If you needed another sure sign that spring is just around the corner, look no further than the return of the Oldfather Group's popular "Weekender Blog," which we're excited to bring you every week for the rest of the year.

If you're not familiar with the blog, this is where we preview things that are coming up each and every weekend at and near the Delaware beaches.

We generally pick five or six events that are on the schedule and tell you everything you need to know about how to enjoy the best that coastal Delaware has to offer. We'll tell you the when, the where, the why and even where to go for more information.

And as a reminder, be sure to check out the interactive map at the end of this blog entry to learn more about this weekend's featured events.

Throughout the year, many of our agents will be coming to you in video form and introducing our blog for that particular week, as well as directing you to read more about all of the weekend's events and activities.

With that said, here's Dustin Oldfather with a preview of this inaugural edition of 2018's "Weekender Blog," which is really dominated by two great events - the popular Rehoboth Beach Chocolate Festival and the fun and festive Saint Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Milton.

Okay, so let's jump right into it shall we? Here are our top choices for the weekend of March 9-11 in the coastal region...

Rehoboth Beach Chocolate Festival (March 10). Rehoboth Beach may not be Hershey, Pa., but for more than a quarter-century, residents and visitors alike have been flocking to this delicious annual festival in the "Nation's Summer Capital."

Once held at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center, the 2018 edition of this long-time event will be taking place for the third consecutive year in the ballroom of the Atlantic Sands Hotel & Conference Center on the Boardwalk.

Tickets are sold in four different time slots throughout the day, starting at 11 a.m. and running through late afternoon. Prices range from $20 to $30 depending on which time slot you choose, and include tastings of several of the mouth-watering creations.

Children between the ages of 5 and 10 cost $5 and children under 5 are admitted for free.

More than 20 local businesses will be competing in the main event, including such popular eateries as Bethany Blues, Big Fish, Fins and Blackwall Hitch.

All proceeds from the event will go directly toward feeding hungry children throughout Delaware via the Harry K Foundation School Food Pantries.

For more information on the 2018 Rehoboth Beach Chocolate Festival, or to purchase a limited supply of tickets, click HERE.

Eleventh Annual Milton Saint Patrick's Day Parade (March 11). This popular annual event takes place in the downtown historic district of Milton and not only includes the parade, for which the gathering is most well known, but also drink and food specials and a “Lucky Leprechaun 5K.” 

The event was conceived and is still organized by Irish Eyes Restaurant and all proceeds this year will go to supporting the Milton Fire Department, the Milton Chamber of Commerce and the Gladys Wilkins "Seeding the Future" Scholarship Fund

Previous parades have boasted more than 75 entries and organizers are expecting an even bigger turnout in 2018, so be sure to arrive in Milton early and secure the best possible vantage point from which to watch all of the festivities.

The 5K is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., with the parade following at 2 p.m.

For more information, call 302-684-8889 or visit www.miltonstpatricksdayparade.com.

Cape Gazette Photo

Saint Patrick's Karaoke Party and Karaoke Lip Sync Battle (March 11). If you're into the art of karaoke, then there's no better place to be this Sunday than at the historic Milton Theatre.

Scheduled for Sunday evening, after the parade downtown, the Karaoke Lip Sync Battle will feature contestants going head to head, either lip syncing or singing their favorite songs.

This event is open to all ages and audience votes will determine the winners. 

The doors of the theater open at 7 p.m., and the fun begins an hour later. Tickets are $5 for the evening.

If you want to perform, pre-registration is required by contacting organizers via Facebook, at [email protected] or by calling 302-684-3038.

Ocean City Film Festival (March 9-11). This is the second year for the film festival, held at the OC Center for the Arts, on 94th Street in neighboring Ocean City.

More than 100 films will be featured in 2018, as well as several parties and special events.

An all-access pass costs $50 and allows for unlimited movie screenings, the opening night film maker party, all workshops and the concluding awards ceremony. Tickets to these events can also be purchased separately, if desired.

Learn more about this event at www.ocmdfilmfestival.com.

Dogfish Head Grain to Glass Tour (March 10). Beginning this Saturday, March 10, and running for a few weeks, the Dogfish Head Brewery will be conducting these special tours that allow participants to view areas of the facility that are normally off-limits to guests.

These areas include the cold storage facility, the grain handling room, the "Palo & Oak Wood Aging Room and Distillery" and even the iconic Steampunk Treehouse.

This unique tour costs $30 and is limited to 20 people per session. They run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and then later in the afternoon from 3:30 until 5:30.

You must be at least 21 years old to take this tour and, due to the special areas that are included, close-toed shoes and long pants must be worn at all times.

Click HERE for more information and/or to purchase tickets for the tour.

Staging and Rightsizing Event (March 10). This Oldfather Group event is centered around one attainable goal - helping you get the absolute top dollar for your home when you decide to sell. If you're even thinking about selling your home this year, this event is meant for you. 

Oldfather Group Realtors will be giving a free presentation and will share with you the secrets of staging your home in order to achieve top dollar at the settlement table.

Click HERE for more information, or to RSVP for the event. You can also watch it via a live stream on the day of the event by using the same link.

The event is scheduled for 9:30 to 11 a.m., this Saturday, at the Oldfather Group's new Rehoboth Beach offices located at 18949 Coastal Highway, Suite 304.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend, we hope you have a fun and exciting few days here in the coastal region.

And be sure to check back here next week in our “Weekender Blog” for more great happenings in and near the Delaware beaches.

Have a great weekend everyone!