Thousands visit downtown Milford for festival

Terry RogersCharity, Culture, Headlines, Milford Headline Story

The first large festival of the year took place on Saturday, April 27 and almost 10,000 people packed the downtown area. The festival included over 200 vendors, a free Kid’s Zone, a train and petting zoo plus much more.

“We could not be happier at how well this day turned out,” Shelby DiCostanzo, President of DMI said. “Despite the cool weather, downtown was packed with people visiting our downtown merchants and simply enjoying what our downtown has to offer.”

The event kicked off with the Pet and People Parade sponsored by Fur Baby. Mayor Archie Campbell and his wife, Ronni, who was dressed in her ladybug attire, were the grand marshals of the parade which traveled from Bicentennial Park to the library amphitheater.

“This event is a great showcase of our downtown,” Representative Bryan Shupe said. “This year is especially exciting since we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the naming of the ladybug as the state bug. This came about because a second grade class at Lulu Ross school petitioned the legislature to make it happen and they were successful.”

After a short history of how the ladybug became the state bug, Amy Stratton, Executive Director of the Milford Senior Center presented Mayor Campbell with an honorary lifetime membership to the senior center for the ladybug.

“Because we require members to be 50 years old or older, we knew we had to offer the ladybug her official honorary membership,” Stratton said.

Throughout the day there were readings of a ladybug book by a local author, presentations by Sussex Conservation District regarding the need to protect trees, bugs and plants as well as music provided by Fine Day Radio and Rooster from Chicken Country radio. Although the Walnut Street bridge was not open to vehicle traffic, it was open to pedestrians, allowing visitors to take selfies of themselves standing with their feet in both Kent and Sussex County.

“We had so much fun at the Bug and Bud Festival,” Maddy Mackey Umana said. “So many vendors and so many people came even though it was a little chilly. So glad we had the opportunity to go.”

Others were excited to get out and enjoy the first kick-off for spring.

“What a great festival,” Shelly King said. “We had so much fun and I cannot tell you how grateful I am that everything in the kid’s area was free. With four kids, most festivals are so expensive we have to avoid the children’s area, but this was such a great thing to do, make all the things kids want to do free. Please keep this up in the future!”

The Bug and Bud Festival is organized by Downtown Milford, Inc. (DMI). Since DMI is almost completely volunteer, operated with just one full-time staff person, the festival is managed by volunteers. DMI is always looking for new volunteers to help with their events. Anyone who is interested can contact the office at 302-839-1180 or email [email protected].

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