Sand, sun and off-road fun: that’s what Ocean City Jeep Week is all about. Jeeps are the ultimate ride to the beach, which is why Ocean City has been hosting Jeep Week every summer since 2010. This year, the off-roading extravaganza is happening from August 24 – 27, and you don’t even need a jeep of your own (though it helps!) to enjoy all the festivities that the weekend has to offer.
So what goes on during Jeep Week?
Short answer: a lot.
You’re going to want to clear your calendar and get plenty of rest, because the weekend is jam-packed (no pun intended) with activities, displays and family fun. You’ll meet tons of 4 x 4 enthusiasts – between participants and spectators, the weekend’s total attendance is around 13,500 people, and it only gets bigger and bigger every year – and have time to talk Jeep at all the parties and events that go on all weekend long.
Here’s just an idea of what you can expect (while the full calendar of events and times can be found online).
Beach Crawl – Each day of the weekend, 250 Jeeps drive down the beach from Jolly Roger on 29th Street to the Inlet. It’s basically a parade of cars but better, because it doesn’t stop traffic, and if you’re a lover of Jeeps and lounging on the beach, the Crawl is a dream come true. It starts at 7 every morning, so if you arrive a little early, you can catch the sunrise and enjoy a moment’s peace before the Jeep lovin’ chaos begins.
Jeep Jam – The coolest part of the entire weekend might just be the Jeep Jam, an obstacle course where participating vehicles and their fearless drivers traverse log bridges and mud pits, climb tires and show off their skills in a ‘freestyle zone.’ There’s spectator seating for those who want to watch the action, and course spotters and monitors overseeing the Jam to make sure no one gets hurt. This one is happening Thursday – Sunday in Berlin and it’s an all-day event, so you can head down right after watching the Jeeps parade down the beach.
Headquarters and Off-Road Expo – The Convention Center on 40th street is the official headquarters of Jeep Week, and that’s where all the vendors will be selling memorabilia and apparel so you can represent the Jeep community all year long. Along with vendors inside and outside, there will be DJs and live music, a Kids Zone and an Indoor Vintage Jeep Display where you can learn all about the heritage and history of the Jeep.
Parties – You know you’re about to have a great weekend when there’s a party happening every night.
The party lineup changes every year, but in 2017, the festivities start on Wednesday before the weekend officially kicks off with a Tiki Fun Party at Coconuts Oceanfront. On Thursday, Fish Tales will host a Welcome Party with free appetizers and drink specials, on Friday there will be a party at the Clarion Hotel as well as a Family Fun Mixer at Hooper’s, and on Saturday, an After Party at Ropewalk.
How can I prepare?
First, if you have a Jeep of your own and want to participate in all the festivities, be sure to register online (the sooner the better). You’ll get access to all the weekend’s events for two adults, and additional passes are available for purchase, too.
Book your hotel ahead of time. It’s going to be a busy weekend, and if you book sooner rather than later, you’ll be able to take advantage of the Jeep Week discounts at select hotels.
If you’re bringing your family and aren’t super familiar with Ocean City, learn a little bit about all the amusements and kid-friendly fun the town has to offer. Jeep Week is a family-friendly event, but if the kids want to hit a waterpark or play a round of mini golf, there are plenty of places for that in OC. Late August is a popular vacation time and it can get pretty crowded, so it’s helpful to have an idea of how you want to spend your time here before you hit the road.