Bonnets and Boaters Top Off Annual City Garden Party

Somehow every year – no matter the monsoon-like rains spring may bring – the Jasper Crane Rose Garden Party enjoys a spectacular bit of weather, and 2018’s event was no exception.

Under a glorious sky, women looked radiant in festive hats as they celebrated a rare (for this year) summer-like evening with friends amid the gorgeous rose garden in Brandywine Park. Organizer Michael Melloy had deemed that the June 7th Friends of Wilmington Parks fundraiser would include a hat contest, prompting even a few of the men to sport natty sombreros.

Guest Terry Hendricks was the friendly competition’s blue-ribbon favorite, wearing a pretty rose pink and salmon dress with an elegant, wide-brimmed hat that she made herself. Hendricks recently moved to Wilmington from Louisville, and of course, she never missed a Kentucky Derby and always donned the proper garb. “I have a whole roomful of hats, most of which I made to match a certain dress or outfit for the Derby,” she said. “This particular dress had lots of roses, and I let the dress dictate the hat.”

Hendricks chose to live in the city and every day in the spring and summer enjoys walking her black Border Collie in Brandywine Park. That’s where she saw signs advertising membership in the Friends of Wilmington Parks. “This was the perfect organization for me to join as someone new to the area.” Hendricks indeed won first place for her Derby sensation.

Third place winner Peggy Lublin Evantash donned an elaborately embellished hat that stood about two feet tall that was made of cardboard, lavender-colored silk and beading that made its way to Wilmington all the way up from Brazil. “It’s a little snug, and quite top heavy, but I’m having fun wearing it tonight,” she said. Peggy’s husband Alan brought the hat home from a 2009 trip to Rio de Janeiro, where he attended the world-famous Carnival. “The festival includes several regional samba schools, and each year the women make new hats and costumes because their participation is judged and awarded. So, I literally grabbed this hat out of the trash.”

The evening included passed hors d’oeuvres by Caffé Gelato, desserts by De La Coeur Café et Patisserie, a special Rose Gold Ale by Twin Lakes Brewery (Caesar Rodney golden ale infused with Jasper Crane Roses), a variety of reds and whites by Moore Brothers and other craft beer supplied by Dogfish Head Brewery. There were also horse-drawn carriage rides, activities for the little ones, auctions and live music.

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About the Contributor

Christy Fleming

Christy Fleming

The managing editor of, Christy Fleming also supports a variety of non-profit initiatives in Delaware. Her background includes positions in public relations, advertising and journalism.