Guests at this year’s King Neptune Gala were dressed for the ball but prepared for the high seas as they boarded Delaware’s historic Tall Ship – the Kalmar Nyckel.
A swanky, seafaring crowd of 230 delighted in the dockside evening under the stars, but the beautiful full-scale replica of the original Swedish colonial ship was unquestionably the main attraction. The international all-star crew for the September 28 event included representatives from the embassies of Sweden and Finland, as the voyagers strolled the decks taking in sweeping views of the Christina River, Wilmington’s Riverfront and the Copeland Maritime Center.
Guests were greeted by a tuxedo-clad stilt walker and treated to cocktails and champagne, close-up magic, music by Lori Citro, and a smörgasbord (hat tip, Sweden) of tasty bites including fresh-shucked oysters. Lead caterer Caffé Gelato offered hors d’oeuvres, antipasto and risotto stations, and dinner plates were designed by Churrascaria Saudades Brazilian Steakhouse and El Camino Mexican Kitchen.
The event was hosted by the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation.
One highlight of the evening was presentation of the 2019 King Neptune Award to Secretary of State of Delaware Jeffrey Bullock, for his leadership and support of historical and cultural affairs which includes funding for The Tall Ship of Delaware, Kalmar Nyckel, and a partnership to run Fort Christina National Historic Landmark on Wilmington’s historic riverfront.
The event raised more than $100,000 to support the educational mission and programs that sustain the beautiful Tall Ship of Delaware. A special Mission Moment at the end of the live auction will support an education scholarship fund to allow more school-age children to experience Kalmar Nyckel Foundation field trips.