Weekend kicks off summer season

For many of us in the area, Memorial Day weekend signifies the beginning of the “real year.”

Oh, make no mistake. Those of us fortunate enough to live here full-time love the off-season. We enjoy driving unabated up and down Route 26. We like leaving our caves and hitting the local restaurants without any lines. And we truly enjoy quiet walks on the beaches and fishing at the inlet without any crowds.

But this is the weekend the year truly starts.

There is little debating that this has been a tough off-season for many local businesses. In fact, it’s been a couple tough years, not only here, but nationwide. For those of you down this weekend for the first time since last season, you’ll see many new businesses in the area — and that’s truly exciting. But you might also notice a few of your favorite places are no longer here. That’s a little less exciting.

Like everywhere else during these tough economic times, however, many of the businesses have persevered. They’ve adjusted their strategies and services, and consumers are surely going to be the beneficiaries.

Get out this weekend and hit up your favorite restaurant, or give a new one a chance. Many of them have opened this year to shining reviews. Hit up the local stores, as many of them carry items you can only get around here, and others carry those items that you need to get through the week.

In short, shop local this weekend.

However, Memorial Day weekend is not only the start of the community’s business season, it’s also the time of year when the demographic changes drastically. More people here from different areas translates into a vibrant and exciting area. We encourage our visitors to not only take advantage of the beach while they’re here, but also to enjoy the local flavor.

For instance, the Indian River Senior Center in Millsboro is having a Strawberry Festival and yard sale on Friday, starting at 9 a.m. The Bethany Beach Watercolor Society will be having its annual exhibit at South Coastal Library, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Lord Baltimore Elementary School will host a yard sale on Saturday, from 7 a.m. to noon. Check out our Calendar on page A26 for more to do this weekend.

The summer season is when this community truly comes to life, and we all look forward to a great season, filled with memories for locals and vacationers alike.

Have a great 2010 season.