By Will A. Davis
I have to admit even though I have a love of history I never knew that the Amish people had communities in Delaware. Think Amish we might think Pennsylvania, maybe Ohio, but Delaware? Yes Delaware, Dover to be specific in this case. The weekend of September 5-7 2014 promises to be a fun one of biking, food and entertainment.
For cyclists and the general public who are not familiar with the ways of the Amish, or for those who never knew Dover, Delaware was home to an Amish community, the weekend of September 5-7 featuring the Amish Country Bike Tour will provide not only an opportunity to pedal through Amish communities, but also offers insight into the ways of the Amish including their beautifully-made handmade quilts.
The Amish Country Bike Tour, now in its 28th year, features five loops (15, 25, 50, 62 and 100-miles) through the back roads and Amish communities in Kent County. It is the largest cycling event in Delaware with more than 2,500 cyclists from 25 states and the U.K. For more information, visit the website: http://www.AmishCountryBikeTour.com or find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AmishCountryBikeTour.
But wait there’s more!
The Dover Art League is partnering with the Dover Public Library and local art gallery Parke Green Galleries to present the Amish Art Loop on the weekend of September 5-7. An opening reception will be held on “First Friday,” September 5, from 5-7pm. The public and Amish Country Bike Tour cyclists are invited to attend, free of charge.
The Amish Art Loop is a self-directed art tour which will cover sections of Governor’s Avenue, Loockerman Street, Federal Street and State Street. All venues are within a short walking distance and will feature local visual artists. Maps will be provided at all participating locations, and the tour is free and open to the public.
On the afternoon of Saturday, September 6, the Dover Art League will feature an Amish Quilts presentation in its Holden Gallery with a speaker from the humanities covering the Delaware Amish culture. In the downstairs gallery, the League will feature art related to Amish life and bikes, to coincide with the Amish Country Bike Tour. The Dover Public Library will feature a group show and Parke Green Galleries will have a focused Amish-themed show as well as a Saturday evening reception from 5-8 p.m.
Weekend lodging packages for the event include: Finish Line Party at Home2Suites, Finish Line After Party 5:30- 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 6, at the backyard fire pit and grill. Friday, September 5 or Saturday, September 6, $139 or Friday and Saturday night for $259, call 302-674-3300; Hampton Inn, Dover, 302-736-3500, $119; Holiday Inn Downtown Dover, 302-747-5050, $119 Saturday; Holiday Inn Express, Dover, 302-398-8800, $109-$139; Days Inn, Dover, 302-674-8002, $79; Fairfield Inn & Suites, Dover, 302-677-0900, $129 & $149, Kings and Doubles; Baymont Inn & Suites, Harrington, 302-398-3900, $99; Comfort Inn & Suites, Dover, 302-677-0505, $134.99; Hilton Garden Inn, Dover 302-674-3784, $114, two-night minimum; Mainstay Suites, Dover, 302-678-8383, $104.99-$124.99; and Best Western Smyrna, 302-659-3635, $134.99 Double Queen, $97.99 King.
To quote biker Larry Josefowski pictured to the left : “The Amish Country Bike Tour is designed as a very friendly family ride, and while there certainly is no shortage of the more serious cyclists in spandex jerseys and matching socks racing past, you also see kids and families on regular bikes, enjoying what is for them a very casual ride in a great biking area that is used to having slow moving vehicles. You might even see push bikes ridden by the Amish children, who are as curious about the spectacle as visitors are of them.”
For more information on the Amish Country Bike Tour, call 800-233-5368.