(Aug. 16, 2013) Ocean City’s Jeep Week returns next Thursday, Aug. 22, through Sunday, Aug. 25, bringing a Jeep crawl to the city’s shoreline, an obstacle course to the Pocomoke Fairgrounds, and a Jeep show to Berlin in a countywide celebration of all things Jeep.
Close to 500 Jeep owners and aficionados will converge for the fourth annual Jeep Week activities, said organizer and promoter Larry “Sack” Sackadorf.
“It’s kind of a crazy ride,” Sackadorf said. It’s “just a local, down-home thing.”
Sackadorf launched Jeep Week in 2010, when a bike crash left him immobile for seven weeks. The Lynch family, owners of the Commander Hotel on 14th Street, got word and contacted him about organizing a Jeep Week in town.
With three-and-a-half weeks of planning and around 200 registered participants, “we were pretty well satisfied with the outcome,” Sackadorf said. In 2011, though, Hurricane Irene stomped out Jeep Week as the city was evacuated after the meet and greet party.
“That took a little bit of fuel in our fire out, and the next year we came back with a vengeance,” Sackadorf said. Jeep Week now hosts 500-plus participants from as far afield as Canada and grows every year, he said.
“We expect it to be a little bit bigger than last year, but nothing overwhelming,” Sackadorf said. He doesn’t expect traffic patterns to change in the city.
What visitors can expect is a weekend of camaraderie with fellow Jeep fans.
Jeep Week kicks off at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, with a “Welcome to OC Party” with live music at Seacrets on 49th Street bayside. Look for Jeeps on display in the taxi loop out front and Adams XTreme Motorsports. There will be door prizes, giveaways and a 50/50 raffle. The entire $10 cover will be donated to traumatic brain injury research at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore.
On Friday morning, visitors can watch 250 Jeeps head south along the beach from 30th street to the inlet. Registered Jeeps leave at 8 a.m. sharp from the Jolly Roger Amusement Park parking lot on 30th Street.
The beach crawl is one of the highlights of Jeep Week, Sackadorf said.
“It means the world to them that they can get out and drive on Ocean City’s pristine beach,” he said.
Tune in to 98.1 FM, the Rude Awakening Show with Bulldog at local Irie Radio, for live radio giveaways during the beach crawl.
From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the 45th Street Village will host a Jeeper Breakfast Buffet for $10 for those with a registration coupon.
A scavenger hunt from 10-11 a.m. takes participants off Ocean City’s main strip and into the surrounding area.
“I get tired of people coming to Ocean City and getting to know Ocean City just as a 10-mile strip. There’s so much more that Ocean City… and Worcester County have to offer,” Sackadorf said. Last year, the hunt took visitors to the Assawoman Bay State Wildlife Area, among other places off the beaten path, and this year’s event promises the same, he said.
“We kind of jump around, which makes it a unique event,” Sackadorf said.
At 1 p.m., Jeep Weekers meet at Oasis in Whaleyville for live music and another Jeep party.
From 6-10 p.m., the annual Jeep Week Crab Feast takes place at Hooper’s Crab House in West Ocean City. The menu includes corn on the cob, shrimp, crab cake sandwiches, hot dogs, cheeseburgers, fries and of course, crabs. Adults pay $35 and children under 12 pay $15, with beer and soda included.
Head to the 45th Street Taphouse afterward for late-night festivities.
On Saturday, Barrett’s car dealership in Berlin hosts Show-n-Shine, a Jeep show with more than 360 pre-registered vehicles. Registration begins at 8 a.m., judging is from 9-11 a.m. and trophies in more than a dozen categories by CC Customs are awarded at 11:30 a.m.
At noon, take a road trip to the obstacle course at the Pocomoke Fairgrounds, sponsored by the fairgrounds and the Eastern Shore Jeep Alliance. Lunch will be for sale inside the clubhouse.
Attend Jeep Jam at CC Customs in Berlin from 1-8 p.m., where there will be an obstacle course, mud pit, live music, a swap meet and more. Registered Jeep Week participants get half off admission, $5, and the public pays full price, $10.
At 9 p.m., head back to the 45th Street Taphouse for a late night Bay Party.
On Sunday, the Eastern Shore Jeep Alliance Land Tour leads two trips to the club’s land trails across its 80 acres. The event is free to registered Jeep Week participants. Trips will leave from the Walmart parking lot on Route 50 in West Ocean City at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Pack a cooler for lunch.
“There’ something for everybody,” Sackadorf said. “Everybody who likes Jeeps, wants a Jeep, has a Jeep, thinks Jeeps are cool” will enjoy Jeep Week.
For information about Ocean City Jeep Week, visit www.oceancityjeepweek.com. Register for events at the Commander Hotel on 14th Street, Thursday, Aug. 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., or come to the venues early and look for Sackadorf. The public is welcome at all Jeep Week events.