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Wilmington is the largest city in the state of Delawaremarker, United Statesmarker 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 Countymarker 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.

According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 72,826.


The area now known as Wilmington was first colonized by settlers from Swedenmarker who in March, 1638, established Fort Christinamarker at the mouth of the Christina River at the area known as "The Rocks", located near the foot of present-day Seventh Street. Fort Christina served as the headquarters for the colony of New Sweden which consisted of, for the most part, the lower Delaware River region (parts of present day Delawaremarker, Pennsylvaniamarker, and New Jerseymarker), but settled few colonists there. Dr. Timothy Stidham (Swedish:Timen Lulofsson Stiddem) was a prominent citizen and doctor in Wilmington. He was born in 1610, probably in Hammel, Skanderborgmarker, Denmarkmarker and raised in Gothenbergmarker, Swedenmarker. He arrived in New Sweden in 1654 and is recorded as the first physician in Delaware.

The most important Swedish governor was Colonel Johan Printz, who ruled the colony under Swedish law from 1643 to 1653. He was succeeded by Johan Rising, who upon his arrival in 1654, seized the Dutch post Fort Casimir, located at the site of the present town of New Castlemarker, which was built by the Dutch in 1651. Rising governed New Sweden until the autumn of 1655, when a Dutch fleet under the command of Peter Stuyvesant subjugated the Swedish forts and established the authority of the Colony of New Netherland throughout the area formerly controlled by the Swedes. This marked the end of Swedish rule in North America.

Beginning in 1664 British colonization began; after a series of wars between the Dutch and English,the area stabilized under British rule, with strong influences from the Quaker communities under the auspices of Proprietor William Penn. A borough charter was granted in 1739 by King George II, which changed the name of the settlement from Willington, after Thomas Willing the first developer of the land who organized the area in a grid pattern similar to that of its northern neighbor Philadelphia, to Wilmington, presumably after Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington.

Although during the American Revolutionary War only one small battle was fought in Delaware, British troops occupied Wilmington shortly after the nearby Battle of Brandywinemarker on September 11, 1777. The British remained in the town until they vacated Philadelphia in 1778.

In 1800, Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, a French Huguenot emigrated to the United States. Knowledgeable in the manufacture of gunpowder, by 1802 DuPont had begun making the explosive on the banks of the Brandywine River, just outside of the town of Wilmignton.

The greatest growth in the city occurred during the Civil War. Delaware, though officially remained a member of the Union, was a border state and divided in its support of both the Confederate and the Union causes. The war created enormous demand for goods and materials supplied by Wilmington including ships, railroad cars, gunpowder, shoes, and other war-related goods.

By 1868, Wilmington was producing more iron ships than the rest of the country combined and it rated first in the production of gunpowder and second in carriages and leather. Due to the prosperity Wilmington enjoyed during the war, city merchants and manufacturers expanded Wilmington's residential boundaries westward in the form of large homes along tree-lined streets. This movement was spurred by the first horsecar line, which was initiated in 1864 along Delaware Avenue.
Wilmington skyline as seen from Northeast Blvd May, 2007

The late nineteenth century saw the development of the city's first comprehensive park system. William Bancroft, a successful Wilmington businessman, led the effort to establish open parkland in Wilmington and was heavily influenced by the work of Frederick Law Olmsted. Rockford Park and Brandywine Park were created due to Bancroft's efforts.

Both World Wars stimulated the city's industries. Industries vital to the war effort - shipyards, steel foundries, machinery, and chemical producers - operated on a 24-hour basis. Other industries produced such goods as automobiles, leather products, and clothing.

The post war prosperity again pushed the residential development further out of the city. The 1950s saw a large increase in people living in the suburbs of North Wilmington and commuting into the city to work. This lifestyle was made possible by extensive upgrades to area roads and highways and through the construction of Interstate 95, which cut through several of Wilmington's neighborhoods and contributed to significant population losses in the city. Urban renewal projects in the '50s and '60s cleared entire blocks of housing in the Center City and East Side areas.

Riots and civil unrest in the city following the 1968 assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and in response, on , Governor Charles L. Terry, Jr. deployed the National Guard to the city at the request of Mayor John Babiarz. One week later, Mayor Babiarz requested the National Guard troops be withdrawn, but Governor Terry refused, and kept them in the city until his term ended in January, 1969. This is reportedly the longest occupation of an American city by state forces in the nation's history.

The city in the 1980s experienced tremendous job growth and office construction when many national banks and financial institutions relocated to the area after the Financial Center Development Act of 1981 substantially liberalized the laws governing banks operating within the state. In 1986, the state adopted legislation targeted at attracting international finance and insurance companies. Today many national and international banks, such as Bank of America, Chase, Barclays among others have operations in the city, with these typically being their credit card operations.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of . Of that, is land and is water. The total area is 36.25% water.
Aerial view of Wilmington
The city is located approximately southwest of Philadelphiamarker, Pennsylvaniamarker, one of America's largest cities. Wilmington Train Stationmarker is one of the last stops on Philadelphia's SEPTA rail transportation system and is the Amtrak station immediately adjacent to 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. Wilmington is The southern terminus of the I-295 bypass route around Philadelphia is just south of the city limits, and Wilmington is one of the major cities served by I-95. These transportation links and geographic proximity give Wilmington some of the characteristics of a satellite city, but Wilmington's long history as the most important city in Delaware, its significant urban core, and its independent value as a business destination makes it more properly considered a small but independent city in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, or as locals prefer to call it, the Delaware Valley.

The topography and soil conditions affected the residential development pattern within the city. East of Market Street, and along both sides of the Christina River, the land is flat, low-lying and marshy in places. On the western side of Market Street the topography is hilly and rises to a point that marks the watershed between the Brandywine River and the Christina River. This watershed line runs along Delaware Avenue westward from 10th Street and Market Street. The hilly and therefore heathier west side was more attractive for the original residential areas.



As of the census of 2000, there were 72,664 people, 28,617 households, and 15,882 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,698.1 per square mile (2,585.8/km²). There were 32,138 housing units at an average density of 2,962.4 per square mile (1,143.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 56.43% Black, 35.52% White, 0.25% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 5.16% from other races, and 1.96% from two or more races. 9.84% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The largest ancestries include: Irish (8.7%), Italian (5.7%), German (5.2%), English (4.4%), and Polish (3.6%).

There were 28,617 households out of which 27.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 26.6% were married couples living together, 23.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.5% were non-families. 37.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 91.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,116, and the median income for a family was $40,241. Males had a median income of $34,360 versus $29,895 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,236. 21.3% of the population and 16.8% of families were below the poverty line. 30.4% of those under the age of 18 and 20.1% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.


The Wilmington City Council consists of thirteen members. The council consists of eight members who are elected from geographic districts, four elected at-large and the City Council President. The Council President is elected by the entire city. The Mayor of Wilmington is also elected by the entire city.

The current mayor of Wilmington is James M. Baker (D). Mayor Baker became the first 3-term mayor upon his re-election in 2008. Norman D. Griffiths is the City Council President.


The city of Wilmington is made up of the following neighborhoods:

North of the Brandywine River

  • Brandywine Hills - bounded by Lea Boulevard, Rockwood Road, Miller Road, and Market Street
  • Brandywine Village
  • Eastlawn
  • Eastlake
  • Gander Hill (Lower Brandywine Village)
  • Harlan
  • Ninth Ward - Originally a post-Civil War political creation, the city's Ninth Ward has long been an area with owner-occupied residences. The Ninth Ward was integrated as a result of population shifts in the 1960s and remains a stable, working-class neighborhood.
  • Prices Run
  • Riverside
  • Triangle - a group of homes built in the 1920s whose corresponding streets along I-95 and Baynard Boulevard and 18th Street and Concord Avenue loosely form a triangle.

East of I-95

  • Center City (Downtown)
  • East Side -
  • Midtown Brandywine - row homes near Brandywine Park
  • Quaker Hill - From a country hilltop in the 1800s to rows of city homes today, Quaker Hill (which surrounds the historical Quaker Friends Meeting House) has watched its neighborhood become much more modernized over the last three centuries. The nearby Meeting House keeps Quaker Hill closely tied to its rich history.
  • Riverfront
  • Ships Tavern
  • Southbridge
  • Trinity Vicinity - a collection of row homes and detached houses, many of which were originally built in the late 1800s.
  • Upper East Side (East Brandywine)
  • West Center City
  • 11th St. Bridge

West of I-95

  • Bayard Square
  • Browntown/Hedgeville - areas in the city that were originally populated by Polish immigrants. Today, the Polish community maintains a strong presence, while other ethnicities have moved in the neighborhood's borders.
  • Canby Park
  • Cool Spring & Tilton Park - bounded loosely by Pennsylvania Avenue on the north, West 7th Street on the south, North Jackson Street on the east and North Rodney Street on the west. The neighborhood is home to private schools Padua Academymarker and Ursuline Academymarker as well as the University & Whist Club and the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, which hosts the annual Greek Festival.
  • Delaware Avenue
  • Forty Acres - This historically Irish neighborhood, rural until the mid-1800s, developed from the farmland of Joshua T. Heald. One of the city's first suburbs, the neighborhood is centered around the St. Ann's Roman Catholic Church. The name Forty Acres is taken from the fertility of the farmland. One acre of the land was said to be worth 40 acres one might find someplace else. The neighborhood exists northeast of Delaware Avenue, southwest of Riddle Avenue, east of Union Street and west of DuPont Street, with Lovering Avenue as its eastern boundary of Lovering Avenue.
  • Greenhill
  • Happy Valley - a small collection of late-19th century row houses on the southeastern slope to Brandywine Park, between Adams Street, Jackson Street (I-95), Wawaset Street and Gilpin Avenue.
  • The Highlands - located between Pennsylvania Avenue and Delaware Avenue, the Highlands neighborhood, centered on 18th Street southeast of Rockford Park, was developed by Joshua Heald in the 19th century for affluent, middle-class residents. It contains detached and semi-detached houses of exuberant architectural detailing, representing numerous popular styles of the time.
  • Hilltop - This area located along 4th Street and roughly bordered by Lancaster Avenue, Jackson Street, Clayton Street has remained one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city since the late 1800s. Today, this area is home to one of the city's fastest growing segments - the Hispanic community.
  • Little Italymarker - the area around Union Street and Lincoln streets, between Pennsylvania Avenue and Lancaster Avenue. Anchored by the immigration waves of the late 1800s and early 1900s, Little Italy has retained its roots, even as neighborhood remodeling projects update the scenery.
  • St. Elizabeth Area - The St. Elizabeth area is anchored by the St. Elizabeth Parish at 809 S. Broom St., considered the heart of the Catholic community. This historic church, built on the grounds of the Banning Estate, dates back to 1908.
  • Trolley Square - settled in the 1860s after the city's trolley line had extended into farmland once owned by the Shallcross and Lovering families. The city's former trolley deport and bus barn was located on the spot where the Trolley Square shopping complex now sits. The neighborhood lies between Harrison Street, Pennsylvania Avenue, Lovering Avenue and the B&O Railroad track.
  • Wawaset Parkmarker - bounded by Pennsylvania Avenue, West 7th Street, Woodlawn Avenue and Greenhill Avenue.
  • West Hill
  • Westmoreland - detached housing developed in the 1950s, as part of the suburban movement that followed the end of World War II. Its location is adjacent to the original Wilmington Country Club, bounded by Ogle Avenue, Dupont Road, the Wilmington High School property and the Ed "Porky" Oliver Golf Course.
  • Woodlawn (The Flats)
  • Union Park Gardens

Historic Districts

The City of Wilmington has 9 Historic Districts, including the Baynard Boulevard, Kentmere Parkway, Rockford Park, Cool Spring/Tilton Park, the tri-part sections of the Eastside, St. Marys and Old Swedes Church, Quaker Hill, Delaware Avenue, Trinity Vicinity, and Upper/Lower Market Street.


Drugs and gangs gained a greater profile in the city throughout the 1980s and 1990s, as was the case in many cities across the country. As a result of these trends, the city encountered an escalation of violent crimes (murder, assault, armed robbery), and put Wilmington among the nation's most dangerous cities for its size.

To counter this crime wave, Wilmington became the first city in the U.S. to have its entire downtown area under surveillance: some $800,000 worth of video cameras (some bought with public money, some by downtown businesses) have the exteriors of all buildings in view, and the technicians who monitor them dispatch the city's police to the scene of any crime or suspicious activity they see, while it is still happening. Recently, the city has expanded the surveillance program into some of the more crime-ridden neighborhoods.

Among the residential streets, the Wilmington Police Department started a program known as jump-outs in which unmarked police vans would patrol crime-prone neighborhoods late at night, suddenly converge at street corners where people were loitering and detain them temporarily. Using loitering as probable cause, the police would then photograph, search, and fingerprint everyone present. Along with apprehending anyone with drugs or weapons, it was that thought that this program would improve the police's database of fingerprints and eye-witnesses for use in future crime investigations. Some citizens protested that such a practice was a violation of civil rights.

Public safety

The Wilmington Police Department (WPD) is led by Chief of Police Michael J. Szczerba and is authorized to deploy up to 289 officers in motor vehicles, on foot, and on bicycle in order to protect and serve the citizens of the city. It recently joined the ranks of 350 other departments nationwide, and only nine other statewide, in achieving operations accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

The Wilmington Fire Department (WFD) is led by Chief Willie Patrick Jr. and maintains six engine companies, two ladder companies, a marine fire fighting force, three ambulances, and one rescue squad. In recent years, the department has promoted a ride along program which gives city residents an opportunity to evaluate possible career decisions. In addition, department officials have enacted a program that requires firefighters to be involved with community associations on a regular basis. Wilmington is the only municipality in Delaware with a career fire department.

Public health issues

The city has one of the highest per capita rates of HIV infection in the United States, with disproportionate rates of infection among African-American males. Efforts by local advocates to implement needle exchange programs to combat the spread of infection were obstructed for several years by downstate and suburban state legislators but a program was finally approved in June 2006.


Much of Wilmington's economy is based on its status as the most populous and readily accessible city in Delaware, a state that made itself attractive to businesses with pro-business finance laws and a longstanding reputation for a fair and effective judicial system.

Wilmington has become a national financial center for the credit card industry, largely due to regulations enacted by former Governor Pierre S. du Pont, IV in 1981. The Financial Center Development Act of 1981, among other things, eliminated the usury laws enacted by most states, thereby removing the cap on interest rates that banks may legally charge customers. Many major credit card issuers, including Bank of America (formerly MBNA Corporation), Chase Card Services (part of JPMorgan Chase & Co., formerly Bank One/First USA), and Barclays Bank of Delaware (formerly Juniper Bank), are headquartered in Wilmington. The Dutch banking giant ING Groep N.V. headquartered its U.S. internet banking unit, ING Direct, in Wilmington. China's HSBC has their American operations headquartered in Wilmington. Wilmington Trust is headquartered in Wilmington at Rodney Square. Barclays and ING Direct have very large and prominent locations located along the waterfront of the Christina River. In 1988, the Delaware legislature enacted a law which required a would-be acquirer to capture 85 percent of a Delaware chartered corporation’s stock in a single transaction or wait three years before proceeding. This law strengthened Delaware's position as a safe haven for corporate charters during an especially turbulent time filled with hostile takeovers.

Wilmington's other notable industries include insurance (American Life Insurance Company [ALICO], Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Delaware), retail banking (including the Delaware headquarters of: Wilmington Trust, PNC Bank, Wachovia Bank, JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, Citizens Bank, Wilmington Savings Fund Society, and Artisans' Bank), and legal services. A General Motors plant was closed in 2009. Delaware's only two remaining homegrown 2006 Fortune 1000 companies, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company and Hercules, both have their global headquarters in downtown Wilmington. This is two less than previous years due to the acquisition of MBNA by Bank of America, and Conectiv through Pepco Holding's subsidiary, Delmarva Power. In addition, the city is the corporate domicile of more than 50% of the publicly traded companies in the United States, and over 60% of the Fortune 500.

Delaware chartered corporations rely on the state's Court of Chancery to decide legal disputes, which places legal decisions with a judge instead of a jury. The Court of Chancery, known both nationally and internationally for its speed, competence, and knowledgeable judiciary, as a court of equity, is empowered to grant broad relief in the form of injunctions and restraining orders, which is of particular importance when shareholders seek to block or enjoin corporate actions such as mergers or acquisitions. The Court of Chancery, as a statewide court, may hear cases in any of the state's three counties. A dedicated-use Chancery courthouse was recently constructed in Georgetown, Sussex County, which has hosted high-profile complex corporate trials such as the Disney shareholder litigation.

Delaware has among the strictest rules in America regarding out-of-state legal practice, allowing no reciprocity to lawyers who passed the bar in other states.

Wilmington Riverfront

Beginning in the 1990s, the city launched a campaign to revitalize the former shipyard area known as the Wilmington Riverfront. The efforts were bolstered early by The Big Kahuna (a now defunct nightclub), Kahunaville (a restaurant, bar and arcade which has also since closed) and the Wilmington Blue Rocks minor league baseball stadium. The Wilmington Rowing Center boathouse is located along the Christina River on the Riverfront. Development continues as the Wilmington Riverfront tries to establish its cultural, economical, and residential importance. Recent high-rise luxury apartment buildings along the Christina River have been cited as evidence of the Riverfront's continued revival. On June 7, 2006, the groundbreaking of Justison Landing signaled the beginning of Wilmington's largest residential project since Bancroft Park was built after World War II. Outlets shops, restaurants and a Riverfront Market have also opened along the 1.2-mile Riverwalk.


Radio and television

Wilmington is home to three FM radio stations and four AM radio stations:
  • 99.5-FMWJBR-FM-- Adult Contemporary
  • 91.7-FM WMPH-- Rhythmic Contemporary Hits (low wattage)
  • 93.7-FM WSTW-- Pop Contemporary Hits
  • 1150-AM WDELmarker--News Talk Information
  • 1450-AM WILMmarker-- News Talk Information
  • 1290-AM WWTX-- All Sports
  • 1380-AM WTMC-- Travel Information

  • Wilmington is part of the Philadelphia television market. Four of the market's stations are licensed to Wilmington--WTSD-CA, W40AZ, WPPXmarker, WHYY-TVmarker.


  • The News Journal, founded as the Delaware Gazette in 1785. Current daily circulation of more than 100,000.

Portrayal of Wilmington

  • During the 2003-2005 TV Season, the city of Wilmington's skyline and other aerial shots of the city were featured as the stand in for the fictional town of Arcadia in CBS's Joan of Arcadia.
  • Wilmington is portrayed as the fictional location of the 1999 film Fight Club (adapted from Chuck Palahniuk's novel of the same title), as evidenced in the narrator's business card including the suburban Wilmington zip code 19808 and the Delaware area code 302, and his apartment building having as its motto "A Place to Be Somebody". Other references include Delaware state flags, Delaware license plates, new fight clubs in New Castle, Delaware City, and Penns Grove (NJ), and the presence of credit card companies. However, city officials rejected the filmmakers' request to film in Delaware. The movie's exteriors were filmed around Los Angeles.


Wilmington is served by the Wilmington Rail Stationmarker, with frequent service between Boston, Massachusettsmarker, and Washington, DCmarker, via Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, with additional local service to Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamarker via SEPTA Regional (commuter) Rail. Two freight railroads also serve Wilmington, CSX and Norfolk Southern. Both railroads operate major freight yards in the area; CSX operates the Wilsmere Yard to the west of the city and Norfolk Southern operates the Edgemoor Yard to the northeast of the city. Amtrak has a major maintenance shop and yard in northeast Wilmington that maintains and rebuilds the agency's Northeast Corridor electric locomotive fleet. The Amtrak Training Facility is also located in Wilmington, as well as CNOC, Amtrak's Consolidated National Operations Center.

DART First State (Delaware Authority for Regional Transit) operates public bus service with approximately 40 bus lines serving the city and the surrounding suburbs as well as inter-county service to Dovermarker and seasonal service to Rehoboth Beachmarker. New Jersey Transit provides rush hour bus service to Salem County, New Jerseymarker on the 423 Route. Greyhound operates interstate bus service out of the downtown bus terminal at the rail station.

Interstate 95 splits Wilmington roughly in half, and provides access to major markets in the Northeast and nationwide, as does Interstate 495 just east of the city.

Wilmington is also served by the Port of Wilmington, a modern full-service deepwater port and marine terminal handling over 400 vessels per year with an annual import/export cargo tonnage of 5 million tons. The Port of Wilmington handles mostly international imports of fruits and vegetables, automobiles, steel, and bulk products.

The closest major airport is Philadelphia International Airportmarker. A few miles south of Wilmington is New Castle County Airportmarker. The airport is primarily used for corporate charter flights, recreational flights, and by both the Delaware Army National Guard and Delaware Air National Guard.


Club League Sport Venue
Wilmington Blue Rocks Carolina League Minor League Baseball (Advanced-A) Daniel S.marker Frawley Stadiummarker
Delaware Destroyers EBA Basketball William "Hicks" Anderson Community Center

Cultural and music festivals

Ethnic festivals

Wilmington has a very active and diverse ethnic population, which contributes to several very popular ethnic festivals held every spring and summer in Wilmington, the most popular of which is the Italian Festival. This event, run by St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Churchmarker, closes down six blocks in the west side of the city the second week of June every year for traditional Italian music, food, and activities, along with carnival rides and games. Another festival that draws large crowds is the Greek Festival, which is organized by Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. This festival is on a smaller scale than the Italian festival but features traditional Greek (Hellenic) crafts, food, drink, and music. Another notable annual festival in Wilmington, the Polish festival, is organized by St. Hedwig's Catholic Church and features Polish cuisine with carnival rides and entertainment. Haneef's African Festival celebrates the heritage of the African American majority in the city.Wilmington is also home to the annual Big August Quarterly, a historic event since 1814 celebrating African American religious freedom. IndiaFest is another cultural festival held in the city and is hosted by the Indo American Association of Delaware.

Music festivals

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.

Running events

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. This year's race will be held on March 15, 2009 and will benefit the Lung Association of Delaware.

Outdoor recreation

The Wilmington State Parksmarker are a group of four parks in Wilmington operated by the Delaware State Park system. The four parks are Brandywine Park, including the Brandywine Zoomarker 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.


Wilmington is served by the Brandywine, Colonial, Christina, and Red Clay school districts for elementary, junior high, and high school public education. The New Castle County Vocational-Technical School District operates Howard High School of Technologymarker in the city of Wilmington.

In 1954 the Brown v. Board of Education decision by the U.S.marker Supreme Courtmarker forced the then segregated schools of New Castle County to desegregate. However, the subsequent eleven school districts that were created in the county, including the Wilmington School District, soon became de facto segregated, as the Wilmington School District became predominately black, and the districts outside the city remained overwhemingly white. In response, the 1976 U.S. District Court decision Evans v. Buchanan implemented a plan by which students in Wilmington would be bused to attend school in the suburbs for certain grades, while suburban students would be bused into the City of Wilmington for other grades. By 1981, the four current districts in northern New Castle County, Brandywine, Christina, Colonial, and Red Clay, each composed of city and suburban areas, were established.

There are several private secondary schools in Wilmington: Salesianum Schoolmarker, Ursuline Academymarker, Wilmington Friends Schoolmarker, Tower Hill Schoolmarker, St. Elizabeth High Schoolmarker, and Padua Academymarker.

Wilmington also hosts several charter schools, including the Charter School of Wilmingtonmarker and East Side Charter School. Wilmington also has Cab Calloway School of the Artsmarker, which was founded in 1992 as a magnet school focusing on the performing arts.

Universities and colleges

There are several colleges operating in the city of Wilmington:

Points of interest

Near the city

Sister cities

See also


External links

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