Ocean City’s 25th annual Springfest runs through Sun.

Ocean City’s 25th annual Springfest runs through Sun.

(May 8, 2015) Springfest, a four-day festival featuring food, live musical entertainment and arts and crafts, kicked off Thursday and runs through Sunday in the inlet parking lot in downtown Ocean City.

“Springfest celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, which makes it a part of Ocean City history and it is fitting that it resides over Mother’s Day weekend,” said Frank Miller, Special Events superintendent for the Town of Ocean City. “There’s no better place to pull the family together and bring mom out for the day to enjoy her family with shopping, music, food and the fun of Ocean City’s Boardwalk and beach.”

The first 500 moms to enter Springfest on Sunday will receive a button pin with the 25th anniversary logo and a carnation.

“We hope to see lots of moms coming down this year,” Miller said.

Admission is free to Springfest, although headlining musical acts required tickets, but they are already sold out.

The festival is in full swing with thousands of people from all across the country expected to attend and browse the 184 unique craft booths, eat at one or more of the 30 food vendors or listen to dozens of free concerts in the inlet parking lot.

“For families, I cannot think of a more perfect way to spend Mother’s Day weekend then treating your mom to a day or night under the tents at the inlet lot,” added Jessica Waters, communications manager for the Town of Ocean City. “Add on a free fireworks show to celebrate the 25th anniversary and I think it will be a Springfest that tops the list of memories for many families.”

Last year, the event drew a crowd of 102,221. Miller said depending on the weather, the attendance numbers are usually above 100,000. The best year Springfest had was in 2004, when 118,000 came out to the four-day festival, he added.

More than 250 artisan vendors will be on site selling photography, fine art, jewelry, decorative items and many more treasures.

Come to Springfest hungry because at least 18 vendors will be inside the food tent dishing up a variety of tasty treats including dessert cakes, pizza, pit beef, ham and turkey, chicken tenders, corn dogs, chicken lo mein and wraps.

There will be plenty of activities for children including inflatable bounce houses, a rock climbing wall, hair wraps, sand art and air brush tattoos.

Dozens of free musical performances will be taking place all weekend from jazz to rock and blues.

Visitors can catch free shows starting at 10 a.m. every day through Sunday, with OH BOY! A Tribute to Buddy Holly, Sir Rod, Rick K & The ALLNIGHTERS and Randy Lee Ashcraft & The Saltwater Cowboys lined up, just to name a few of the acts. Front Page News will close out Springfest on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

On Friday, May 8, a sold-out performance by country music star Vince Gill will begin at 8 p.m.

The final headlining act, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, sold out last week. They will be performing on Saturday at 8 p.m.

At the conclusion of the Benatar and Giraldo performance there will be a 25th anniversary firework show on the north side of the pier.

“Springfest is one of my favorite events of the year, as it is many of our residents and visitors as well,” Waters said. “Not only is it a sign that the summer season is coming, but it’s one of the first times of the new year to spend four days outside with the open ocean air, taking in the sounds of the entertainment, the smells of the Boardwalk and the sights of numerous arts and craft vendors.”

Since parking is limited in downtown Ocean City, shuttle buses will be offered to and from the West Ocean City Park and Ride on Route 50.

For more information on the shuttle service, call the Ocean City Transportation Department at 410-723-1606.

Springfest runs today and tomorrow, May 8-9, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, May, 10, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information, visit www.ococean.com/springfest or call 800-626-2326.

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