Stores, Restaurants Anticipate Seawitch Festivities and Economy Boom
Every year, volunteers at All Saints say with the Seawitch festivities comes a major customer boost. That is because people are looking for the best Halloween costume bargain, and it's not the only reason people visit the store during Seawitch. "The parking gets a little bit tight in town so they park here and walk over so when they come back to get their cars, then they shop," said William Schatzabel, a volunteer with the store.
And William is right - nearby businesses on Rehoboth Avenue say they expect a flood of folks in their stores during the parades and events. "This entire street gets mobbed with people - it's a huge festival. There's so many planned activities that attract people - I'm sure we'll be quite busy," said workers with the Spice and Tea Exchange on Rehoboth Avenue.
WRDE spoke with local businesses at Rehoboth beach, preparing for Seawitch - three days of Ghouls, Goblins, and fun, and even got to get a taste of the preparations.
One restaurant manager says he likes to meet and greet the near 150,000 festival goers. "Well, the Seawitch festival is a wonderful opportunity for us to meet the public - the folks who live in Rehoboth, as well as the visitors who come from out of town," said David Shaheem, a Dolle's manager.
Though many stores and restaurants are excited for the festivities, one shop says they wish the festival was set up differently than it is currently. "It causes major traffic. It's hard for locals to get in and out of town. and it kinda hinders business a tiny bit for us because they block off the circle and have vendors set up," said Jen Gromis with Louie's Pizza.
Despite traffic, city officials say Seawitch is great for the local community and are already preparing for Seawitch 2017.
"Next year is Count Crabula!" said Carol Everhart, the CEO and President of the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Chamber of Commerce.