(May 23, 2014) Thousands of footballs fans donning purple and black will gather with players, coaches, cheerleaders and the Ravens’ mascot Poe this weekend to turn the resort into Ravenstown during the third annual Ravens Beach Bash.
Festivities kick off next Thursday, May 29, and run through Saturday night with a parade, beach football tournament, bon fire, pub crawls with the players and more.
Though events take place at venues around Ocean City, Beach Bash HQ is at the Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel on 101st Street.
“It’s just so much fun,” said Renee Seiden, director of sales and marketing at Clarion. “I encourage everybody in town to come out for this.”
A handful of Ravens players and coaches, as well as some alumni players, will be on hand throughout the weekend to meet and greet fans. Though which players will come is a surprise, “normally they bring down players who are just about the break out,” such as Jacoby Jones, who came to the inaugural Beach Bash in 2012, Seiden said.
“The players that they bring are very accessible to the fans and very interactive,” she added.
Beach Bash events run “nonstop” starting next Thursday, when fans kick off the weekend with a Welcome Party hosted by event sponsor Miller Lite at Seacrets on 49th Street from 3-7 p.m. The party continues that night with a ticketed tailgate by 98Rock on the beach at the Clarion Hotel, where many of the alumni players gather.
On Friday morning, fans meet at the Greene Turtle on 116th Street from 6-10 a.m. for Bacon & Beer, a very popular event last year, Seiden said. But the main event on Friday is the Purple Friday Caravan.
For those unfamiliar with the tradition, Seiden described the caravan as “a traveling pep rally” that brings Ravens cheerleaders, mascots and playmakers to local schools, city hall and other locations in and around Ocean City. The route is yet to be announced for this year’s procession.
Later that day, there will be a West Ocean City bar crawl with playmakers traveling from the Greene Turtle to Hooters, Hoopers Crab House and other locations across the Route 50 bridge. Tickets can be purchased for $25 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Clarion, though the event sold out last year.
Friday night night, Ravens fans will gather at Dead Freddies Grill on 64th Street or families will meet at Jolly Roger Amusement Park on 29th Street for a Family Fun Night.
Saturday marks the Ravens Roost Parade, which will make its way up South Baltimore Avenue from 19th Street to 26th Street starting at 10 a.m.
Then, from 12-5 p.m. on the Clarion beach, the Ravens Beach Bash will be in full swing with beach volleyball and other games and the annual Flag Football Tournament.
Registration for the five-on-five tournament costs $200 per team and will be open before the game on Saturday on a first-come, first-served basis, Seiden said.
Participants in the no-contact tournament get a reversible team jersey to play in, a Ravens koozie and sunglass and chance to win prizes such as entry into the USFTL National Championships, 30 tickets to the second preseason Ravens game, entry into the 2015 Beach Bash Flag Tournament and a photo with the Ravens cheerleaders and Poe.
“Saturday’s events on the beach here are open to the public and it was just packed last year. It was so much fun,” Seiden said. “The weather was gorgeous, the players and cheerleaders were out playing corn hole. It was just a blast.”
Saturday’s celebration also includes entertainment for children such as a moon bounce, inflatable rock wall, magician and clown and live music for everyone to enjoy, she said.
Another bar crawl with the playmakers will make its way down Coastal Highway Saturday afternoon before a goodbye party at Fish Tales on 22nd Street from 7-10 p.m. and a bon fire at the Clarion beach around the same time.
Weekend VIP Package tickets are available for two- and three-night stays at the Clarion and come with a $25 food and beverage credit to use at multiple locations in the hotel, Miller Lite drink tickets, and a Ravens team gift bag filled with team memorabilia such as sunglasses, T-shirts, koozies and hats. Call 410-524-3535 or 1-800-638-2100 to reserve a VIP package.
“It was very successful the first year. It was ridiculously successful last year” when the Ravens played in Super Bowl XLVII, Seiden said. “I think it’s going to be huge this year.”
For a full list of Beach Bash activities, visit www.baltimoreravens.com/ravenstown/beach-bash.html.