By MADDY VITALE
When cancellations of concerts, events, gatherings, and sports seem have become the new reality in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a brighter side.
Instead of focusing on what isn’t going on, Sea Isle City is offering vacationers and residents a host of family-friendly activities that can be done safely, while social distancing and soaking up the summer weather.
A popular summer feature for families to escape the indoors for some outdoor entertainment are the weekly “Movies Under The Stars.”
The best part about it is, besides lounging on chairs watching a favorite movie, is that they are free.
The movies take place at the Excursion Park Band Shell each Friday evening at dusk through Sept. 4. All people have to do is bring a beach blanket or folding chair and relax on the park’s lawn in comfort.
“The city is very happy that we are able to provide our weekly family movies, despite the pandemic,” said Sea Isle Public Information Officer Katherine Custer.
They also leave a lot of room — literally — for social distancing.
“Traditionally, our movies are not as widely attended as our Saturday night concerts, so that leaves more room for people to spread out on the lawn at Excursion Park and practice social distancing,” Custer noted. “We have a nice lineup of family movies this summer, so we hope that families enjoy them.”
And for anyone looking to buy locally grown fruits and veggies, crafts and more, there is the Farmers Market every Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Sept. 1 at Excursion park.
“The Chamber of Commerce worked closely with the city to create a map of Excursion Park so that the vendors could safely spread apart and shoppers could still enjoy making purchases of famous Jersey Fresh produce, crafts and other items,” Custer pointed out.
Guided beachcombing tours are a longtime favorite of Sea Isle’s visitors and residents each summer.
The tour guides offer an education in marine life, wildlife, the ocean and the beaches to children and adults alike. People meet up Tuesdays at 29th Street and the Promenade and Thursdays at Townsends Inlet Waterfront Park at 94th Street.
Each beachcombing tour is from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., and families can take turns uncovering hidden shore treasures in the sands.
“It is a really nice event,” Custer said.
As the summer winds down, there are many events still tentatively scheduled for the fall. However, Custer emphasized that with COVID-19, things could change from day to day.
The Fall Festival Vendors Market along the Promenade, which packs a crowd year after year, was canceled for this September due to social distancing concerns.
However, Sea Isle Mayor Leonard Desiderio decided to offer guests something else that could take its place and give people enjoyment just the same.
He detailed the replacement event in his Mayor’s Message: “I am inviting all Sea Isle City businesses to participate in a city-wide Sidewalk Sale on Saturday, Sept 19,” he said.
In addition, Desiderio said that an antique car show will be held along the Promenade on Sept. 20.
Details about that event will be shared in the weeks ahead, he noted.
Custer and Desiderio expressed similar feelings in these difficult times.
“We are doing our best to make the most of a challenging time and we are very thankful for the cooperation we got from the city of Sea Isle City,” Custer said.
For more information about Sea Isle City and the events offered through the summer and fall go to visitsicnj.com.