‘We love Sunset Beach, Open Sunset Beach!’: Dozens rally to reopen Sunset Beach

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SUNSET BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Dozens of protesters sent a clear message Saturday afternoon.

“We love Sunset Beach! Open Sunset Beach! Open Sunset Beach!” the crowd chanted.

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One group organized a demonstration in the town.

It began outside Dave’s Outpost, then made its way across the bridge in front of the LED sign that reads “Beach Closed.”

“Our group advocates for the safe and swift reopening of the beach,” Ginny Qualia said.

“Open Sunset Beach, hey! Open Sunset Beach, hey! Healthy baby, healthy!” demonstrators chanted.

Qualia is one of the leaders of the Facebook group Open Sunset Beach.

She emphasizes they do not want to make it unsafe for anyone.

“The stay-at-home crowd is what I call them. They’re welcome to do that,” she said. “We’re not advocating unsafe behaviors for anyone but we know we can do both. Be safe and live our full lives.”

A local business owner agrees. She says it’s been long enough.

We all as Americans did what we had to do in the beginning and now it’s 6 weeks into this,” Sunset Beach Pier Owner Becky Kaplan said. “It’s time for it to end. It’s time for us to get back to living and living our lives.”

The two beaches on either side of Sunset, Ocean Isle and Myrtle Beach, have opened. So Caplan wonders why Sunset remains closed.

“We were the first beach to close and we’re gonna be the last ones to open,” she said. “It’s not right, Everybody followed suit with us, now we need to follow suit and get our beach back open.”

The next scheduled meeting for the Sunset Beach Town Council is Monday, May 4 at 7pm.