Bethany Beach revs up for some summer fun

The finishing touches for Bethany Beach’s revitalized bandstand are coming into place this week, with final adjustments to the new sound system complete and the lighting system following in its footsteps.

kids parade: The Fourth of July parade is one of the highlights every year of Bethany Beach’s summer season.Coastal Point • FILE PHOTO
The Fourth of July parade is one of the highlights every year of Bethany Beach’s summer season.

The completion of more than a year of work on the project comes just in time, as the town’s summer entertainment schedule is set to kick off Sunday. Once again, the musical styles on the bandstand will be varied this year, ranging from symphonic sounds to Caribbean compositions and raucous rock-and-roll.

Entertainment information — including changes due to foul weather — is available on the bandstand hotline by calling (302) 539-5484. All shows start at 7:30 p.m., unless otherwise noted. But those not strolling to downtown Bethany afoot or fewer than four wheels are well advised to arrive early to find parking, or to take the town’s shuttle instead. The best seats also go early on bandstand nights, so an early arrival is well advised.

Those arriving more than 12 hours ahead of schedule, however, might instead find themselves taking in a sunrise yoga class, offered from 6 to 7 a.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Aug. 30, plus July 4 and Sept. 3. There is a drop-in fee. More information is available by calling (302) 537-7838.

Concert season kicks off this weekend

Starting off the Bethany Beach summer entertainment schedule for 2007 is a Sunday performance from Delmarva Big Band, a popular act that has graced the bandstand stage on previous occasions.

Things will briefly take on a more solemn tone on Monday, with official Memorial Day services at 11 a.m. on the bandstand. Veterans, their families and dignitaries will take part in a traditional ceremony and service for the fallen.

Summer will kick off in full swing on June 2, with the third annual Seaside Craft show, on the boardwalk and bandstand from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with fine crafts available for purchase, as well as musical entertainment.

Caribbean beats will rule the stage on Friday, June 8, with Steel the Show and Plenty Problems. The 1st State Symphonic Band will provide a change of pace on Saturday, June 9. The Milford Community Band will complete the weekend on June 10.

Rock-and-roll will kick off the following weekend, with Over Times taking the stage on Friday, June 15. The Diamond State Band will entertain on Saturday, June 16.

The University of Maryland Community Band will visit the Delaware shore on Saturday, June 23, while the U.S. Navy’s Country Current will meld their nautical roots with Western sounds on Sunday, June 24. And the Sweet Adelines Chorus will bring the more feminine sounds of barbershop music to the bandstand stage for the first Wednesday concert of the year, on June 27.

There will be an organ recital on Friday, June 29, from Keyboard America. And fans of “Ol’ Blue Eyes” can take in Bobby Martin’s Tribute to Frank Sinatra on Saturday, June 30. Fans of another musical favorite will have their fill the following night, with Captain Quint’s Jimmy Buffett tribute on July 1.

Fireworks, fun highlight July 4 holiday

The highlight of Bethany Beach’s summer will hit mid-week in 2007, with the Wednesday observance of the July 4 holiday.

The town will host its traditional Fourth of July parade at noon. Games will follow the parade, around 2 p.m. on the Christian Church grounds, with parade awards handed out at 7:15 p.m. on the bandstand as the Philadelphia Brass Band again provides a musical backdrop leading up to the fireworks at dusk.

There’s a new twist on that spectacular tradition in 2007. Should Mother Nature not cooperate with the fireworks, town officials have arranged to have a backup plan ready so that the fireworks can be rescheduled for better weather. So there should be no rain-outs for their Fourth of July blast this year, as happened so dramatically in 2006.

Regular bandstand fare will resume on Friday, July 6, with the Tim Laushey Orchestra. And the ShowStoppers Dance Troupe will continue the entertainment on Friday, July 7. The U.S. Naval Academy’s Wind Ensemble will complete the weekend on Sunday, July 8.

Perennial favorites Al Santoro and the Hi Liters will highlight the bandstand entertainment on Friday, July 13. A special 7 p.m. start time will mark an early start to the fun with the Fabulous Dialtones’ rock-and-roll sounds on Saturday, July 14. And the Dialtones will go acoustic — again at 7 p.m. — on Sunday, July 15.

Magical family fun ensnares the bandstand, town hall

Wednesday, July 18, will be a magical night on the boardwalk, with the Magic of Mike Snyder and Donna. And the family fun will continue on Friday, July 20, with Flumpa, an “interactive musical science adventure.” The U.S. Navy Sea Chanters Chorus will take the stage on Saturday, July 21, while big band music will be the entertainment on Sunday, July 22, with Swing City Band.

The first of the summer’s most unique entertainment features will happen on Tuesday, July 24, with “The Wizard of Oz” presented by a children’s theater group. Tickets are required for this event and also for the Aug. 7 presentation of “Aladdin.” All the children’s theater performances will take place in Bethany Beach Town Hall, at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. on each of those days.

Tickets will be handed out at town hall, free of charge, on the day of these shows, beginning at 8:30 a.m. But those planning on attending are well advised to arrive early those mornings, as the tickets inevitably are dispersed down to the last stub and frequently leave families wanting for a preferred show time or even enough tickets to go around. There is a limit of six per person.

Back on the bandstand, the First State Harmonizers will provide entertainment on Wednesday, July 25, while Dixieland will be the order of the evening on Friday, July 27, with Fairfax Band’s Rebel Run. It’s a musical mix from Giant Steps on Saturday, July 28, while the U.S. Army Volunteers take the stage on Sunday, July 29.

Cottage tour, talent show offer alternatives

There are two other special events happening during that week: the annual Beach & Bay Cottage Tour — which usually sells out in advance — will take place in and around Bethany Beach on July 25 and 26. And area lifeguards are set to compete on Monday, July 30.

Wednesday, Aug. 1, will kick off registration for another unique highlight of the Bethany Beach entertainment season: the annual talent show. Registration will take place between Aug. 1 and 16, providing ample talent to fill the stage on Aug. 24, at 7 p.m. There is a limit on the number of acts that can appear in the talent show, so would-be Bethany “idols” are advised to sign up early.

The entertainment on Wednesday, Aug. 1, is also something special, with Thunderbolts Gymnastics providing an alternative to the traditional musical acts. But Dixieland sounds will again be on offer on Friday, Aug. 3, with Rockville Dixieland Express.

Beatles fans can rejoice in the return of Fab Mania’s Beatles tribute, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4, while the Cole Younger Band will offer ballads, folk and Western sounds on Sunday, Aug. 5.

There’s more fan fun on Friday, Aug. 10, with a special 8 p.m. performance of Jesse Garron’s Tribute to Elvis. The U.S. Navy Cruisers will continue the rock-and-roll on Saturday, Aug. 11, while country-Western fans can look forward to Dakkota on Sunday, Aug. 12.

Art and music for the generations highlighted

There’s more family fun on Wednesday, Aug. 15, when Big Plans with Kidsinger Jim will offer a children’s show. The CP Blues Band from Arlington, Va., will continue a full week of entertainment offerings on Thursday, Aug. 16. Generations will take entertainment seekers from the ’40s through the ’80s on Friday, Aug. 17. A Gala with Three Tenors will be Saturday, Aug. 18’s featured act. And the Jazz Pioneers will close out a full and varied week on Sunday, Aug. 19.

The summer entertainment will also expand to art during the final official week of Bethany’s summer, featuring the Bethany Beach Watercolor Society’s Paint Out on Wednesday, Aug. 29. The group of artists will paint “en plein air,” or outside, at locations all around the town. (Thursday, Aug. 30 is the rain date for this event.)

On stage at the bandstand that week will be bluegrass on Saturday, Aug. 25, with Whaley’s Corner. Piano and vocalists will showcase American Songbook on Sunday, Aug. 26. Keyboard America will return with a second organ recital on Friday, Aug. 31, leading into the summer entertainment grand finale: Still Surfin’ with — appropriately enough — beach music on Saturday, Sept. 1.

After that last-hurrah on the bandstand, the town will officially bid farewell to summer of 2007 with its traditional Labor Day event, the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral and lifeguard swim finale on Monday, Sept. 3.

From there, it’s back to business — at least a little — as the town prepares for its annual council elections on Saturday, Sept. 8, with a candidates night on Friday, Sept. 7. But those events also usher in fall fun with less of a fever pitch, as the annual Boardwalk Arts Festival also set on Saturday, Sept. 8, on the boardwalk and bandstand.