Follow route 404 across the Maryland/Delaware state line and you have arrived to Bridgeville, DE! Magically, the fresh produce stands begin to appear during the summer-into-fall months. Continue on and, adjacent to a field of contented cows, is Vanderwend’s ice cream parlor (try the Sweet Corn ice cream in the summer). This enticement may cause an unplanned dessert stop before you reach the Kiwanis Chicken Barbecue stand farther down the road.
Another two or so miles down the road, a decision must be made: take the faster bypass to miss Bridgeville’s two traffic lights or continue into Bridgeville for an initiation into Lower, Slower Delaware and a peek into a true Victorian farm town that still exhibits evidence of glories past.
Market and Main Streets boast porch-front homes with their customary rocking and rattan chairs where residents “sit a spell” and watch the town’s daily comings and goings. Delve a bit further into the town’s core and find tree-lined streets, a first-class library, mini-parks, green spaces and hometown pride evidenced by the neatly-cut lawns and the overall cleanliness of the community.
The volunteer fire department on Market Street hosts an annual beef and dumpling dinner (2019 is the 30th year for this event) in the spring which is prepared by the ladies of the town and served by local politicos.
Market Street is also the home of Rapa Brand Scrapple, a Delmarva staple since 1926. This delicacy has given birth to the annual Apple Scrapple Festival which occurs the second full weekend in October and celebrates its 28th year in 2019. Besides food, carnival rides, craft shows, decorated houses, dancing in the street and the general excitement a crowd of more than 25,000 people brings, there are also contests of skill and proficiency like the Ladies’ Skillet Toss, Scrapple Chunkin’ and Kids’ Apple Toss. As if that isn’t enough home-grown action for you, there is the coveted title of Little Miss Apple Scrapple up for grabs.
Make it a point to stop in a local gem, H. C. Layton & Sons Hardware, established 1898. Step back in time and enjoy the atmosphere, the service and the surprising variety of items on offer here.
Gifts, country-chic and locally handcrafted items can be found at Weatherd Treasures across the street from Layton’s.
A delightful selection of antique shops can be found towards the Town Hall-end of the street. Here you can find whatever you are looking for and more. The shops offer locally-handcrafted items as well as a substantial selection of antiques and collectibles of all sorts. Continue your quest at A Maze Through Time at 105 Market Street.
The Sugar Beet Market at Heritage Shores also carries a great selection of handcrafted items made by the residents of the community of Heritage Shores. Made-to-order stained glass, fine oil and watercolor paintings, wooden items made in the on-site woodshop, quilts, hand-sewn household gifts and goodies, photography and more.
Heritage Shores is a premiere 55-and better active adult retirement community that has brought a new vibrancy and diverse distinctive experience to the area. The individual homes are built around an 18-hole Arthur Hills-designed links course which is open to the public. Dining in three unique venues as well as large and small event catering also adds entertainment options for the residents of Bridgeville and surrounding areas. Flags of Honor, sponsored by the Heritage Shores Military Club, displays more than 230 American flags along its entrance road (off Route 13) four times each year
If you opted to take the Rt. 404 bypass before you get into Bridgeville proper, you will come across Lindenmere, a unique gift shop attached to the O.A. Newton Farm Supply store.
Turn right onto Rt. 13 and a bit to the south on the left is T.S. Smith, a first-rate bakery, produce market and orchard.
Now, it’s time to head for the beach, right? Not. Just. Yet.
A little farther south on Rt. 13, more trash, treasures and antiques can be found at the mother ship of antique stores: Antique Alley of Bridgeville. 20,000 sq. ft., 125 booths and more than 70 dealers await your visit. If you think Disney is the happiest place on earth, then you have never been in this antique store.
Back on Rt. 13, take a left at the Rt. 404 stoplight and you’ll arrive at Evans Farms on your left. Here, you can pick up what you forgot at Smith’s and load up the kids with an ice cream booster to ensure they stay awake on the final dash to the beach.
While Bridgeville is situated on major business routes, major traffic jams are rare and consist mainly of four or more cars at the Main Street traffic light. Bridgeville is growing in population as well as retail and services requirements. Opportunity for development abounds within the town center as well as the Rt. 13 business corridor. Come back often and watch us grow!
This post was contributed by Aliceanne Zaras.