Ocean City is known for a few things apparel-wise: flip-flops, bathing suits, T-shirts and wearing your “good” pair of jeans to the fancier restaurants. Basically, we’re basic. Casual. Laid back.
But even we want to play dress up once in a while. Well OK, once every couple of years at least.
We won’t do it without reason, and we won’t do it unless there’s something in it for us, certainly. But do it we can and shall.
Historically the black-tie optional WinterFest Gala benefitted the WinterFest of Lights event beginning Nov. 17 and wrapping up Jan. 1 but the decision to hold the event every other year was coupled with turning the event into a benefit for a local non-profit.
This year proceeds are going to Coastal Hospice to aid in the Ocean Residence Project – a new building the non-profit is developing.
Tickets are $125 per person and are available at Coastal Hospice in Berlin, the Gold’s Gym in Ocean City or online. The Delmarva Chefs and Cooks association will be providing food; the open bar will be providing drinks and the UMES Jazz Orchestra, 12-member dance band The Quake and jazz band The Gladden Luck Project will be providing entertainment. The Gala begins at its ancestral home of Coconut Malorie’s and ends at Fager’s Island.
The Gala kicks off at the Coconut Malorie on Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. with dinner and the UMES Orchestra. After dinner there will be a wine sampling and some local vendors available for browsing. At 10 p.m. the entire party moves to Fager’s Island (more or less across the street) for The Quake, coffee, desserts and normal Fager’s Island reverie. Upstairs at the Island will become a de facto jazz lounge (and possible retreat from the more hardcore celebrations Ocean City is known for) with the smooth sounds of The Gladden Luck Project. The ends nominally ends at midnight but few at the beach tend to turn into pumpkins at this early hour.
It’s not the usual kind of party Ocean City is known best for, or the kind that put us on the map in the first place, but that doesn’t mean we can’t pull it off. We can. Oh how we can. Since we’ve been letting this one build up over a span of two years rather than one, the bar for expectations is being set a little bit high. That’s good – who doesn’t strive to throw better parties in the first place? That it benefits one of our best local non-profits is just an added bonus. So dust off your fancy clothes and lace up your dancing shoes, because flip-flops and T-shirts just aren’t going to cut it on this rug.