American Independence. The First State Heritage Park celebrates Old Dover Days by remembering Dover citizens who played a part in the struggle for independence from English rule. The tour begins at the Delaware Visitor Center and is free of charge.

Lantern Tours with the Grand Ball at the Old State House – 7 to 10 p.m.

For those attending the Grand Ball at the Old State House, the First State Heritage Park will offer lantern tours of the Dover Green as part of the activities. 

Sunday, May 4
Trees Tour of the Dover Green – 2 p.m.

The First State Heritage Park concludes its Old Dover Days festivities with this tour of the Dover Green. Participants will learn about the trees that have witnessed many exciting events over the last 150 years. The tour begins at the Delaware Visitor Center, and is offered free of charge.

More information about The First State Heritage Park can be found online at, or by calling 302-739-9194.

More information on Old Dover Days and the Grand Ball, is available from Kent County Tourism at 302-734-1736, or online at


Established by Governor Ruth Ann Minner in 2004, The First State Heritage Park at Dover is a partnership of state agencies, under the leadership of Delaware State Parks, working in collaboration with city and county government, nonprofit organizations and the private sector to create 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.