Sea Witch to hit quarter-century mark this fall

The 25th annual Sea Witch Halloween & Fiddlers’ Festival is set for Oct. 25-26, celebrating a quarter-century of “wicked, wild and wonderful,” organizers announced this week. And along with the traditional parade, fiddlers festival and fall-themed fun, Sea Witch will include a number of new features for its big anniversary.

To ease parking woes, satellite parking areas will be available for visitors traveling on both northbound and southbound Route 1 on Saturday, Oct. 25. Shuttle service will operate from all satellite parking locations on Saturday to bring festivalgoers into the resort area. Details and more information are forthcoming.

Also new to the festival are the “Lucy & Ricky Tribute Show,” including appearances by a “favorite redhead” as she mixes and mingles with festival spectators on Oct. 25. Then, on Sunday, Oct. 26, there will be two 60-minute shows at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Hall, at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The musical comedy tribute to Lucille and Ricky Ricardo is performed by two look-alike, sound-alike impersonators of the famous TV characters.

The fast-paced show features sketch material and musical numbers including: “Cuban Pete,” “Babalu,” “By the waters of the Minnetonka,” “We’ll Build a Bungalow,” “California, Here I Come,” “I Love Lucy” and more. There will also be reenactments of those classic “Lucy moments” that fans know and love, including the “Vitameatavegemin” commercial.

The show boasts interactive elements, including audience participation, as audience members become “Ethel” and join the Ricardos in a sing-a-long. Another audience member could find himself in the role of “Little Ricky,” playing the conga with his daddy. Everyone can join in the fun for the “Conga Line.”

The Bag of Tricks Trail, sponsored by Kiwanis of Coastal Delaware, will allow young Sea Witch magicians to collect their tricks while walking through downtown Rehoboth Beach. Participants can begin their enchanted training on Sunday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to noon, at the information table located in front of the bandstand.

The 2014 Sea Witch festival will feature two trick-or-treating opportunities in the resort area, two nights in a row. People can trick-or-treat in Dewey Beach on Friday, Oct. 24, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., and then again with the Rehoboth Beach Downtown Merchants on Saturday, Oct. 25, also from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

An enhanced bandstand schedule will feature new acts including The British Invasion Experience and extended sets by artists including Neon Swing X-perience, Jimi Smooth & HitTime, The Funsters and New Sweden.

Kid and family

entertainment on offer

Also this year, kids can keep a lookout for strolling balloon artist Wes Holly and his twisted balloon creations.

Friday’s kick-off for the festival features fun for the little ones and families, with the Tyke Bike on the Boardwalk, where children 8 or younger can dash down the boardwalk on their trikes and bikes from 3 to 4 p.m. The Delaware 87ers will also be on hand to help participants shoot some hoops and test out their basketball skills.

Choo Choo Express Train rides will be taking small children (8 or younger) on a short ride through Grove Park on Friday, from 3 to 6 p.m. An outdoor movie in the park at 6:30 p.m. on Friday will allow families to bring lawn chairs, blankets and refreshments for an outdoor movie showing.

There are no fees for the Friday outdoor activities, but donations will be appreciated. Limited parking will be available at Grove Park.

Parade, fiddlers’ festival set for Saturday, Oct. 25

Parade fans can join the Woodland String Band mummers, thousands of costumed participants, local bands, decorated cars and the Nur Shriners for the 25th Annual Sea Witch Halloween & Fiddlers’ Festival Costume Parade at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25.

The parade will be led by the Sea Witch Clipper Ship and 2013 Business of the Year Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats! The parade will proceed east on Rehoboth Avenue, from the Convention Center toward the bandstand. The parade will then continue on the avenue, westward, finishing at Village by the Sea. The top 25 walking, top 10 rolling/motorized entries and best band, as chosen by designated parade judges, will be awarded prizes.

All motorized entries, bands and walking groups larger than 20 people must pre-register and submit an application for review. No more than 50 decorated, motorized entries (floats, antique cars, etc.) and up to six education-affiliated bands will be accepted.

In the event of inclement weather, the parade may be postponed until 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25, in which case only walking participants who can meet the requirements of the boardwalk (size, etc.) may participate in the costumed walking parade on the boardwalk. (There is no scheduled rain date for floats or motorized vehicles.)

The Sea Witch Halloween & Fiddler’s Festival is Delaware’s Official State Fiddlers’ Festival, featuring fiddlers and banjo players in a full day of foot-stompin’ entertainment. Visit www.beach-fun.com for the Fiddlers’ Festival registration form and complete program information.

In the contest featuring cash prizes, there is both an adult and children’s competition for best fiddle, bluegrass and banjo playing. The Fiddler’s Festival will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Hall.

There are no fees for the Fiddlers’ Festival; donations are appreciated. Concessions will be available for purchase in Convention Hall.

Old Fashion Beach Games, Sea Witch Hunt planned for Saturday

Children are also being invited to participate in the Old Fashion Beach Games, to be held on the beach at Rehoboth Avenue on Saturday, Oct. 25, beginning at 2:30 p.m. All participants will be given participation ribbons. Events will include the Peanut on the Nose Race, Pumpkin Dash beanbag race, Slippery Swords race, Hula Twist-Off hula-hoop fun, Frog Hop, Duck Crawl waddle and the (hands-free) Beach Ball Roll.

Festival-goers of all ages will get a chance to toss their numbered broom on the beach, with the longest distance winning. All participants walk away with a ribbon, proclaiming them as an official “Sea Witch Broom Tosser,” while the celebrity Broom Toss event will name the “Boss of the Toss,” all at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25.

The Sea Witch Hunt will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25. Participants must check in with the official clue-keeper and pick up a 100-plus clue location list. (Clues run in no particular order.) Hunters visit the locations listed on their clue location list, and each location has a clue that helps locate the Sea Witch. Hunters must turn in their best guess by 5 p.m. The earliest correct guess wins a cash prize. The winner will be announced at the bandstand on Sunday, Oct. 26, at 2:30 p.m.

Walks and 5K,

Costumed Dog Contest planned for Oct. 26

The Sea Witch 5K Fall Classic and 1 Mile Fright Walk will begin at Grove Park at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 26. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Many of the more than 500 runners, including entire families, arrive in costume. Prizes are presented not only for completion time, but also for the best costumes. Past winners have included cartoon characters, cheerleaders, various farm animals and monsters.

Those looking for a slower pace can take part in the 1st State Webfooter Walks. Registration begins at 8 a.m., with the latest starting time at 2 p.m. Walks begin at the Henlopen Hotel. Participants should visit the Webfooter registration starting point for walk information.

The Best Costumed Dog Contest is set for Sunday, Oct. 26. Dogs and owners will parade down the boardwalk, letting the crowds get an eyeful. Former bow-wow critters include those outfitted as lifeguards, Egyptians, chickens, cowboys, chefs, police, etc.

Participants should be prepared for a 1.5-mile walk, including lineup, parade and return to Rehoboth Avenue from the Laurel Street exit. Registration begins at 2 p.m. Dogs and their owners will register on Lakeview Avenue, next to the Henlopen Hotel, where they will receive their entry number and parade ribbon. The registration fee is $5 per dog. Dogs will be judged immediately following registration. All registered participants will line up at the north end of the boardwalk parallel to the beach

The four-legged monsters will wag their way down the boardwalk beginning at 3 p.m. The lengthened parade will proceed south on the boardwalk from the Henlopen Hotel to Star of the Sea Condominium at Laurel Street. “Monster police” will be positioned on the boardwalk for spectator control and parade route passage.

Participants will exit the boardwalk and disperse down Laurel Avenue, turning right onto King Charles Avenue/First Street. From King Charles Avenue/First Street participants can proceed back toward the Rehoboth Bandstand and boardwalk via Rehoboth Avenue. Winners will be announced at the Rehoboth Bandstand at 4:30 p.m. and showcased on stage. (Floats, wagons, etc. may be used on the boardwalk but may not be brought on stage; only leashed or carried pets will be received on the stage. No livestock, wild animals or reptiles are permitted in the contest.)

Other events lined up for the 2014 festival include: Scarecrow Making on Saturday, Oct. 25, and Sunday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., while supplies last; pony rides on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; hay rides through Rehoboth Beach Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., with tickets on sale at the Visitor Center at 501 Rehoboth Avenue.

Monster Art will take place on Saturday and Sunday in the Grove Park Pavilions from noon to 5 p.m. All artists will receive a participation ribbon. The artwork will be sent to U.S. troops overseas via Operation Gratitude. Jack Noel will also perform magic in Grove Park on Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 2:30 and 3 to 3:30 p.m. each day.

Horse shows will take place on the beach on Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m., while Scales & Tales will have wildlife on display on Sunday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to noon, next to the information table.

The festival is the winner of Delaware Tourism Awards for “Outstanding Special Event” and “Annual Hall of Fame Event,” as well as Business News’ “Top 250 Events,” five-time winner of the American Bus Association National “Top 100 Events,” winner of Delaware Today’s “Best Annual Event” and Delaware State’s Official Fiddler’s Festival.

For more information on the festival and a complete program, visit the website at www.beach-fun.com. For more festival or area information, contact the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-441-1329, ext. 0, or (302) 226-2233, ext. 0, or via email at rehoboth@beach-fun.com.