First, SugarHouse casino in Philadelphia took Atlantic City’s gamblers—or at least a good number of them. Now, SugarHouse wants the beach-goers, too.
The casino along the Delaware River just north of the Ben Franklin Bridge announced a nine-day beach season for the Philly casino beginning on June 30 and continuing through July 8 for the Fourth of July celebration.
To make SugarBeach happen, the casino is bringing in 100 tons of sand arranged across a 7,000 square-foot space, more than 30 live Florida palm trees, outdoor tiki bars and dozens of Adirondack chairs and umbrellas for lounging.
SugarBeach will feature beach-themed games, food, music, contests, activities and prizes from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturdays.
Here’s the calendar.
Hawaiian Kick-off Party — Saturday, June 30
The SugarBeach celebrations will kick-off with a Hawaiian lei-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m., declaring the beach open for all guests with a performance by the Dane Anthony Band.
Beach specials will include $2 shoyu chicken satay, $3 grilled shrimp and tropical fruit skewers, $4 pulled pork and grilled pineapple sandwiches, and much more.
Later in the day, Steve Morrison and Marisa Magnatta from WMMR’s Preston and Steve Show will be on-site to host a search for the best bikini body of the summer with the Miss SugarBeach Bikini Contest, followed by a meet-and-greet with guests.
In the evening, there will be an authentic Hawaiian luau featuring hula dancers and dance lessons, fire-eaters and a drum band. Additionally, guests are invited to take a seat on The Waterfront at SugarHouse for the best view of the Penn’s Landing fireworks show at 10 p.m.
Funkybone Band, pop/rock, perform, 10:15 p.m.-1 a.m.
Sand & Sea Day — Sunday, July 1
Reggae bands will play throughout the day at SugarBeach, including a Bob Marley cover band in the evening. The beach menu including specialties from Jose Garces’ popular Guapos Tacos Truck, and an expert sand sculptor take shape throughout the day. Matthew Deibert, from Sandcreation, is the 2012 Winner of the Travel Channel’s “Sand Wars.”
The Delaware River will roar with two shows from eight-time world freestyle Jet Ski champion, Eric Malone, along with Ramboo Rosie and Typhoon Tommy. The talented riders will perform free-style tricks including headstands, flips and nosedives.
Alzonia Johnson & Steel Source (reggae): 2—6 p.m.
Bob Marley Cover Band: 6—9 p.m.
Beach Kites & Karaoke — Monday, July 2
Live Kite Show.
Food specials include $2 corn dogs and pretzel dogs, $3 Italian sausage, $2 funnel cake fries and more.
Bobby Lynch Trivia and Karaoke, 5-9 p.m.
Shark Night — Tuesday, July 3
Outdoor showing of the movie classic, “Jaws,” on an inflatable movie screen as part of the SugarBeach Shark Night. The movie screening will feature the Blu-ray version of “Jaws”.
Prior to the showing, Big Daddy Graham Quizzo will host beach trivia, 5-6:30 p.m.
Food specials on LandShark lager, $5 chum buckets (steamers) and $3 popcorn crab claws.
Stellar Mojo, party/rock, 10:30 p.m.—1 a.m.
Made in America Celebration — Wednesday, July 4
Jerry Blavat, the Geator with the Heater, celebrate the country’s and his own birthday with an “American Bandstand” Birthday Celebration. Blavat will lead and judge a Bandstand-inspired dance contest starting at 6 p.m. Guests will receive birthday swag, as well as free cake in honor of everyone’s favorite DJ.
Earlier in the afternoon, there’s “Art in Action” with Brian Olsen, who uses his fingertips, palms, elbows and up to three brushes in each hand to paint portraits of famous people, including American legends, on a four-and-a-half by six-foot canvas in just a matter of minutes. His creations are choreographed to music.
3AM, pop/rock, 7-10 p.m.
“Out” on the River — Thursday, July 5
“Sandy Beach,” a well-known celebrity in the Philadelphia LGBT community, will host “Out” on the River on Thursday, July 5. With hours of games and activities leading up to the crowning of Miss’d SugarHouse, special events will include a game of rainbow Twister on an inflatable 12-foot-square board, beach blanket bingo, a drag hula hoop contest and an Annette & Frankie look-alike contest.
Food specials include a $5 fried handbag, which includes popcorn shrimp, boneless wings and fries.
Dance Around the World — Friday, July 6
Free salsa lessons at SugarHouse. Eddie Bruce & Friends will perform South African and Latin inspired music to help visitors dance their way around the world. Later, DiCupe’ II International Dance Party will play music perfect for practicing your newly acquired salsa skills.
Food specials include $2 steamed empanadas and $4 jerk chicken sandwiches.
Parrot Head Party — Saturday, July 7
It’s Jimmy Buffett day on Saturday. Guests are invited to wear their favorite grass skirt and parrot head and hit SugarBeach like it’s five o’clock in Margaritaville.
Food specials include cheeseburgers for $4 in the SugarBeach paradise, and there’s an evening eating contest at 6 p.m. for a chance to win two tickets to a Jimmy Buffett concert later this summer.
The Verdict, island music/reggae, 2-6 p.m.
Live DJ, 6-9 p.m.
Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band, 9 p.m.- a.m.
SugarBeach Fashion Show — Sunday, July 8
The casino holds its first-ever fashion show at 2 p.m. on SugarBeach, presented by Macy’s. Swimwear and resort apparel show will be preceded by a charity brunch. Tickets are $25 in advance, while supplies last, and all proceeds will benefit the charity partner. Tickets will include brunch at noon, a gift bag with $10 free slot play, a chance to win a fragrance gift basket from Macy’s and access to prime fashion show seating.
SugarBeach Grand Prize Winners Announced (prizes include his and her wave runners, a trip to Cancun, free slot play and more): 3—8 p.m. (every half hour)
Beach Boy Cover Band, 5-9 p.m.
The SugarBeach schedule is weather permitting and subject to change. For a full list of events, promotions and food and beverage specials throughout Fourth of July week, visit www.sugarhousecasino.com.
Image: Salvatore Vuono