Cape Gazette
http://capegazette.villagesoup.com/p/1075136

Sea Witch Festival bigger than ever in 2013

Contest winners listed
By Ryan Mavity | Nov 01, 2013
Photo by: Dan Cook Organizers estimate this year's Sea Witch weekend was a record breaker.

Rehoboth Beach — More than 85,000 people attended this year’s Sea Witch Parade, a record crowd that spent an estimated $20 million to $30 million in the Rehoboth Beach area.

“It was like the Fourth of July,” Rehoboth police Chief Keith Banks said.

"I wish every weekend was like that," Susan Crane, co-owner of Browseabout Books said.

Carol Everhart, president and CEO of the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce said aerial photos show as many as 85,000-plus came to the parade. The chamber estimates additional 130,000 people came to town over the weekend.

She said this year's festival was a record-breaker, surpassing even July 4 visitation records. More than 3,000 rooms were sold during the weekend, far surpassing 2012 totals. Everhart attributed the attendance to the crisp, sunny fall weather, the varied activities the weekend had to offer and pent up demand after Hurricane Sandy’s imminent landfall kept many visitors away last year.

Everhart said because so many people arrived, parking became an issue; one she said organizers are vowing to fix for next year. Cars that parked Scarborough Avenue were ticketed by police for parking in the grass median.

Rehoboth police Chief Keith Banks said two officers stationed in the area of Scarborough Avenue told motorists they could not park along the median. He said the motorists parked there anyway, and were subsequently ticketed because cars were parked the wrong way and blocked the street, prompting residents to complain.

“We don’t like giving out tickets,” Banks said. “But the cars got to be a safety hazard.”

There was also an accident in the area, Banks said, when a motorist destroyed a barricade and then could not back up because cars had parked on the median. The ticket costs were $25 to $50 Banks said.

Still, Everhart said the problems were a result of the large number of people who came.

“That’s a good problem to have,” she said.

The chamber anticipated a large influx of visitors for the festival, Everhart said, but, did not anticipate the parking problems. She attributed the parking situation to everyone coming and going from the parade at the same time. The chamber has identified parking and better use of mass transit as the biggest issues to be addressed for next year.

Jonathan Davis, front desk associate for Hotel Rehoboth, said the hotel averaged about 87 percent capacity for the three-day weekend, about what was expected. He said the hotel typically does not sell out during Sea Witch weekend, but does get close to full.

The Atlantic Sands was 96 percent full, general manager Mike Ludden said, with half coming from Sea Witch attendees and the other coming from an executive conference the hotel was hosting.

Last year, as Sandy made landfall, the Sands became home base for the national television crews that decamped to Rehoboth to cover the storm. Ludden quipped, "That's the kind of publicity we don't want."

"This was good this year," he said.

Crane said sales were up, bolstered in part by Halloween-themed book signing the store held.

"We had a great weekend. It was like Fourth of July Part Two around here. it was crazy," she said.

All in all, 400 volunteers, vendors and sponsors welcomed 600 walkers and 50 floats in the parade.

“We cannot express how thankful we are to everyone who helped make this happen,” Everhart said.

Sea Witch Contest Winners

Dog Parade

3904
Donna Combs
Winnie the Pooh
3962
Lou Lagna
Race Jockies
2412
Lauren Bailey
Fish
3890
Lili Koster
Horse Pulling Wagon
3998
Peggy Foulke
Bats
3909
Paul Massuli
Wizard of Oz
3923
Grace, Lilly, Daisy and Dudley Baeurle
Gilligan’s Island
3916
Karen Sanderst
Creepy Critter Coaster
3974
Toni Wemlinger
Duck Dynasty
3934
Rachel Gibson
Crab in Crabpot
2439
Karl Zoric
HMS Schnauzer
3897
Pat Hunt
We Lil’ Sea Witches
3966
Kevin Wareham
Dogboni
3885
Ron Lemmon
Nemo
3900
Tina & Rick
Steelers
3982
Claire, Maggie & Guan
Alice in Wonderland
3920
Elvis
3992
Andy & Tony Pellegrini
Peter Pan/Tinker Bell
3905
Cassidy Schildt
Wonder Woman
2393
Barb Cavelius
Snow White & Evil Queen
3957
Jodi Foster, Jade Kells, Nancy Bruno
Pirates
3950
Sue
Duck Dynasty
3985
Bayard & Tina Williams
Pink Cadillac
3928
Shannon & Kelsie Williams
Mad Science Lab
2453
Chris Beagle/Eric Engelhart
Pretty In Pink Princess Abbey

Fiddler's Festival Winners

Adult Band
1st – Run of the Mill String Band
2nd – 3 Amigos
3rd – Psyco Exploding Orangutans

Adult Fiddle
1st – Sarah Larson
2nd – Palmer Loux
3rd – Summer Daye Lilley

Adult Banjo
1st – Mike Hesson
2nd – Ray Hesson
3rd – Patrick McCauley

Kid’s Band
1st – Lexi Harrison
2nd – Sarah Larsen

Kid’s Fiddle
1st – Nicolette Sullivan
2nd – Lexi Harrison
3rd – Craig Pomplas

Kid’s Banjo
1st – Bobby Steiner
2nd – Ray Hesson
3rd – Lexi Harrison

Costume Parade Winners

Walkers

574
Ava & Grayden Ripanti
Gnome
412
Liz DiTomasso & Family
Wizard of Oz
550
Hojnicki & Thomson Families
The Flintstones
619
Leighanna Dougherty
Witch
428
Madison Rementer
Lady w/out a Head
777
Miranda Moore
Lighthouse
616
Madison & Caleb Galbreath
Elf on a Shelf
683
The Holmes Family
Toy Story
529
Montana Jones
Slurpee
540
Riley Stoddard
Ice Queen
429
Dolan Family
The Bees
384
Justin Fisher & Brendan Moriak
The Blue Man Group
536
Poljak, Alvarez & Turnquist Families
Mad Hatters
633
Colby Bennett
Little Red Riding Hood

 

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