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Delaware's First State Heritage Park’s First Saturday


DOVER, Delaware – Ever wonder why the Blue Hen is the Delaware state bird? On Saturday, April 6, DNREC’s First State Heritage Park will answer that question and provide visitors with explanations of the other symbols that represent Delaware.

From the well-known to the obscure, you can learn more about the elements that are iconic to Delaware, and how they were chosen to represent the First State.  Each site of the First State Heritage Park will present a variety of symbols, sharing the stories of how they came to be connected to Delaware. Even if you have never heard that the ladybug is our state insect, there will be something for every age and interest level.

Visit Legislative Hall between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to find out about the animals, vegetables, and minerals that have been selected over the years to represent the state. Stop by Woodburn between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. to find out about the state flag, which displays a yeoman farmer, why there is a cow on the Delaware state seal, and how George Washington had some influence. You might also be surprised to learn that you have the ability to institute your own ideas.


Some symbols are known across the world. At 1:30 p.m. the Johnson Victrola Museum will feature a theatrical presentation that explores artist Francis Barraud and his painting of one of the most celebrated canines in the world: Nipper the dog, who displays the Victor trademark, “His Masters Voice.”


First Saturday activities: April 6


9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

  • From Military Man to Mascot: The Delaware Blue Hen

John Bell House, 43 The Green

Learn the history and the legend behind Delaware’s state bird; the blue hen.


  • Creating State Symbols

Legislative Hall, 411 Legislative Avenue

At Delaware’s state capital building, experience Delaware history and learn more about state symbols, from the state beverage to the our wildlife animal, and how these representations came to be. Photo ID is required for all adults entering the building.


  • Songwriting: Poetry through Music

Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New Street

To celebrate National Poetry Month, guided tours will highlight the great songwriters of the Victor Talking Machine Company. Hear their music on authentic talking machines.


  • Biggs Kids – Peach Blossoms

Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal Street

Did you know that the state flower of Delaware is the peach blossom? Create your own colorful tree and see how many peaches you can find in our collection.


  • A Symbol of Government

The Old State House Museum – 25 The Green

Guided tours will highlight the creation of The Old State House, and how it became a symbol of Delaware’s past and present.


10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Last tour leaves at 3 p.m.)

  • Dover’s Heroes of the Revolution Walking Tour

Meet at the John Bell House on The Green

Dover was a hotbed of activity during the struggle for American Independence. Learn about the people of Dover who made an impact and contributed to the symbolism of Delaware.


10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

  • State Seal Symbolism

At Woodburn – The Governor’s House, 151 Kings Highway

Enjoy guided tours of the official residence of Delaware’s Governor since 1965, and learn about the significant symbols on the state seal.


10:30 a.m.

  • Celebrating the History of the Delaware Department of Transportation

Delaware Public Archives, 121 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard North

The Secretary of DelDOT, Jennifer Cohan, will present the history of the department, and how our transportation system has evolved over the last century.


1:30 p.m.

  • Francis Barraud: His Master’s Voice

Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 South New Street

This theatrical presentation examines painter Francis Barraud’s creation of the world famous “His Master’s Voice” trademark, one of the most famous symbols in the 20th century. 


1:30 – 4 p.m. (Last tour leaves at 4 p.m.)

  • “The Once and Future Courthouse”

Historic Kent County Courthouse, Courtroom #1, 38 The Green, meet on front steps

From the 1690s to the present, find out how this site went from a courthouse to a hotel and back again.


Admission to all park sites and programs is free. Centrally-located free parking is available at the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, located at 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard North. For more information about First Saturday events and all First State Heritage Park programs, call 302-739-9194 or visit


The First State Heritage Park is Delaware’s first urban “park without boundaries,” linking historic and cultural sites in the city that has been the seat of state government since 1777. The park is a partnership of state agencies under the leadership of DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation, working in collaboration with city and county government, nonprofit organizations and the private sector. | April 2, 2019