As Wicomico County prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary, The Daily Times and DelmarvaNow.com will offer nine days of coverage, much of it recalling where we were 150 years ago and recounting the journey through time that brought us to where we are today. Wochit
An inside look at this year's event. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Larry Parsons grew up in the restaurant business and eventually decided to his own. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Big Oyster Brewery's expansion in Lewes will increase production by 2,500 barrels Produced by Megan Raymond
Pico Taqueria offers freshly made tortillas, with a variety of different toppings and is open during Chincoteague's summer season. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Joe KroArt, Ocean Gallery, was honored by Maryland's Comptroller Peter Franchot Produced by Megan Raymond
The William E. Morgan Conservation Center will offer reptiles, amphibians and conservation programs. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
OC Painting Experience brought to you by T.C. Studios is a place for locals and visitors to learn about painting. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
In Ocean City, Italian bistro Ripieno's specializes in big portions, including its 28-inch large pizza. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
Zap Pro/Am World Championships of Skimboarding held its semi-finals on Friday, August 11, 2017 at Dewey Beach, Del. Produced by Megan Raymond
Hamboards allow riders to surf while on land. Here's what Don Sandusky, owner and general manager of the co., had to say about the newest model. Produced by Gray Hughes
Chef Cameron arguably Delaware's best chef, is quite literally a walking cookbook. His body and his brain are filled with the thousands of books he's read and the hundreds of places he's traveled to learn global cuisine. Produced by Megan Raymond
OC BBQ, which replaced OC Steamers, opened in May and provided a southern barbecue restaurant at the changing 45th Street Village. Wochit
An inside look at this year's event. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Vineyard Wine Bar and Bistro is providing an upscale food and wine experience at the beach. Wochit
The new space will include an expanded dining area, fire pits, cornhole and a viewing area where customers can observe the brewing process. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Pony Penning begins with southern and northern roundups on Assateague, the swim to Chincoteague on July 26 followed by the auction on July 27 and capped with the swim back. Wochit/Produced by Kamlesh Desai
Known for their crab cakes, Drum Point Market has gained attention from travelers from all over the country. Produced by Ralph Musthaler and Ben Penserga
A band of wild ponies gallops on Assateague Island. Video courtesy of DSC photography. Darcy Cole, DSC photography
Barn 34 in Ocean City puts the family in family restaurants. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
Highlights from the 2017 Berlin Bathtub Races. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
What's percolating in the world of coffee and coffee shops? Pemberton Coffeehouse is set to open in Salisbury — again. Deborah Gates
Chef Chris Parks has elevated the cuisine at Lupo in Rehoboth over the last few years. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
The 10th Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest at Fish Tales in Ocean City ended with a new winner being crowned!
Delmarvanow.com asks beach visitors about their favorite activities on the Fourth of July. Produced by Megan Raymond
The restaurant offers seafood, speciality pizzas and more to customers. Produced by Meg Ryan
Chris Clare went from a small town ballplayer to a minor-league All-Star. Wochit
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot has been touring breweries in Maryland to learn about their economic impact on their respective communities. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
Alan Goldsborough of Crisfield and daughter, Heather, have opened Shipwrecked Seafood at Route 50 and Main Street in Berlin. Live, steamed and softshells to go! Deborah Gates
Ropewalk Chincoteague offers waterfront dining, a tiki bar and more. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Near perfect weather made for an exciting air show. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Gilligan's, on the canal waterfront in Lewes, reopened after an off-season remodel. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
Indigo in Rehoboth, a new restaurant, is one of the Delaware beach area's only Indian restaurants. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
Roadie Joe's owner talks about how his business has grown along with Salisbury. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
High Stakes Bar & Grill in Fenwick Island recently renovated. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
Rare & Rye Owner Sal Fasano describes the newest hotel restaurant in OC Produced by Megan Raymond
SoDel's Scott Kammerer at the newest Bluecoast Seafood Grill and Raw Bar Produced by Megan Raymond
Salisbury will play host to a major festival and tourism draw next year that is expected to bring in tens of millions of dollars to the city. Video by Keith Demko
Peter and Linda Roskovich's family beach home will be featured on HGTV's "Beachfront Bargin Hunt: Renovation" Produced by Megan Raymond
Take a virtual walk along the Ocean City Boardwalk while checking out some of the sounds and sights. Produced by Gray Hughes
Burley Oak Brewing Company is aiming for a July opening for a new, coffee-inspired cafe in downtown Berlin. Wochit
Local fans of HGTV’s television show, “House Hunters,” will soon see their hometown in an upcoming episode. Wochit
Downtown Salisbury Festival returns June 2-4 with with carnival rides, food vendors, craft beer, a full entertainment lineup and local vendors. Wochit
- WATCH: Recalling Wicomico County's 150th Anniversary
- WATCH: Scenes from 58th Annual Skipjack Race
- WATCH: Woody's Beach BBQ owner keeps it simple
- WATCH: Big Oyster Brewery to open in Lewes
- WATCH: Pico Taqueria brings Mexican American fare to Chincoteague
- WATCH: Ocean Gallery honored by Maryland Comptroller
- WATCH: Salisbury Zoo cuts ribbon for new conservation center
- WATCH: Local art studio offers visitors a chance to relax and paint
- WATCH: Ripieno's in Ocean City does big portions
- WATCH: Zap Pro/Am World Championships of Skimboarding semi-finals
- WATCH: Surf on land with Hamboards
- WATCH: Chef's Corner- Chef Hari Cameron a(muse.)
- WATCH: OC BBQ offers Southern eats in a former seafood restaurant
- WATCH: Scenes from the 41st annual J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake
- WATCH: A new wine experience in Rehoboth
- WATCH: Evolution plans outdoor expansion with green space
- Pony Penning 2017: What to expect
- WATCH: Smith Island store draws people from afar
- Chincoteague ponies kick up their heels
- WATCH: Barn 34 in Ocean City a family affair
- WATCH: Scenes from the 28th Bathub Races
- WATCH: Pemberton Coffeehouse set to reopen
- WATCH: Chef Chris Parks shining at Lupo in Rehoboth
- WATCH: 10th Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest at Fish Tales in Ocean City
- WATCH: What is your favorite thing to do on the Fourth?
- WATCH: Buxy's owner expands business footprint with newly opened Dry Dock 28
- WATCH: Shorebirds All-Star sets the bar high
- WATCH: Comptroller Franchot rallying craft beer industry
- WATCH: Shipwrecked in Berlin
- WATCH: Ropewalk Chincoteague brings waterfront dining to both locals and visitors
- WATCH: Air Show draws a big crowd to Ocean City
- WATCH: Gilligan's in Lewes opens after remodel
- WATCH: Indigo in Rehoboth serves rare Indian cuisine
- WATCH: Roadie Joe's serves up sophisticated pub fare
- WATCH: High Stakes renovates in Fenwick
- WATCH: Rare & Rye isn't the average hotel restaurant
- WATCH: SoDel's Bluecoast Seafood Grill open in Rehoboth
- WATCH: Salisbury lands National Folk Festival starting in 2018
- WATCH: HGTV Beachfront Bargin Hunt comes to Ocean City
- WATCH: Sights and sounds of the Ocean City Boardwawlk
- WATCH: Burley Oak to open cafe in Berlin
- WATCH: Couple brings 'House Hunters' to Salisbury
- Downtown Salisbury Festival
Sundance began in 1988 as a 10-year anniversary party for Steve Elkins and his partner, Murray Archibald.
It was also the first major benefit in Rehoboth Beach to assist people living with AIDS, then a burgeoning crisis. Longtime attendee Sondra Arkin of Washington, D.C., said the gay community and their allies were looking for ways to support those living with AIDS.
“That was an important factor for us to find that support," she said.
Now, Sundance has consistently raised six-figure sums in recent years, hitting a high of $196,000 several years ago.
The 30th Sundance is coming to Rehoboth Beach this weekend, Sept. 2 and 3. Tickets are $45 for one night or $80 for both and can be purchased at camprehoboth.com or by calling 302-227-5620.
And, from its earliest days, Sundance was something else, too: A party like southern Delaware rarely saw.
“It changes the (Rehoboth Mall) into a Studio 54, hot Manhattan club,” said Fay Jacobs of Rehoboth Beach.
That combination of celebration and philanthropy has continued over the decades, creating something of a timeless party that has stayed the same even as biggest fans have changed.
Some dance into the morning hours, but some, Jacobs included, no longer have that stamina.
“By that time I’m home and in bed,” she said.
Sundance a CAMP tradition
The story of Sundance is intertwined with that of CAMP Rehoboth, a nonprofit that started in 1991 with the goal, Elkins said, of building a better and safer community for everyone. Elkins is the group’s executive director, and his partner, Archibald, is the head of its board.
When the group started, hate crimes were a not uncommon occurrence.
“It’s not quite as bad as it was 25 years ago,” Elkins said, though “every once in awhile, homophobia will rear its ugly head.”
Its current focus on community-building is something of a mark of progress itself. Sundance now benefits CAMP Rehoboth.
“The kind of advocacy that CAMP does now wasn’t on our radars then,” said Arkin, the long-time volunteer.
Cocktail party, then dance
Sundance is a two-day event with a reliable formula: Saturday evening is more sedate, with a cocktail party and auctions.
“The next day, we transform the place into a New York night club,” Elkins said.
He said the auction night usually draws about 700 people, with about 1,000 for the dance night.
Sundance, long held at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center, was moved to the Rehoboth Mall last year while the center was renovated. That renovation is ongoing, so the event will once again be held at the largely vacant mall, which will be turned into “an absolutely gorgeous place,” Jacobs said.
Last year, the silent auction contained about 600 items, which makes up a bulk of the event’s charitable contributions.
Jacobs helped write the descriptions.
“Some of it’s funny, some of it’s fun, some of it’s very gay,” she said.
This year, the auction will include an Alaskan cruise, a week in Hawaii for four and a set of diamond and pearl earrings valued at $7,000.
“Because it’s charity, people aren’t looking for deals,” she said. “They bid (the items) up.”
On Sunday, the mall will be turned into a nightclub. As Arkin describes it, the appeal is inseparable from the camaraderie.
“It’s very fun to be in a dance where you can dance in a complete circle and know everybody,” she said. “It’s like being at a wedding where you’re with family and friends. That’s what this is on a really big scale.”
Though there is plenty of parking on site, organizers will also be running free shuttle buses from downtown to the mall.
“If you think you’re going to drink a lot, Uber over,” Arkin said.
Especially for its longest devotees, Sundance has a timelessness about it, even if they themselves do not.
When Arkin attended the first one, she was in her 30s, and “at that part of young adulthood where things start looking more boring and you’re not going out.”
“As the years draw on, we go out even less,” Arkin said.
Sundance, though, has stayed the same.
“Year after year, we made a big spectacular party that we would want to go to," she said.