Winter was a gentle delight this year, yet spring fever is epidemic in Cape May. Luckily, you can treat your symptoms at the Spring Festival, presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts (MAC) and the Cape May Chamber of Commerce, April 28-May 6.
“Spring fever” is an odd phrase. In Victorian times, it was used to describe the laziness warm weather can bring. Residents of Victorian Cape May earned their laziness, as they probably suffered from mild scurvy each spring, after a winter without vegetables. We may not be any more productive than our Victorian counterparts, but, with fruits and vegetables available all year, without their excuse. In modern usage, “spring fever” describes restlessness and excessive energy — so we’re still unproductive, but we’re having more fun.
Need a cure for your spring fever? Try combining chocolate and beer — beer authority Gary Monterosso hosts a sampling of beers and chocolates at the Inn of Cape May on Saturday, April 28. Tickets are $30. Or, spend the day as a judge in the Sweet & Savory Smackdown — tour a selection of historic homes, sample a signature snack at each, and cast your vote. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for children.
Dancing can help you burn a lot of energy, and MAC offers an all-inclusive Vintage Dance Weekend package, April 28-29. Dress in your (optional) Victorian finery and learn to cut a rug — the combination package is $95. You can purchase tickets separately — $45 for workshops, $35 for the Vintage Ball, and $25 for the Tea Dance. Workshops start at 9:30am Saturday, with a break for lunch, and more classes in the afternoon. The Vintage Ball is at 8pm Saturday night, and the Tea Dance is 1-3 on Sunday. Refreshments will be served. All events are held at the Chalfonte.
If spring makes you want to redecorate, check out the Spring Festival Craft & Antique Fair on April 28 from 11-4. The grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate become a marketplace of vendors, and admission is free. Admission is also free for the new Carriage House gallery exhibit, “Cape May’s Twentieth Century Renaissance,” opening Friday, April 27, at 7pm. Ben Miller’s book, The First Resort, is the inspiration for this collection of rare photographs, artifacts and video. For more information on all Spring Festival events, visit capemaymac.org, or call 609-884-5404. Although you’re likely to see Dr. Physick, no prescription is required.