The Freeman Stage at Bayside has entertained Sussex County residents and visitors since the summer of 2008. Each year, the number of shows and the name recognition of the artists has increased. Indeed, last year, 50,000 people took the opportunity to experience the arts at the Stage’s unique and attractive outdoors setting, located on Route 54, halfway between Fenwick Island and Selbyville.
Each of those individuals, as well as every artist, came in contact with at least one Freeman Foundation volunteer.
“The volunteers are the backbone of our mission,” said Patti Grimes, executive director.
Homer Coates saw his first Freeman Stage show in 2010 and started volunteering the next year.
“I’ve always been a live entertainment junkie, and I’ve always volunteered at something or another,” he said. “So when I retired to the Refuge, close to Bayside, it just felt natural. I love it.”
Plenty has happened around the community over the off-season. In case you’ve been out of town, or have just been too busy to stay on top of things, here are some of the items that could most affect your summer season.
A boxing injury pulled Bobby Hammond out of the ring when he was younger, but physical therapy helped him climb back in the ring a few months later.
Today, the physical therapist helps other people regain their strength through rehabilitation at Atlantic Physical Therapy’s newest location, in West Fenwick.
“Our goal is to implement a life change,” said Hammond, adding that he hopes patients “live a healthier life, a pain-free life, which ultimately is a safer life.”
His father, Robert Hammond, first opened the Ocean Pines, Md., location of APT in 1998, adding locations in Salisbury, Md., Laurel, Del., Millsboro and just recently in West Ocean City, Md.
“People come in for such a broad range of things,” said Bobby Hammond, company vice president. “Everyone’s treatment is tailored to them.”
Therapists help with previous fractures, falls, post-operative care, stroke victims, Parkinson’s patients, sports injuries, neurological rehab, automobile- and work-related injuries and more.
“We go through exercises with the patients. It’s constant one-on-one supervision,” Hammond said. “We’re coaching them through the whole experience, and I think that makes us unique.”
He said empathy is part of his approach to physical therapy.
“We treat them the same way I would treat my mother. You have to have compassion.”
The Fenwick Island-based Barefoot Gardeners Club will be holding its annual plant sale this Saturday, to raise money for the club’s community outreach projects.
“We offer planters, planted containers, flowers, herbs, some vegetables, and succulents,” said Susan Caldwell, one of the club’s founders and its current president. “There will be people there from the club that can help buyers with what they may want to plant, to help them organize their container or help them put together a good combination of plants.”
The plant sale will be held Saturday, May 9, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine, in Fenwick Island, at the home of Vivian Jennings.
“We’re thankful for her making her property available for the sale,” said Caldwell. “She maintains her yard beautifully.”
Fenwick Wine Cellars will host a creative afternoon of wine and decorating lighted wine bottles with Vocal Vinyl on Sunday, May 24, at 12:30 p.m.
The $25 price of admission includes one lighted wine-bottle lamp, high quality outdoor pre-cut vinyl in beautiful colors and designs, and instruction from the owner of Vocal Vinyl to create an Ocean Devotion-themed bottle lamp to take home.
While Karimali for Hair may be offering some new services, including makeup and full body waxing at their new location in Fenwick Island, they’re still offering the same service that has made their customers feel like family for the past seven years.
“Most of my friends are my clients,” explained Gina Karimalis, who owns the shop with her husband, Costa. “They turn into my family. I maybe met them doing their hair, but they become my family.”
As a professional hairstylist in their area throughout her entire life — much like most of her entire staff, with which she has worked for just as long — to Karimalis, the inviting, family-like atmosphere is just the way it’s always been.
“You’d be surprised. This is a hangout,” she said. “To me, it just seems so normal.”
But with Karimalis working on both women’s and men’s hair, and even children’s hair, it’s not just the girls gabbing in the shop.
Fenwick Island Police Chief William Boyden offered a warning to local property owners at the April 24 town council meeting, noting that it had been discovered that criminals with reported connections to terrorism were using homes unoccupied during the winter as mail drops for credit and cash cards that had been obtained through identity and credit theft.
Mid-Atlantic survey first step in oil/gas drilling
Two Texas companies have requested permission to perform surveys off the Delaware coast for potential oil and gas reserves. GX Technology Corporation and Spectrum Geo Inc. applied for permits to do deep-penetration seismic surveys on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf.
Carlie Carey is excited beyond control.
It’s not hard to tell after walking through the door of her newly renovated restaurant, One Coastal in Fenwick Island, and being greeted with a high-five, a hug and unprecedented enthusiasm.
But she’s not just excited about last weekend’s grand re-opening event with the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce — she’s excited because of all the new happenings at One Coastal as they approach what will be their first full summer season in business, in which they’ll be able to see all of their off-season planning and changes come to fruition.
“We can’t wait to start the year,” said Carey. “This year we had time to hand-pick everything. Every menu item, every staff member, every piece of fruit or vegetable that goes into one of our juices — it’s all done on purpose. Our personality is shining through this year, and I am so proud that we have the staff to make that happen.”
Freeman Stage announces biggest season ever
In planning the star-studded lineup for the Freeman Stage at Bayside, Michelle Freeman said she wanted every performance to be something that she, her parents or her children would enjoy. And, with more than 50 performances being offered, the 2015 season hits that nail on the head, with a variety of music, dance, theater and children’s performances.
Zen Spa’s new “blowout bar” is now in operation near Fenwick Island, gaining recognition as the only one of its kind on Delmarva.
“This is different. There is nothing like this around here,” explained owner Stacey Wetzstein. “It’s a bigger-city thing. Everybody has a hairstylist at home. When you’re on vacation, come in. You’re going to get a fantastic wash. You’re going to get blown-out in style.”
The concept is so new and unique to the area that some customers have never ever heard of it, she said.
“A lot of people don’t know what a blowout bar is,” said Wetzstein, going on to explain that the basic service includes a shampoo, deep conditioning, head massage and then finally a “blowout” hair dry — for those heading out on the town or who just don’t want to do their own hair and makeup.
For pizza chef Ira Mensh, it’s all about the heat. And the ingredients. And, of course, the customer. But mostly, it’s about the brand new imported Italian rotating brick oven that is used to cook almost everything on the menu at his new pizzeria, Supremo, on Route 54.
“My pizza oven is the only one [of its kind] in the area,” explained Mensh. “I cook at 850 degrees — that’s the difference.”
With that kind of heat, Mensh can cook a pie in around three minutes, and up to 200 of them in an hour.
“It’s all about the temperature,” said Mensh, describing the oven as new technology with an old-school taste. “Most pizza places are conveyer belts. They cook about 500 degrees — 600 max if they’re lucky. Other brick ovens use wood. With my oven, with the spinning base of it, there’s never a cold spot.”
After the pizza is finished cooking, it goes on a special tray designed to let the steam out so the crust stays crispy. The process is so efficient that Supremo does everything to order — typically waiting until customers arrive to toss in their pie.
The love of your life has just kneeled on one knee and asked for your hand in marriage… But now what?
Many dream of having a beach wedding, where the vastness of the sea mirrors their love for one and other, but the logistics of planning can be difficult.
Enter Delaware Seaside Bride. With a website — DelawareSeasideBride.com — and yearly print magazine that will launch March 6, 2015, Delaware Seaside Bride will be your guide to planning your dream day, surrounded by the beauty of the Delaware beaches.
The Sussex County Council this week voted to defer any action following a public hearing for the planned Route 54 expansion of the Fenwick Island Sanitary Sewer District.
Fenwick Island officials will hold a workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 2 p.m. at town hall, to get input from the public on the proposed Chapter 88 flood-damage reduction ordinance that council members have been wrestling with for months.
There are many bars and restaurants in the area, but it’s a little harder for a local resident find a place where “everybody knows your name,” especially along the Route 54 corridor east of Selbyville. However, there’s a new spot for the locals to gather now that Yellowfin’s Bar & Grill has opened its doors in the Williamsville Shopping Center.
People passing through Fenwick Island may have noticed more shimmer and sparkle since Sophia’s Fine Jewelry opened its doors Dec. 4, 2014, offering one-of-a-kind jewelry, service, and most importantly, a chance to make precious memories.
A ground-breaking ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 13, for a new McDonald’s in Selbyville, to be owned and operated by The Meoli Companies. The site of the restaurant will be at 36218 Lighthouse Road, Selbyville, west of Fenwick on Rt. 54, in the new Bayside CVS parking lot.
The Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce’s offices were broken into recently, with an estimated $4,000 worth of electronics stolen.
“We were broken into,” said Executive Director Kristie Maravalli. “It happened overnight, and they got in through a back window. When we came in Monday (Dec. 29, 2014) and saw that it had happened we called the state police.”
This New Year’s Day, many people will flock to the beach in order to participate in the time-honored tradition of taking the plunge into the Atlantic Ocean to ring in 2015.
On Jan. 1, the Town of Fenwick Island will hold the Fenwick Freeze at the beach just off Bayard Street.
Those who wish to participate may on the register day of the event, between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. The cost is $25 per person, and participants will receive a Fenwick Freeze beach towel. Everyone will run into the ocean at 10:30 a.m.
Now in its 11th year, the Freeze supports the Fenwick Island Lifeguard National Competition Fund.
Tim Ferry, captain of the Fenwick Island Beach Patrol, said the swim used to support both the beach patrol and Sussex County EMS teams but now solely donates the money to the patrol.
When Pat Plocek considers the fact that Samaritan Thrift Shop gave the community $48,000 this year, he can only say, “That’s a lot of $1 and $2 pieces of clothing.”
Located in a simple Route 54 warehouse in Williamsville, the nonprofit shop is pleasant. Music is playing, clothes and jewelry are displayed, and Christmas decorations softly light the shop.
Just because they pay less, shoppers shouldn’t have less of a retail experience, said Plocek, who is serving as temporary manager.
“We’re here for the community. We’re not here to make money,” he said.
Samaritan Thrift Shop is ready in times of need. So, families suffering house fires can request a recommendation from their churches to shop Samaritan Thrift Shop for free.
But low-priced items are available for anyone on a tight budget.
The Carl M. Freeman Companies this week announced the official opening of CVS/pharmacy at Bayside Marketplace, located at the southwest corner of Route 54 and Americana Parkway, across from Bayside Marketplace. The 13,281-square-foot store opened Oct. 26 and offers pharmacy service, health, beauty and personal-care offerings, general merchandise, food and digital photo services.
Following up on the success of her first book, Fenwick Island resident Fran Hasson recently published her second novel, “Mothers and Other Strangers.” The book is a follow-up to her self-published first novel, “Allawe,” which follows Marla and Vern Alexander’s journey after Marla discovers a box of ashes that has washed up on shore — a story element sparked by a real-life local find.
In “Mothers and Other Strangers,” the story follows Vern Alexander, whose mother reveals a family secret from her hospital bed.
“It’s a story of rejection, guilt, motherly love and not-so-motherly love,” explained Hasson. “It’s based on a true story, just like ‘Allawe.’ This time, it’s based on a family secret and a family situation that eventually had a happy ending.”
After a close look at advertising, Fenwick Island Town Council agreed to adjust the terms of Lifeguard Stand Sponsorship in October.
By allowing businesses to advertise on lifeguard stands, the Town first made $13,000 in 2013. That dropped to $7,000 this summer.
Despite a seeming lack of building now, Fenwick Island’s Charter and Code Committee is brainstorming new business footprints for the future.
After Town Council recently rejected changes to commercial setbacks, it was back to the drawing board on Nov 3, with the concept of placing businesses right next to the road, with parking in the rear.
Every year, thousands of people agree: the Selbyville Halloween Parade is the place to be. The classic tradition will return Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m., once again sponsored by the Fenwick Island Lions Club and Town of Selbyville.
“I’m surprised at how many people say, ‘I was in that parade when I was a kid,’” organizer Fran Pretty has said in the past. “So I think that’s a testimony to how people look forward to it.”
People may line the streets from Town Hall to PNC Bank, where the judging and main performances occur.
Besides rocking out to several local high school bands, people can take in appearances by floats, gymnasts, candidates for public office, fire trucks, scout troops, pageant winners, farm equipment, classic cars and much more.
It was in May when Dawn McGee, owner of West Fenwick Island’s Smitty McGee’s, got an unsolicited email about PaintNite Delaware and its slogan, “Grab a Drink, Grab a Brush and Let the Fun Begin.”
“‘What do you think?’ I asked two older men, regular customers, who happened to be sitting at the bar,” recalled McGee. “And when they both agreed, ‘That’s a hit,’ I decided to follow up.”
McGee’s office is located on the side of the building adjacent to the Lucky Dining Room. Previously at this time of the year, after the crowds have left, the room was always quiet. “But now every Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon, I hear happy sounds of lots of people having a good time and laughing,” she said.
“I was surprised how many visitors came in the summer for the Thursday afternoon classes, as a break from the beach. Now the afternoon sessions provide a perfect activity for stay-at-home moms before the kids get home. And they all get to take home their own signed masterpiece,” she added.
PaintNite involves a social atmosphere in which an instructor and an assistant teach groups of people, seated at long tables, how to paint specifically designed paintings. Each participant starts with a blank 16-by-20-inch canvas on an easel, three different-sized brushes, a paper plate with squirts of the different colors of acrylic paint needed, a cup of water to clean the brushes… and a glass of one’s beverage of choice.
After another summer of the trek to the ocean being a little too tall of an order for some beachgoers, Tony Pratt of DNREC’s Shoreline & Waterway Management division stopped by Fenwick Island town hall on Sept. 26 to discuss dune maintenance with the town council. The core problem with maintaining beach accessibility, he said, is too much to do with too few resources.
The seventh annual Arts & Jazz Festival will hit the Freeman Stage at Bayside in West Fenwick this weekend, showcasing live jazz performances and local artists.