Women’s FEST 2015 is taking over Rehoboth Beach once again from April 9 to 12, 2015. It’s the 15th annual extravaganza of entertainment, connection, and community for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) women of all ages. Women’s FEST 2015 promises to deliver exactly what its name stands for: Fun, Entertainment, Spring, and Tradition. There is something for everyone: local tours; sporting events; concerts; and workshops on important topics like diet, health, relationships, and pet grooming.
Women’s FEST started out as a small conference in 2001 run by CAMP Rehoboth and has since grown to attract thousands of women from up and down the east coast. This year promises to be one of the best; the committee and volunteers behind Women’s FEST 2015 have worked hard on new entertainment and workshops. The entire weekend is packed with educational, social, and sporting opportunities to encourage all women to celebrate their lives, their love, and themselves.
From local musicians to national comedic sensations, Women’s FEST offers eclectic performances to please audiences of all ages and tastes. The weekend kicks off on Thursday, April 9 at the FEST Welcome Party featuring the musical styling of DJ Nan and Viki Dee at the Atlantic Sands Hotel Ballroom.
This year, Tagg is getting in on the fun as we celebrate the launch of Tagg Rehoboth Magazine at the FEST Welcome Party where the first issue will be available.
On Saturday, April 11, Christine Havrilla will perform for her third year at the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center. She says, “This event is important because it gives a creative, social, artistic, educational, fun, and supportive platform for women and friends to be together and kick off the spring!” Havrilla is a fan favorite and looks forward to releasing her next album Live Sessions with her band this year.
Additional entertainment includes comedy troupe Queer Queens of Qomedy, produced by Poppy Champlin. “I love CAMP Rehoboth and the folks there and I’m looking forward to playing the Convention Center,” Champlin says. The Queer Queens of Qomedy include Poppy Champlin, Jessica Kirson, and Mimi Gonzalez, three leading ladies of comedy who have received national acclaim for their witty routines.
At the center of Women’s FEST is a series of educational and social workshops geared toward encouraging women to become active, involved, and live healthier, happier lives. These workshops take place on Friday and Saturday at the Convention Center and are as diverse as the community they serve.
Topics include photography, gardening, moving to the beach, relationship building, financial literacy, vegetarianism, as well as writing and the arts. “The ‘Artisan Expo’ on Saturday is a wonderful way to experience local artists and musicians and to get a feel for what the Rehoboth community is all about,” says Nan Martino, also known as DJ Nan.
“The focus of ‘Buying at the Beach’ is to give women who are thinking of buying a vacation home or permanent home at the Delaware Beaches all the info they need to make the best possible purchase,” says Deb Griffin. She is co-running the workshop with business partner Celeste Beaupré. They will cover “everything from advantages of buying in Delaware to the Delaware purchase process, new construction vs. resale, the personality of each of the beach towns, investment properties, rentals and more.”
With the growing interest in plant-based diets, “Exploring Vegetarian Eating” offers attendees meaningful insights into health and wellness. Tara Sheldon of VegRehoboth who will be hosting the workshop with Patricia Haddock says, “On so many matters—from family health to global issues—women take the lead. Reducing meat consumption is one of those issues that has large consequences. When anyone chooses even one meat-free meal, they are truly making the world better.”
DJ Nan will run the kickoff party and the closing party. She says, “The free opening party is always packed and the Friday and Saturday entertainment is usually sold out. This whole event is a collaboration of several volunteers working with Camp Rehoboth to show off the best of the best in Rehoboth and our women’s community.”
This year, attendees can purchase tickets to all workshops and events using one convenient FEST Pass, which includes attendance to the workshops and one headlining event.
“One of the major changes we’ve brought to Women’s FEST this year is that women don’t have to individually sign up for workshops beforehand,” says Shelley Couch, Women’s FEST committee member and volunteer. “The volunteers and committee have worked extremely hard to simplify participation this year and provide an all-inclusive, diverse experience.” She and the other committee members expect over 2,000 women from the mid-Atlantic region to attend Women’s FEST 2015.