Located at the confluence of the Christina River and Brandywine Creek, Wilmington is the largest city in Delaware. With an estimated population of 72,876 as of 2006, the city is also the county seat of New Castle County. The city grew a great deal during the Civil War, and continued to thrive throughout both World Wars, expanding in population as much as in prosperity. The postwar construction of I-95 and civil unrest after the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. both contributed to population losses in the area. In the 1980s and 90s the area began to experience economic growth and saw a revitalization project of the Wilmington Riverfront area that continues to develop and expand in its residential, cultural and economic importance.
The Port of Wilmington is a full-service deep-water port and marine terminal that mostly handles international imports of fruits, vegetables, automobiles, steel and other bulk products. Over 400 vessels per year come through here with an annual cargo tonnage of 5 million tons. Wilmington's economy is mostly dependent upon the credit card and insurance companies that call this city home. A financial center for the credit card industry, Bank of America, Chase Card Services and Barclay are headquartered in Wilmington. On the educational side of business, the Hagley Museum and Library is a nonprofit institution that houses a collection of manuscripts, books, pamphlets and photographs that document the history of U.S. business and technology.
Wilmington's ethnic population includes groups of various European origins whose presences have resulted in popular ethnic festivals held each spring and summer. The most popular of these is the Italian Festival, which is run by St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church. Six city blocks are closed down on the west side to house the festival's Italian music, food and games as well and typical carnival rides. Another favorite is the Greek Festival featuring traditional Greek food, drink and music. The Polish festival is another notable event with Polish food as well as carnival rides and entertainment. Other cultural offerings in Wilmington include the Nemours Mansion and Gardens, the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art and the Delaware Art Museum.