By MADDY VITALE
Sea Isle City has long been called “Delaware County East” or “Delco East.”
The ties between the shore town and Philadelphia suburb seem to grow with each tourism season, in part because many of the visitors to the beach town are from Delaware County. And more than ever “Delco” homeowners are buying residences in Sea Isle to enjoy as a vacation home.
The relationship between both communities has even brought the Chambers together of Delaware County and Sea Isle City.
“Delco Down the Shore” is a mixer first held in 2018 at Kix McNutley’s bar and entertainment complex and another successful event in 2019.
After two years on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the popular mixer is back at Kix, 120 63rd Street. It will include live music, food and networking on Thursday, July 21 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
“Our role as a Chamber is to meet the other visitors in Sea Isle. It is a nice way to network. It is always good to know people and build a relationship in a nice, relaxed atmosphere,” explained Trish McFarland, president of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce. “The mixer is open to everyone. It is a fun, relaxed event. If you are on vacation and in the beautiful town of Sea Isle, you could see some familiar faces from home.”
McFarland noted in an interview with SeaIsleNews.com Thursday, that Delaware County businessman Mike Brady, who has a home in Sea Isle, came up with the idea for the event several years ago.
Both McFarland and Brady believe that the event will lead to more tourism and business for both Sea Isle and Delaware County.
“As a Chamber, the bottom line is to drive business. For Sea Isle, it is to drive tourism. It really is an event to welcome everyone to join and show we are stronger together,” McFarland said.
Brady and his wife, Annette, have owned a home in Sea Isle for the past nine years. He said in an interview Thursday that their three children, Brielle, 7, Audra, 6, and Eliana, 3, enjoy spending their summers in Sea Isle.
He added that when he approached Sea Isle Mayor Leonard Desiderio, owner of Kix, about holding the mixer this year, the mayor was happy to oblige.
“I called the mayor a couple of weeks ago about it and within five minutes the event is planned,” Brady said. “He was the first person to welcome me and my family to Sea Isle. He and his family are just great people.”
Brady said that many business owners in Delaware County have vacation homes in Sea Isle and while they are on vacation, they may be looking for business opportunities or partnerships, which could ultimately benefit Sea Isle, he said.
“We are expecting around 80 people,” he said. “We know people are starving for the opportunity to reconnect so we believe this will be the best year yet. This will definitely be an annual event.”
He explained why he believes so many tourists from Delaware County vacation in Sea Isle and even make their second home in the resort.
“I think Delaware County is an everyman’s town. There is an incredible mixture and melting pot of people and socio-economic backgrounds,” Brady said. “I feel that Sea Isle is like that at the shore. We kind of occupy the town. We have made some of our closest family friends in Sea Isle who we didn’t even know were from Delaware County. It is really amazing.”