What: 30th annual Seaside Boat Show
Where: Roland E. Powell Convention Center, 40th Street
When: Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Adult tickets $9, children $1. Weekend pass, $15.
For information: Visit HYPERLINK “http://www.ocboatshow.com” www.ocboatshow.com
(Feb. 15, 2013) With more than a month of winter remaining, the excitement of summer and thoughts of warm, sunny weather will flow throughout the Ocean City convention center this weekend, as boating enthusiasts preview recreational vessels and accessories on display during the 30th annual Seaside Boat Show.
The three-day show, which draws an annual attendance of 15,000 to 18,000 guests, according to Chairman Charlie Dorman, is sponsored by the Ocean City/Berlin Optimist Club.
This year, Dorman said he expects a larger turnout because the Harrisburg, Pa. show, held the same time as the Ocean City event each year, was cancelled.
“People who like to go to these shows can come to Ocean City,” he said.
The 40th Street venue will be filled to capacity, as the event will feature hundreds of boats and approximately 150 exhibitors. Cruisers, sportsfishing boats and performance vessels, among others, will be on display and visitors will have an opportunity to board many of them.
Anything that is boat-related will be available during the show, and special sales and discounts will be offered by the exhibitors, Dorman said.
Electronics and gadgets, propellers, motors, canvas tops, boatlifts, boat docks and trailers, marine canvas covers, fishing tackle and boating magazines will be featured. In addition, information on boat insurance, financing and safety programs will be available.
Those not in the market to purchase a boat or boating accessories will also find items of interest, as vendors will showcase jewelry, clothing, candles, spas, baked goods, bath fixtures, artwork, crafts and personalized gifts.
“There’s a little bit of everything at the show,” Dorman said. “Anything boat related will be available; plus, we’ve got a lot of crafts and artists. There’s something for everybody.”
A variety of organizations, including Believe in Tomorrow, Delaware State Parks, Delmarva Cat Connection, Marine Corp League, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Ocean City/Berlin Optimist Club, OC Reef Foundation, Ocean City Power Squadron and Wor-
cester County 4-H Club, will also be on hand.
While the event is geared toward fishermen and recreational boaters, Dorman said the show caters to each member of the family. Proceeds will benefit youth programs within the community, which is why the event is billed “the show that works for kids.”
Funds generated help support the Optimist Club’s Youth ID program. This year, Dorman said, the club videotaped and fingerprinted more than 2,000 students in Wor-cester County schools.
Local scouts, Little League organizations and the Ocean City and Ocean Pines recreation departments, among others, also benefit from the show.
“Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department is so thankful for the support from the OC/Berlin Optimists for youth recreation programs. Their donations helps to offset costs of the programs, which allows us to keep our programs as affordable as possible for families,” said OCRPD recreation superintendent Kate Gaddis. “The work the Optimists do to support the youth in this community is outstanding and appreciated by so many.”
There will again be a $100,000 drawing in the Optimist Club’s scholarship lottery. Tickets may be purchased at the convention center. Three prizes will be awarded on Sunday. The first-place prize is $75,000. A $15,000 and $10,000 prize will also be awarded.
Each year, the local Optimist Club, which shares the International Optimist Club’s motto, “a friend of the youth,” raises funds to donate to area high school seniors through college scholarships. Over the years, more than of $1.5 million in college scholarships has been awarded to Worcester County graduates. Through the club’s program, approximately 280 students have received college scholarships.
Scott and Mary McCurdy of North Bay Marine in Selbyville, Del., have again donated an 18-foot Sweetwater Pontoon boat with a 40-HP Honda motor. Everyone who pays admission into the show will be entered into the drawing. The boat will be given away on Sunday at the conclusion of the event.
Show hours are Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daily admission costs $9 for adults and $1 for children. A weekend pass is available for $15. For more information, visit www.ocboatshow.com.