A recent picture of Mayor Len Desiderio with some of Sea Isle City's First Responders.

For many local residents, the autumn season is the perfect time to re-connect with neighbors and friends – and to celebrate special occasions.  Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a gathering for a much-loved resident who was celebrating his 90th birthday, Dave Barry. To commemorate his milestone year, Mr. Barry was joined by more than 100 family members and friends, who were very happy to wish him well and shower him with love. To thank Mr. Barry for his many years of community service, I was pleased to proclaim October 15, 2017 as “Dave Barry Day” in Sea Isle City – and I look forward to honoring him again in ten years on his 100th birthday. Happy 90th Dave!

If you were in town on October 20, I hope you were able to attend this year’s Halloween Parade, which was great fun for all! The parade featured live music and strolling entertainers along with many well-attired families, students and other participants who were eager to celebrate Halloween in our community. Even the Phillies Phanatic was there to make everyone smile and laugh!  My thanks go to the City’s Division of Recreation for hosting another successful Halloween Parade – and our annual Halloween Dance Party, which took place immediately afterwards at Excursion Park.

If you attended our Halloween Parade, I hope you were also able to enjoy this year’s Octoberfest celebration, which was hosted by the Sea Isle City Chamber of Commerce and Revitalization.  Like the Halloween Parade the night before, Octoberfest was also well attended by families who enjoyed an abundance of seasonal fun.  Earlier this autumn, the Chamber of Commerce also hosted their annual “Around the World Social,” which took place at Braca Café on October 13. During this year’s Social, the Chamber honored local realtor and past Chamber Vice-President Bill Buchanan, who was declared the recipient of this year’s Founders Award, which honors “Excellence in Community Service.” Congratulations Bill!

In other news, I am happy to announce that The Philadelphia Business Journal has named Sea Isle City property owner Joe Griffies as one of their “2017 Veterans of Influence.” Joe, who hosts a weekly radio broadcast called “The Welcome Home Show” each Saturday afternoon on WIBG, will be honored at an awards ceremony in Philly next month and he will also be featured in a special section of The Philadelphia Business Journal on November 10 (online and in print). Congratulations Joe!

And, the good news keeps coming – especially for those who enjoy a great meal! This week we learned that the website has included Sea Isle City on their list of “The 12 Best Little Food Towns In New Jersey You Need To Explore Before They Get Too Popular.” In their description of our town’s eateries, they said “Sea Isle City is a seafood lover’s dream,” and they also mention some great places to find deli sandwiches, pizza and Italian cuisine, comfort food and desserts. Naturally, this comes as no surprise to those of us who regularly enjoy Sea Isle’s wonderful restaurants, nonetheless we are very happy to spread the word about the “Sea Isle Dining Experience!”

Looking ahead, if you plan to celebrate Halloween in Sea Isle City, please be aware that Trick-or-Treating takes place on October 31 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Also, don’t forget that Election Day is Tuesday, November 7.  As always, I encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote – no matter who your candidate of choice is. Remember, there are citizens in countries all around the world, who would pay dearly for the opportunity to live in a democratic nation.  Yet, for some reason, only an estimated 53% of United States residents vote each November.  With that in mind, please don’t forget the words of President Abraham Lincoln, who said: “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”

This week’s “Shout Out” goes to Sea Isle City resident Caroline Byrne, who was elected Ocean City High School’s 2017 Homecoming Queen on October 20.  Anyone who has ever met Caroline can easily understand why she has received this impressive distinction. In addition to being an honor student who is taking five advanced placement classes this year, Caroline is also the President of the OCHS Drama Guild, a member of the OCHS Marching Band (where she serves as Section Leader of Low Brass), and she is a life-long Girl Scout who is still active with scouting.  Caroline hopes to attend college in the United Kingdom next year, where I am sure she will honorably represent her family and our nation. My congratulations go to Caroline and her parents, Neil and Ellen Byrne, on this wonderful occasion!

Smile…You’re in Sea Isle!

Mayor Leonard C. Desiderio