Happy Memorial Day Weekend 2017 everyone!

That's right, it's finally time for the summer season to kick off in earnest here in coastal Delaware. And we're expecting it to be fabulous, as it always is.

As is the case every year, the beach areas will be filled to capacity this weekend. It's an exciting time of the year, to be sure, but it does require a little extra patience as packed roadways, crowded streets and thousands of people milling about will again be the norm.

Just use caution and remember that everyone is here this weekend for the same reason, and that's to have a great time at the Delaware beaches.

As we do every Wednesday, we've got a nice lineup of local events and happenings for you to consider this weekend. Read all about them below, but first here's our very own Mariya Oldfather to whet your appetite.

And for those of you who have been asking about the "Movies on the Beach" series for 2017, we haven't forgotten about you. These start in both Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach on Monday, June 12, and we'll again be previewing them every week once they kick off for the season.

We've got six events to highlight for you this weekend, headlined by the annual Horseshoe Crab and Shorebird Festival in Milton and the Memorial Day Parade in Lewes, so pick your favorite and have a great time. 

And be sure to have a fantastic Memorial Day Weekend here at the Delaware Beaches.

Horseshoe Crab & Shorebird Festival in Milton (May 27). This 14th annual festival is scheduled for Milton Memorial Park and celebrates horseshoe crabs and migrating shorebirds, two mainstays of coastal Delaware’s animal world. 

Activities at this fun yearly festival include boat rides down the Broadkill River, canoe trips on Prime Hook Creek, a scavenger hunt, music, food, exhibits, train rides for the kids and trail walks at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge

There will also be a shuttle bus running between downtown Milton and Prime Hook.

For more information on the 2017 Horseshoe Crab & Shorebird Festival, visit  www.historicmilton.com.

Lewes Maritime Festival (May 27-28). This sixth annual event is centered around the Zwaanendael Museum in downtown Lewes, with events scheduled at several nearby locations.

Focused on the town's maritime history, events include life at sea demonstrations, displays by several local organizations, including the Lewes Historical Society and the Overfalls Foundation, and a living history encampment at Canalfront Park.

Tours of the Lightship Overfalls will also be available and there will be two separate wreath-laying ceremonies, one at Captain James Drew's grave at Saint Peter's Episcopal Church and a separate service honoring the crew members of the HMS DeBraak.

For more information, call 302-645-1148.

Poseidon Festival (May 27 - June 1). This multi-day festival in Bethany Beach is designed as a way for community members to "celebrate the sea" while learning about ways to prepare for coastal emergencies.

The Bethany Beach Bandstand will serve as home base for the five days of the festival, which will include a series of themed events. 

The event features several themed nights, including a "Caribbean Carnival Kick Off," a "Patriotic Night," a "Pirate Night," a "Mermaid Night" and closes with a special Jimmy Buffet tribute night on Thursday, June 1.

Visit townofbethanybeach.com for more information.

Heritage Shores Family Fun Day (May 27). Hosted by the Western Sussex Boys & Girls Club, this "Family Fun Day" is open to all and costs $10 for a group or family of up to four people. Additional guests can join in on the fun for $5 each.

The event will be held at the Sugar Beet Market, on the grounds of the Heritage Shores community in Bridgeville.

This is an outdoor event and activities include face painting, a bounce house, community group performances and plenty of food and drinks available for purchase.

A percentage of the proceeds from the event will be donated by Sugar Beet Market to the Western Sussex Boys & Girls Club.

Visit www.heritageshores.com/Sugar-Beet-Market for more information.

Rehoboth Beach Museum Exhibit Opening (May 27). The latest exhibit at the Rehoboth Beach Museum will tell the story of famous shipwrecks and demonstrate how the community responded with lighthouses, lifesaving stations and rebuilding efforts.

Entitled "Angry Water," the exhibit includes photographs, documents and lectures to show the dangers that severe weather has brought to Rehoboth Beach through the years.

Beginning this weekend, the Rehoboth Beach Museum will be open Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Visit  www.rehobothbeachmuseum.org  or call 302-227-7310 for more information.

Lewes Memorial Day Parade (May 29). Sponsored by American Legion Post 17 and the City of Lewes, the parade begins at Lewes Presbyterian Church on Franklin Avenue at 11 a.m., and ends at Post 17 on Legion Road. 

The Ladies Auxiliary will be promoting poppies at the Legion Hall and kindly requests donations to aid their work in supporting local veterans.

For more information, call 302-236-9828

Cape Gazette Photo