Sundance Evolves into Sun Festival 2021
Born as a one-night dance, it’s now a week of festivities.
Ticket Sales are OPEN NOW for CAMP Rehoboth Members Only
for SUN FESTIVAL 2021!
General Public Tickets will go on sale on Friday, July 23rd.
*** Members should check their emails for the special message sent the weekend of July 17th for the Link.
The hugely popular annual Labor Day weekend celebration and fundraiser needed for CAMP Rehoboth’s essential health, wellness, arts, and advocacy programming is on! Sun Festival, formerly known as Sundance, is among the largest and most spectacular events held in Rehoboth Beach and the entire southern Delaware area.
Regarded as one of the most respected and successful nonprofit organizations in Delaware for more than 30 years, CAMP Rehoboth’s annual Labor Day festivities have been more than just an event. They were places to embrace long-time friends, meet new people and celebrate diversity and inclusiveness. Now, after live, in-person events had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 in 2020, and inspired by community enthusiasm, the event has transformed into Sun Festival 2021, a week-long, multiple-event, annual celebration, this year August 29-September 5. Ticket prices for the main events range from $35 to $500, and the fun will kick off on Sunday, August 29th with the annual 5K Racing Festival.
“We are excited to be expanding on the weekend by increasing the number of events during the week and bringing high-quality performers for the weekend portion of the festivities—Broadway star Jennifer Holliday, and the Skivvies,” said CAMP Rehoboth Board member, Mike DeFlavia.
Following CDC guidelines and capacity limits, combined with the planning time needed for a dance that lived up to past events, the CAMP Rehoboth Board members made the difficult decision to forgo a dance at the Convention Center this year. “But don’t worry, you can still get into your dance-trance,” said Anita Broccolino, Development Director at CAMP Rehoboth. “We are in the planning stages to host at least one, and possibly two dances during the week, a women-specific activity or two, in addition to multiple other activities and experiences we trust will appeal to a variety of interests and tastes. All of those will lead up to the big-name weekend entertainment.”
Music is a key part of CAMP Rehoboth’s Labor Day activities, and Sun Festival 2021 will be no different. Friday night, September 3, will bring a return appearance by the Skivvies—Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley—singer/actor/musicians performing stripped-down arrangements of eclectic covers and eccentric originals. “Not only is the music stripped down—cello, ukulele, glockenspiel, melodica,” said DeFlavia, “but the Skivvies musicians literally strip down to their underwear to perform.” The Skivvies will perform with special guests: Randy Harrison (Justin Taylor from Queer as Folk) and Diana Huey (who played Ariel in the national tour of Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Kim in Miss Saigon).
“Then Saturday night, September 4, we bring Broadway to the beach with an appearance and performance by Tony Award winner Jennifer Holliday, a member of the original Broadway cast of Dreamgirls,” DeFlavia said.
“Labor Day weekend has always been a keystone time for CAMP Rehoboth,” said CAMP Rehoboth Executive Director David Mariner. “Sun Festival builds and expands on that strong Sundance tradition started by our founders: Murray Archibald and the late Steve Elkins with their legions of volunteers. Our goal is to bring in more diversity of participation, more excitement, and ultimately more funds in support of our essential services to the community.” Mariner said the addition of some virtual events will make Sun Festival 2021 accessible to a wider audience, including people not able to be in Rehoboth Beach or comfortable being back out in public settings. “It’s a major change,” added Board Chair Chris Beagle, “but what will never change is the essence of Sundance—a celebration of community, life, and friendships.”
The event was born in 1987 in response to the devastation that the AIDS epidemic was causing in the gay community. It was a single-night event—an AIDS fund-raising anniversary dance party organized by CAMP Rehoboth founders Steve Elkins and Murray Archibald. Years later, a second day was added—with a 5K race and an auction that helped raise additional funds and invited broader participation. In 2018, an early evening tea dance was added. All was well until the pandemic hit. There was no dance in 2020. The auction moved online. The need for safety spurred innovative, new virtual events. These changes paved the way for a new week-long celebration: Sun Festival 2021.
Sun Festival will continue to rely on the generosity of the community, local businesses, its hosts, and sponsors to fund the events and make it possible to bring in top-level talent like the Skivvies and Jennifer Holliday. “It’s a win-win,” said Natalie Moss, a Founders’ Circle member and Board member of CAMP Rehoboth. “We will still have the incredible online auction, and this year the ability to add a select few Live Auction items, thanks to the Convention Center events. Hosts and sponsors will allow us to provide exceptional entertainment, and have the satisfaction of contributing to their community, all while gaining widespread visibility for their generosity.” Sponsorships are available for $1,000 up to $10,000. “Stay tuned for volunteer opportunities, too,” Broccolino added. “We cannot do this without the numerous and dedicated crew of talented volunteers we have always had.”
If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, Broccolino asks that you reach out to her as soon as possible for maximum visibility.
More information about Sun Festival 2021 events will be announced in the upcoming weeks and posted at camprehoboth.com. To learn about volunteering, hosting, and sponsorship opportunities, call Anita Broccolino at 302-227-5620 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check your email for the link to PURCHASE TICKETS NOW.
If you would like to become a member of CAMP Rehoboth, please contact the office or go online to do so and then send an email to: email@example.com, and a Ticket Link will be sent to you once membership payment is received.
All proceeds from Sun Festival 2021 benefit CAMP Rehoboth, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and support the health, wellness, and arts activities and programs it provides to the Rehoboth community, all of Sussex County, and beyond. Events will be added and announced throughout the summer. For more information, go to camprehoboth.com. ▼