Despite vandals cutting cords, unplugging lights at Schellville, holiday cheer continues

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. – Vandals have been making life difficult for workers and volunteers at the Schellville Christmas Festival.

For the past several nights, someone has been getting onto the property and cutting cords and unplugging lights.

“Some people have maintained that maybe it’s animals. We’re fairly certain that’s not the case because not only have lights been cut, but lights have been unplugged in places that it’s hard to actually access the plug. You’d have to actually take it out to get to it. The cut lights certainly look like they’ve been cut with wire cutters,” said Schellville spokesperson Alyssa Titus.

Titus says each morning, they’re having to comb through hundreds of trees just to figure out which cords have been cut or unplugged.

“Sometimes we spend hours figuring out which lights are cut because the lights are all connected to one another. So, if someone cuts one light, it could affect maybe 25 to 30 trees,” she said.

It’s an effort that’s created an unexpected challenge, but it’s not putting a damper on their holiday spirit.

“At the Schell Brothers, our mission is happiness. We have vowed for this not to impact the festival at all, in terms of peoples’ experience and what they can enjoy when they get there,” said Titus. “In that regard, we’ve been working really diligently and hard to make sure when we’re supposed to be open, we’re open, and all the lights are back on again.”

Two police officers have been on duty each night at the Christmas celebration, but Titus says there are plans to install more cameras on the property. Plus, she asks anyone who might see someone messing with the lights to say something to volunteers on site.

“We intend to carry on, and we are delighted to be able to offer this free community event to everybody in Sussex County,” she said.

Schellville is a free community event, including Christmas displays, pop-up shops from local businesses, and holiday fun. It’s open Thursday through Sunday, November 20th to December 31st. The festival is open every day between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Categories: Crime, Delaware, Local News