Cape May County to Host 2nd Annual Coast Guard Community Festival First Weekend in May

Open to the public, the Festival honors Coast Guard personnel, Coast Guard families and the County’s prestigious designation as a “Coast Guard Community”

CAPE MAY – Cape May County will host its 2nd annual, three-day-long Coast Guard Community Festival Friday, May 6 through Sunday, May 8 to honor and celebrate U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) personnel and their families, and the relationship between the region and the USCG.

The weekend kicks off on Friday evening with a “Farewell to Captain Prestige” BBQ dinner at the Harborview Chief’s Club at Training Center Cape May (TRACEN). The Captain, who is moving from TRACEN to a new duty station, will be honored for his outstanding services to TRACEN and the County.

On Saturday, the TRACEN base will be open to the public for festival activities – including, but not limited to, ship, base and harbor tours, Coast Guard-related entertainment and cultural/historical exhibits. Photo ID is required for access to the TRACEN base. On Sunday, a Mother’s Day Brunch at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry will wrap up this fun-filled three-day festival.

The public is enthusiastically invited to attend all events. Events will be offered without an admission charge, unless a ticketing requirement is noted:*

Friday, May 6

Farewell to Captain Prestidge ~ BBQ ~ Dinner

6 p.m. – Harborview Chief’s Club at Training Center Cape May (“TRACEN”) (1 Munro Ave., Cape May)

Celebratory/Farewell Dinner. Ticketed event; valid photo ID required for access to the base.

Saturday, May 7

Community Festival ~ Ship, Base Tours ~ Food ~ Live Music ~ Search & Rescue Demo ~ Static Helicopter Display ~ Coast Guard Entertainment ~ Exhibits & Displays ~ Vendors

9 a.m. – 5 p.m. – U.S. Coast Guard Training Center Cape May (“TRACEN”)

Festival attendees are invited to explore the extensive TRACEN base both on foot and by trolley, take an inside look around real Coast Guard vessels and view a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter up close. The U.S. Coast Guard recruit band and drill team will give an engaging performance, and U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City will conduct a thrilling live search and rescue demonstration. Attendees may also enjoy children’s activities, interactive displays, vendor tables, food, live music, and cultural and historical exhibits throughout the day. Nature Center of Cape May will offer an “Explore the Shore” program and an open house. Free event; must bring valid photo ID for access to the base.

Tours of Cape May Harbor and commercial fishing facilities via boat will also be available at the Corinthian Yacht Club (1819 Delaware Ave., Cape May, adjacent to TRACEN). Ticketed event; tickets for the harbor tours can be purchased onsite.

Sunday, May 8

Community Festival ~ The last day of the Festival will honor Mother’s Day, our U.S. Coast Guard and support personnel.

8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal (1200 Lincoln Blvd., North Cape May)

Enjoy a special Mother’s Day brunch for the public and Coast Guard personnel, hosted by the Cape May – Lewes Ferry. Seatings take place at 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Entries by local schoolchildren to a Coast Guard-related art contest will be displayed at the brunch. Ticketed event. Call Ferry Terminal Guest Services for ticket prices and reservations at 1-800-643-3779.

11 a.m. – Presentation of Awards

Brunch will be followed by a ceremony honoring the winners of the art contest, the Coast Guard Community Spouse of the Year and the 2016 Community Coast Guardian.

*Events may change and details added; visit for tickets and additional event information.

The Cape May County Coast Guard Community Festival is presented by the Cape May County Coast Guard Community Foundation in partnership with the County of Cape May and its municipalities, Cape May County Chamber of Commerce, City of Cape May, Delaware River and Bay Authority and Delmo Sports.

Cape May County is one of only three counties in the nation that have been awarded the designation “Coast Guard Community.” (Seventeen cities in the nation have earned the designation of “Coast Guard City”). This designation was sought by the community through a rigorous application process, and was awarded after approval from the United States Coast Guard and United States Congress. Cape May County’s designation as a Coast Guard Community reflects the deep and enduring nature of the relationships that the region’s residents share with Coast Guard personnel, families and visitors.

Training Center Cape May (TRACEN), the U.S. Coast Guard’s fifth largest base, is the only venue in the county where Coast Guard recruits receive their basic training. It also includes commands that engage in missions such as vessel support, participation in air/sea rescue, investigative services, communications and homeland security services.

The Festival is actively seeking vendors and community partners to participate and support this event. For more information about the Coast Guard Community Festival or to apply to be a vendor, visit or email Nina Ranalli, executive director, Cape May County Coast Guard Community Foundation at