When the storm of 1962 destroyed many of the businesses that kept Sea Isle City buzzing, the town knew it had to show South Jersey that it was still a great place to shop, dine and visit. So, in the summer of 1963, the Tourism Commission came up with Skimmer Festival.

“The storm of ’62 devastated the coastline, and the Skimmer Festival was meant to be a reminder that following summer that the city was open for business,” says Katherine Custer, director of the Department of Community Services, Public Relations, Recreation and Tourism of Sea Isle City.

Now the two-day festival is Sea Isle’s biggest summer celebration, bringing hundreds of vendors, activities and dining options to the town. It takes place 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 16, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, June 17.

Highlights on Saturday include the Seaside Vendor Craft Market along the Promenade, the Skimmer Food Court in front of Excursion Park, and live music by the Philly Blue Soul Band, free amusement rides and family events at Excursion Park. Kids will enjoy the new art station, where they can express their creative side, along with a family photo booth, face painting, roaming characters and a “waxy hand” area, where kids can get a wax mold of their hands.

Skimmer Fest continues on Sunday with a slew of events perfect for Father’s Day. The Antique Auto Show and competition will line the Promenade from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and The Snake Brothers Band will perform there from 10 a.m. to noon. The auto show wraps up with a trophy presentation for the winners of the show at 1 p.m., after which the vehicles will parade through the town.

All the while, trolley tours led by the Sea Isle City Historical Society will take off from Excursion Park.

As children, our dads impressed us by downing glasses of brown liquid that smelt like rubbin…

The two full days of festivities come together to form one of Sea Isle City’s most beloved celebrations.

“It’s right at the beginning of summer, and it’s a great way to kick it off,” Custer says. “People enjoy strolling along the seaside market, and families with children like the Excursion Park … It’s a really fun event that offers something for everyone.”

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