Wilmington is the largest city in the state of Delaware, United States and is located at the confluence of the Christina River and Brandywine Creek, near where the Christina flows into the Delaware River. It is the county seat of New Castle County and one of the major cities in the Delaware Valley metropolitan area. Wilmington was named by Proprietor Thomas Penn for his friend Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington, who was prime minister in the reign of George II of Great Britain.
The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival is an week-long outdoor music festival held each summer in Wilmington's Rodney Square.
The Peoples Festival is an annual tribute to Bob Marley, a one-time Wilmington resident. Started in 1994 to honor Marley, the event brings together Reggae and World Beat music artists, playing both original music as well as Bob Marley and the Wailers songs. The festival is held on the Wilmington riverfront each summer.
The Riverfront Blues Festival is a 3-day music festival in the Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park in Wilmington. This year the festival, which features prominent blues acts as well as artists from the local area, takes place from August 7-9, 2009.
The Delaware Distance Classic is a 15K Road Race held in October. It is the event of the year for the Pike Creek Valley Running Club (PCVRC). The course has rotated every few years based on sponsorship. The event began in 1983 as a fund raiser for the PCVRC but the Special Olympics has been the beneficiary for the last few years.
The Caesar Rodney Half Marathon is a 13.1 mile (21 kilometers) road race held each year on the second Sunday in March. Billed by race organizers as the "granddaddy of Delaware road races," the Caesar Rodney Half Marathon celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2008, where the event and the city that hosts it welcomed more than 1,000 runners from 20 states and several countries around the world. The out-and-back race takes participants from the starting line at Wilmington's Rodney Square through the streets of Wilmington, past the scenic revitalized riverfront, through Rockford Park and back to Rodney Square at the Caesar Rodney statue.
The Wilmington State Parks are a group of four parks in Wilmington operated by the Delaware State Park system. The four parks are Brandywine Park, including the Brandywine Zoo and Baynard Stadium, Alapocas Woods Natural Area, H. Fletcher Brown Park and Rockford Park. Admission to the parks is free, but a fee is charged for admittance to the zoo. The parks, within minutes of each other, are open year round from sunrise to sunset. The zoo is open daily from 10:00am until 4:00pm, May through November. Rockford Tower and Rockford Park is open from 10:00 until 4:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays, from May 1 until October 31. The parks are patrolled by Delaware State Park Rangers whose headquarters office is in Brandywine Park.
The City of Wilmington also operates 55 parks and recreational facilities across the city.
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