Lacey Eriksen is an Account Manager for Tapp Network, is a member of the It’s Time Wilmington team, and is this week’s #PeopleOfWilmDE! Read their story below.
“I very thankfully grew up in, and around Wilmington. My early years were spent living in Alban Park in a duplex my family owned since the 50s. As a kid, I’d go to work with my mom downtown during winter break, and she’d take me to lunch in the Hercules Building. I went to A.I. DuPont Middle School, and spent after-school time at the Fraim Boys and Girls Club. I’ve always loved musicals and grew up seeing shows at The Grand Opera House and The Playhouse On Rodney Square (formerly The DuPont Theatre) but it was seeing a production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” at The Wilmington Drama League that ignited my interest in performing. I very quickly found community in the Wilmington theatre scene, and through amazing opportunities in school and Delaware All-State Theatre, got to perform in those venues I previously attended as a patron.
After college, I returned to Wilmington and found work doing Front of House at Delaware Theatre Company. During my time there, I got to work on many amazing productions and made so many connections with creatives of all calibers, my favorite of which was Bruce Vilanch when he was in town for “A Sign Of The Times” in 2018 (If you ever see me in the world, please ask me about the time I drove him to a radio interview for the show, it’s my favorite.) I joined Tapp Network mere weeks before the pandemic began, and have been part of the It’s Time team since the campaign was revived in 2020.
I perform whenever I can! I was working on productions of “Falsettos” at the Wilmington Drama League and “James and the Giant Peach” at the Delaware Children’s Theatre prior to the pandemic and finally put on those shows in the Spring of 2022.
As a kid, my favorite attraction in Wilmington was the Blue Rocks. We did reading challenges every year in school, and if you read so many books you got free tickets to their games. Every year I would get my tickets, and my dad and I would go. I also loved the Downtown Dino Days art instillation around the city when I was a kid- I remember my mom taking my brother and I out around the city to see all of them. As a teen, The Wilmington Flower Market was the place to be. I saw We The Kings as my first concert there in 2010! And now as an adult, my favorite event is the Brandywine Festival of the Arts. I love being on the river and seeing all of the local art.
My ideal night out in Wilmington begins with a beer or two at Wilmington Brew Works. I usually opt for a sour, but I’m always down to try the newest brews on the tap. Then it’s off to Crow Bar for dinner, complete with a crow bar spritz, shishito peppers and fries for the table, and a soppressata pizza to eat. I love everything about Crow Bar- the food is amazing, the cocktails are delicious, and the vibes are immaculate. Depending on the night and what’s going on around the city, I’d either head to a show at a local theatre or catch a Drag Show at Crimson Moon, and then have a nightcap at Torbert before heading back to a friends house for fire pit time and late night chats.
I continue to choose Wilmington because I genuinely love it. My parents and I both grew up in Wilmington, so there aren’t many locations in the city that I don’t have a memory tied to, and I think that’s very special. My Wilmington pride runs deep, and I love that I get to do work that supports the local community and businesses.
I think all of the developments happening in Wilmington are really incredible- new restaurants, new business, the development of Riverfront East, etc. are great! But, I really hope that the folks in charge of these projects are being mindful and are creating equitable, accessible opportunities for the communities they are building in. Just like my family, there are many others whose families have been in Wilmington for generations. I don’t want to see folks pushed out by gentrification. I think there are ways to revitalize the city while keeping its citizens in mind.
As the city continues to grow, I’d like to see more queer spaces open in Wilmington. I’d love to see a robust lgbtq+ center with programming for youth and good family services, a queer book/coffee shop to build community and showcase queer art and stories, Pride Month programming and celebrations, and selfishly, a lesbian bar for the femmes, thems, and everyone in between. Beyond that, I’d like to see Wilmington’s food desert issues tackled, and efforts put in to make the city more walkable.
My advice to Wilmingtonians: Support your community through the good and the bad. Some of my proudest moments in life have happened when I showed up for my community. Buy from small businesses, frequent local restaurants, attend community theatre, give to local charities who are supporting our at-risk neighbors, and tip your local drag performers!”