Travel

Rehomo Prepped for "Fabulous" Summer

by Troy Petenbrink
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Saturday May 21, 2011
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With less than a week before Memorial Day weekend; minds naturally turn to thoughts of sand, sun and fun. And Rehoboth Beach is ready to welcome gays from across the Mid-Atlantic with new offerings along with old favorites.

Located along the southern shore of Delaware, which recently approved same-sex civil unions, the small gay-friendly city swells from its off-season population of 1,300 to more than 25,000 during the summer. It has served as a gay-friendly getaway for many decades.

"We are expecting a fantastic (2011) season," said Fay Jacobs, a board member of CAMP Rehoboth and author of a series of hilarious memoirs about her life in Rehoboth including the award-winning "For Frying Out Loud".


CAMP for a Cause

CAMP Rehoboth is a gay and lesbian community service organization that was originally developed to "create a more positive" relationship among all the people of the Rehoboth Beach area. Over the last 20 years it has grown into a full service community center and is responsible for planning many of the summer’s activities, events and programs.

One of the first major events of the season will be CAMP’s annual July 4 weekend celebration, Love. This year’s installment promises to be the biggest dance weekend of the summer with two mega-dance parties. Red Love with DJ/remixer Joe Gauthreaux on Saturday, July 2; and Blue Love with DJ Mike Reimer on Sunday, July 3. Also on Sunday there will be an all-new Ladies 2000-Lady Love Tea Dance with DJ Steve Singer. CAMP will host the Boys of Summer: Love Bachelor Auction, where the high bidders will receive Love VIP host packages, on Saturday, June 18. And CAMP will sponsor its annual golf tournament on Friday, June 24.

The DC Cowboys, who were featured in the third season of "America’s Got Talent", will give a benefit performance for CAMP on Saturday, July 30.

CAMP and the Seashore Striders will host the second annual Sundance 5K Run on Sunday, Aug. 28. It will host its annual Sundance, with a live and silent auction of more than 500 items on Saturday, September 3, and a large dance party on Sunday, September 4. The "girls" of Rehoboth will stage their famous drag volleyball competition on Labor Day.

Throughout the summer, CAMP will continue its Beach House Challenge. Launched last year, the Challenge helps promote community service among the many group houses that form during the season. Last year’s winners, the boys of 6 Futcher Drive, who host a fantastic annual Independence Day Pool Party, will be viciously defending their title.

"We are looking forward to a healthy competition, and I encourage everyone to participate and help benefit a great cause," said Mike DeFlavia, a Washington, D.C., resident and member of the 6 Futcher Drive house.

A new event for 2011 will be a beach cleanup on Saturday, July 23. The event is part of the Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project. The cleanup will be held in the morning, and Barefoot Wine will host a breakfast party in partnership with Outlet Liquors at the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center for clean-up participants.


From Aqua to Poodle

In addition to CAMP’s many events and activities, Rehoboth’s gay and gay-friendly establishments will be hosting special offerings throughout the summer.

Aqua Bar and Grill, with its popular outdoor deck and sexy staff, will continue its tradition of themed parties with a memorial celebration in honor of Elizabeth Taylor: the Grand Dame of AIDS Awareness on Saturday, May 28.

The hilarious and sharp-tongued Mona Lotts will again host "Karaoke and Martinis" every Thursday evening as well as join the "Divas Show" on Fridays at the Blue Moon. And disco legend Pamala Stanley, along with other local and national celebrities, will perform regularly at the Moon.

The Purple Parrot’s German Bier Garten is expected to be a hot spot for the gay boys and girls this summer. The new open-air space, which was delayed in opening last year, will be hosting promotional specials throughout the season.

MANdance will be held on Saturday nights at Double L Bar. And visitors to Poodle Beach, one of Rehoboth’s two gay beaches (Gordon’s Pond Beach is the other one), can expect to see nightlife promoter and real estate agent Chris Riss passing out flyers.

And of course, The Frogg Pond will continue its tradition of providing special entertainment and events for all the lesbians and their friends all summer long.

On other fronts; Universal Gear, with locations in the District and New York City, has opened in Rehoboth. Located at 46 Baltimore Ave., the store carries the latest in contemporary men’s clothing and accessories.

Gay-owned and operated Bin 66 boutique liquor store, reopened its flagship store in an expanded location at 20729 Coastal Hwy. Delaware-native and National Geographic photographer Kevin Fleming has joined Rehoboth’s bustling arts community with the opening of a new studio, which will likely become a popular spot during the art walk held the second Saturday of each month.

Additional information on lodging, dining and other Rehoboth Beach attractions is available from the city of Rehoboth Beach at www.cityofrehoboth.com and Rehoboth Beach Main Street. Visitors should also make a point of picking up a copy of Letters, a biweekly summer publication by CAMP Rehoboth which features a comprehensive calendar of events.


Getting There

Rehoboth Beach is located in Sussex County, Del., approximately 120 from Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia, and 210 miles from New York City. Most visitors to Rehoboth arrive by car and detailed driving directions are available here.

A seasonal bus service between Washington, D.C., and Rehoboth is available from DC2NY.


Troy Petenbrink resides in Washington, DC and is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. You can follow him on Twitter: http://twitter.com/thegaytraveler

This article is part of our "Summer 2011" series. Want to read more? Here's the full list»

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