The 31st annual Sea Witch Festival, which would have taken place in Rehoboth Beach over the course of three days in October, is cancelled this year.
Massive crowds of over 180,000 visitors flock to the mile-long Rehoboth boardwalk every year for the event, and organizers recognized that maintaining Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus would be unachievable.
“There’s no way to keep the event in the guidelines or get it approved,” says Carol Everhart, President and CEO of the Rehoboth Beach–Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce. “If there had been a way to do it, we would had done it.”
However, some participating vendors of the festival will continue to hold exciting events at the beach to keep the family fun alive. Events include pumpkin painting contests, live music, scarecrow decorating, drive-in movies and more. Visit beach-fun.com/events/beach-fun-bargains.html for a full list of events.
“I am sad there will be no Sea Witch Festival this year. I think it may be a wise choice just for this year to keep everyone safe,” says Elaine Morris, a long-time attendee of the event.
Preparations for next year’s “bigger and better” event—set for Oct. 29-21, 2021—have already begun, and include an upgrade for the iconic Sea Witch balloon head.
The new balloon will be recreated by the original balloon’s designer and producer, Ken Moody; who has also worked on balloons featured in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“Ken Moody is creating the image, an exact replica…he created the original one 25 years ago– and we’re thrilled,” Everhart says.
The original 25-year-old Sea Witch head will be retired, but also recycled and included in memorabilia packages, which features other items including an official Sea Witch t-shirt, face mask and pin. The package costs $150 and all proceeds will go towards next year’s festival.
Officials are taking the time this year to reimagine next year’s festival with new, extensive fun.
“We were very surprised last year that so many people came in on Friday. Typically, we wouldn’t get anyone until the evening– so what we decided was that we really needed to add some activities for Friday. So, there will be more entertainment for the bandstand on Friday, we will extend the artisan/crafter area and more children’s activities,” Everhart says.
For more information on the Sea Witch Festival, visit beach-fun.com.