The entire town of Rehoboth Beach will become a big bear den the weekend of Sept. 20-23.
What does that mean? With a full roster of events and entertainment, this fourth annual weekend is becoming famous for its huge attendance and cool activities. It’s sponsored by the Rehoboth Beach Bears, a nonprofit organization that holds social events and fundraisers throughout the year.
To join the festivities, weekend passes ($115) are now available. Tickets for individual events are also on sale.
The weekend’s events include (but are not even remotely limited to) a TAILgate dance party, a beach party at Gordon’s Pond in Cape Henlopen State Park, a show by stand-up comic ANT and a closing party at the Purple Parrot. Plus, there are pub crawls, bear happy hours and more.
Weekend Pass holders also get a T-shirt, tote bag, a mimosa at the Sunday closing party and a wide selection of discounts from merchants and restaurants all over downtown Rehoboth.
There is no need to hibernate in the city with this line-up waiting at the beach. The weekend happens to coincide with the classic Delaware AIDS Walk through town and on the boardwalk.
Comedian ANT, who will perform that Saturday at the Atlantic Sands Hotel, is a veteran of late-night and TV’s “Last Comic Standing “and has appeared in a host of films. He has also been a VH1 commentator on “Best Week Ever” and “All-Access.”
In addition to all of the parties, meals and entertainment, an art exhibit called “Scratched” will be open at the CAMP Rehoboth Gallery. Created especially for Bear Weekend, this very “beary” art show features works by area artists depicting the bear/cub community. The show will be on display Sept. 2-25, with a reception Saturday, Sept. 22 from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Bear Weekend is not just for fun — it’s a charity fundraising event as well. Last year, organizers were able to get their paws on more than $8,500 for local charities, thanks to the weekend attendees and sponsors.
“When our bear group formed, the idea was that we’d be strictly a social group that got together for a monthly happy hour and other events like miniature golf, laser tag, beach gatherings and even a trip to the water park,” said one of the RB Bears founders, Kenny Mahan. “We soon decided that we’d become a nonprofit and raise money for worthy community organizations.”
Funds have been distributed to local foundations including the RB Film Society, CAMP Rehoboth, The Delaware Humane Association and, said Mahan, “the one that I am most proud of, The Cape Henlopen High School Gay-Straight Alliance Scholarship Fund.”
In addition to the annual weekend, the RB Bears offer events for the bear community, including a FURst Friday of the month at The Pond on FURst Street in Rehoboth Beach. This bear happy hour is also in its fourth year, with dozens of bears of all shapes, sizes and ages. Bear admirers are welcome.
For Rehoboth Beach Bear Weekend tickets, go to www.rehobothbeachbears.com.