Civic News

Ladybug Festival swarms back to Wilmington

Plus, a roundup of upcoming Delaware happenings and recent entrepreneurship and education Power Moves.

Performers at the Ladybug Festival in 2019.

(Courtesy photo from Moonloop Photography)

Editor’s note: This story first appeared as a newsletter alongside a roundup of’s best Delaware reporting from the week, job openings and more. Subscribe here to get updates on Delaware tech, business and innovation news in your inbox on Thursdays.

Are you ready for the return of the Ladybug Festival? After a two-year hiatus, Gable Music Ventures’s essential festival of woman-fronted musical acts takes place for the 10th time tomorrow, Friday May 20, in Downtown Wilmington.

The festival includes 41 acts from all ove — including the headliner, Nashville-based Cuban band Sweet Lizzy Project, and local acts like Sug Daniels, Lauren & the Homewreckers and Danni Peace — will take over the Lower Market Street area at ten venues, including the outdoor main stage on the 300 block of Market and Humble Park.

Gable, founded in 2011 by Gayle Dillman and Jeremy Hebbel, overcame the challenges of COVID shutdowns and a subsequent loss of sponsors to bring Ladybug back, with Chase as its primary sponsor.

“This event is really important for this whole area because it is bringing people that normally would never come,” Dillman told “Having a vibrant creative economy is critical to having companies want to come in, because if you don’t have that, people don’t want to live here. We want to encourage people to come out and experience the city.”

In addition to the music, there will be a Wilmington Whiskey Club pop-up bar, about 50 vendors and five food trucks.

“Each one of those is a small business,” Dillman said. “And a lot of them are run by women. A lot of them are minority women. We are elevating everyone’s game by putting this event together and encouraging people to come out — and keeping it free so people can experience these vendors, the music and just be together, because what’s better than bonding over music?”


You can find everything you need to know, including the schedule, lineup, parking info, a Spotify playlist and info about Ladybug Milford, also returning in July, at

What else happened in Delaware this week?

Claymont High School, now Claymont Community Center, became an integrated school two years before the passage of Brown v. Board of Education in 1952. It is now officially a National Parks Service (NPS) landmark. This week, Allison David, Claymont Community Center CEO, and Joan Anderson, one of the Claymont Twelve, traveled to the White House to watch President Joe Biden sign the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site Expansion Act. Two historically segregated Black schools, Howard High School (now Howard High School of Technology) and Hockessin Colored School #107 (now a center for diversity, inclusion and social equity represented at the signing by former #107 student James “Sonny” Knott), were also named NPS landmarks. The three landmarks are now eligible for federal technical and financial assistance.

“We have been working with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, along with many other people and organizations, for more than three years on this project,” said David. “While there is so much divisiveness in our society today, I believe in my heart that finding common ground and working together are always possible.”

Check out’s 2021 feature on the history of Claymont Community Center.

As always, if you have a story you think might be a fit for (including guest posts by local experts), drop us a line at

Upcoming Delaware happenings:

  • The Wilmington Kitchen Collective for local food entrepreneurs, a collaboration from Riverfront Ministries and Wilmington Alliance in partnership with Grace Church, had the official Grand Opening of its commercial kitchen facilities today, after an eight-month delay due to supply chain issues.
  • Code Differently, in collaboration with JPMorgan Chase, will hold its first Code Differently 2022 Technology Intern Signing Day on May 25 at the Chase Field House in Wilmington. Modeled after athletic signing days, 29 youth will sign employment letters of intent and make their commitment to work for JPMorgan Chase’s Software Engineering Internship for the summer.
  • The University of Delaware is one of seven colleges participating in the VentureOn 2022 program. Check out the pitches and vote by May 20.

Power Moves

  • The University of Delaware’s Horn Entrepreneurship announced its eight 2022 Entrepreneurship award winners.
  • Delaware Foundation for Science and Mathematics Education announced this year’s Seed Grants Awardees:
    • Delaware Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Delaware Mathematics Coalition and TECH Impact; Investigations in Data Science
    • Judson Wagner and Michelle Kutch on behalf of Brandywine School District; Growth and Sustainability for New PECS (Physics, Engineering and Computer Science) Summer Camp for Girls
    • Melissa Tracy on behalf of Odyssey Charter School; The Future of Food
    • Delaware Mathematics Coalition, Delaware District and Charter Schools and UD Center for Secondary Education; Building a Stronger and More Inclusive Pathway to Mathematics Education: A Pilot Study
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