Free museum tours featured in First Saturday in Georgetown initiative

POST FIRST Saturday marvel museum

First Saturday in Georgetown features six museums in the Georgetown area, including the Nutter Marvel Carriage Museum. The five-month initiative begins this Saturday, May 2. (Sussex County Post/Glenn Rolfe).

GEORGETOWN – An initiative spearheaded by a nonprofit alliance that links Georgetown’s history with efforts to make the town a destination will be launched Saturday, May 2.

The Georgetown Nonprofit Alliance is sponsoring First Saturday in Georgetown – a five-month initiative that offers free public tours of six museums in the Georgetown area: the Masonic Lodge, Old Train Station, Old Sussex County Courthouse, Delaware Aviation Museum, Marvel Museum and Treasures of the Sea.

On the first Saturdays in May, June, August and September, and second Saturday in July (due to the Fourth of July holiday), all six museums will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

post FIRST SATURDAy old courthouse

The historic Old Courthouse is one of the museums featured the First Saturday in Georgetown initiative, sponsored by the newly-formed Georgetown Nonprofit Alliance. (Sussex County Post/Glenn Rolfe).

Docents will be on hand to assist with the tours, which are free and open to the public.

“We’ve got a very diverse group, all interested in moving Georgetown forward,” said Jim Bowden, president of the Georgetown Historical Society that operates the Nutter Marvel Carriage Museum on South Bedford Street.

The idea for the alliance, Mr. Bowden said, was aired by a prominent member of the Masonic Lodge that “we needed to put together a group of nonprofits that were interested in where this community is heading and how we can help impact the community going forward. This is one of the first initiatives out of that.”

Organizers hope this initiative lands the stamp of approval. Patrons receive a card with a map of the six locations – with potential incentives.

“Part of the incentive is not only do you get to go to museums for these five months free, but on the ‘first Saturdays’ … if you get two stamps you get a discount at The Brick Hotel,” said Mr. Bowden.

With six stamps, the card-holder can purchase a 64-ounce growler for $5 from 16 Mile Brewery.

Post First Saturday old train station

The Old Train Station in downtown Georgetown is among the museums featured in the First Saturday in Georgetown initiative. (Sussex County Post/Glenn Rolfe).

“We tried to put together a package deal to get people to come to Georgetown,” said Mr. Bowden.

On May 28, Georgetown will kick off its second full concert season – a 17-event series.

“We sat down and started putting our heads together about the things we wanted to see change and things we wanted to do,” said Georgetown Mayor Bill West. “We came to an agreement that we want this town to be the County seat. We want this town to move forward with events that attract people to come to Georgetown. This (First Saturday in Georgetown) is just another piece of the pie. It falls right in line with the concerts, starting May 28 – a concert every Thursday night.”

“We are doing this in concert if you will with the initiative that the town has been taking, and we’re supplementing and helping out to bring more people into town,” said Mr. Bowden. “They are doing 17 concerts. We thought this was something we could do to help enhance that and we’re certainly appreciative of Mayor Bill West and the council’s leadership in focusing Georgetown to the future.”

The museums are among some 16 nonprofits involved in the alliance effort. The Georgetown Wesleyan Church, American Legion and the Georgetown Flower Ladies group are among the others.

The goal Mr. Bowden said is to eradicate apparent misconception that Georgetown is “a drive thru community.”

“We want to try to have excitement and new things going on for not only the residents but also people in Sussex County – to come see what’s going on and what’s happening,” said Mr. Bowden. “The main part of the nonprofit alliance is we want to help the mayor and council make Georgetown a destination.”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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