We all know about the “It Gets Better” campaign, which lets our questioning or bullied youth know that light, love and fun await them. And one of the places where it gets better all the time is Rehoboth Beach, Del.
While Rehoboth has become a year-round LGBT hometown and resort, summertime is primetime for pride, with an awesome list of events and activities, with art, music and culinary delights.
After the July 4 celebrations come the hot eight weeks of summertime. Not only are the beaches filled with LGBT people, but all of downtown Rehoboth is hopping with gallery openings, drag shows, cabaret performances and legendary events like Drag Volleyball and Sundance 2018, a weekend of auctions and dance parties taking place this year on Labor Day weekend.
Entertainment rules the weekend of July 13-14, with two great shows at the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center (Rehoboth’s LGBT nonprofit). On July 13, the super-talented songwriter, performer and gay musical-comedy icon Tom Wilson Weinberg will be on stage for one night only.
The musical revue is titled “Please Listen Closely as My Menu Has Changed,” and will feature songs, stories and even a rap number. Tickets are $25 and are available at camprehoboth.com.
Weinberg’s shows are filled with humor, satire, politics and queer history. He is well- known for his groundbreaking LGBT musical-comedy shows, including the off-Broadway hits “Ten Percent Review” and “Get Used to It.”
On July 14, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C., will take the stage with cabaret “It Takes Two,” for shows at 5 and 8 p.m. Soloists from the chorus join for a series of bawdy duets and sensual tangos, telling stories in song. “It Takes Two” highlights relationships between lovers, friends, frenemies and family.
When the GMCW comes to Rehoboth, it’s always a sell-out, so get your tickets ($25) now at camprehoboth.com.
Also for the theatrically inclined, Clear Space Theatre Company, at 20 Baltimore Ave., has a stellar lineup this summer with “Footloose,” “Mary Poppins” and “The Rocky Horror Show.”
If you feel like congregating right downtown by the ocean, the Rehoboth Bandstand has some wonderful acts for its 56th season, with concerts at 8 p.m. Fridays -Sundays. Wander about by the boardwalk, grab a slice of Louie’s Pizza or check out the food, drink and entertainment at the Purple Parrot Restaurant and Biergarten.
Fine-arts lovers are rewarded every August with the gigantic outdoor show at the Rehoboth Art League, this year on Aug. 4-5 and 11-12. More than 125 artists and artisans from around the country will display and sell their arts and crafts on the Rehoboth Art League’s 3.5-acre historic wooded campus in Henlopen Acres.
Combine feeling campy and sporty with the legendary Drag Volleyball Tournament on Poodle Beach the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. There are two long-time volleyball squads — mostly but not exclusively men — practicing their game and thinking about high heels, high hair and their improbable 29-year history of drag volleyball. The players are at work right now, making plans for spike heels and spiked volleyballs.
The famous game day boasts hilarious costumes, coordinated routines and a lot of satire. This year, should we expect political satire as the athlete-drag queens play and perform to a diverse crowd?
With speakers blasting music — mostly disco — and thousands of viewers lining the boardwalk and sand from Prospect Street to (how appropriate) Queen Street, it’s something to see. City police officers guard the dunes — and enjoy the game — as the entire beach comes alive with spikes, serves, cheers, dancing and the occasional naughty sight gag.
And finally, the summer caps off with the 31st Annual Sundance Weekend. The silent and live auction features more than 650 items, music and exquisite food and drink from our culinary coast. The event boasts the presence of a huge chunk of the LGBT community and our allies, raising funds for CAMP Rehoboth.
The event is topped only by the actual Sundance — an explosion of design, lighting and big-name DJs. This year, Sundance has a new twist — it’s two dances, two DJs, for one ticket on one night. The doors will open at 7 p.m. for the Disco Classic Tea Dance featuring legendary Studio 54 and Saint DJ Robbie Leslie. The Saturday night fever (on Sunday) will flow from the disco era seamlessly into the evening for the contemporary club mix by Sundance headliner DJ Joe Gauthreaux. The music will never stop, so come early and stay late.
So head down 95 and Route 1 this summer. From fun for foodies to boardwalk and beach time, hot happy hours to late-night clubbing, there’s always something surprisingly gay waiting for you in Rehoboth Beach.