Winterfest of Lights has opened for 2021, and it will not disappoint! Northside Park comes alive as the sun goes down, and it sparkles where ever you look. This year, like last year, it is a walk through event. But don’t let that put you off. On the contrary, now you can go at your own speed, stop to take in your favorite view, take pictures in front of special displays, double back to see it all again, and really get in the holiday spirit. A great experience for people of every age including families, couples, friends, old and young. Children, literally squeal with delight, walk with eyes open wide, or sit back to enjoy the view in strollers and wagons. Older guests stroll around, taking the opportunity to rest on the many picnic tables dotted around the park, and some use the scooters available for rent at the entrance to the park. The walk itself is not that long, no more than half a mile, no more than walking round Walmart, to be honest. But it is so much more fun, you can’t help but smile as you take in the twinkling, shimmering light displays, and listen to the seasonal music playing throughout the park. So grab your hat, gloves, and comfy shoes, and head over to Northside Park for Ocean City’s Winterfest of Lights, you will not be disappointed!
Tickets can be purchased in advance, or at the event. Open Wednesday through Sunday 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday nights. Hotel Packages can be found here, and more information on the event can be found here.
We’re inching closer and closer to prime time in Ocean City, and one local festival is helping to kick off the coveted summer season. The Jellyfish Festival will return for its fourth year, now scheduled on a new weekend, June 4 and 5. The festival, located at the south end of the Boardwalk right along North Division Street, is known for its extensive vendor village, live music, craft beer, and countless recreational activities.
Nearby Jellyfish will open on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.
With both events expected to draw visitors by the thousands, Jellyfish organizers along with the Town of Ocean City hope to collaborate and make the weekend a success for everyone.
Synergy is exactly what the Jellyfish Festival wishes to achieve. “To the PBR patrons, we’re here for you too! We will be your pre-party and after-party and bring the entertainment right to you,” said promoter Brad Hoffman of Live Wire Media & Events. “We will be offering discounts at the gates if PBR attendees want to purchase music festival passes. We know how hard the PBR team has worked, and we are truly allies to make it a great weekend and big beach party for everyone.”
To encourage people to take advantage of the proximity of the two events, Hoffman has designed a music lineup that he believes will attract many of the PBR attendees. Saturday’s performances will have a country focus, with headliner Jimmy Charles and his full Nashville band, 2019 American Idol contestant Cody Clayton Eagle, and The Brown Brothers. Plus, Charles will perform his newly released single, “It’s a Maryland Thing,” and even film the music video on-scene at Jellyfish.
“For our Saturday lineup especially, we really worked to create a lineup that is inclusive and embraces the vibe of the PBR event. We wanted our entertainment to not only fit the beach and the ocean lifestyle but also what’s happening at the bull riding event,” Hoffman added.
The music lineup on Sunday will feature artists of different styles, including classic rock, R&B, soul, and folk, designed to attract a wide audience. Jellyfish is unlike many other events in that people do not pack in like sardines, as seen at many high-profile music festivals. Festival-goers can relax in the sand with beach chairs and blankets.
Within Jellyfish, the Shore Craft Beer Fest will return on Saturday afternoon from noon to 4 p.m., providing tastings from over 25 local breweries, live music, and a commemorative pint glass. The immersive experience encourages people to not only drink new beer but also talk directly with the brewers. Tickets are $45 and are available here.
Sports will also be a prominent feature at the festival, with the return of the East Coast Cornhole Championships, a joint venture with the Maryland Cornhole League. The contest, scheduled for Saturday, is open to professionals and amateurs with cash and other prizes available. The team entry fee is $60 and for more details, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 443-867-4702. Fitness enthusiasts can also check out the Marine Corps fitness zone.
Entrance to the vendor village is free, but music festival tickets are just $20 for a full weekend pass and are available online or at the gate.
Nonetheless, the action-packed and unique weekend promises to kick off the summer with a bang, bringing massive audiences to the shore who in turn will support local businesses of all kinds. We hope to see you down the ocean to celebrate.
All-you-can-eat buffets were among the businesses hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. When the Taustin Group shuttered the doors on the iconic Embers Buffet at the start of the pandemic, they never imagined that they would not see the local staple in action ever again. However, as maintaining Covid-19 safety protocols challenged the restaurant industry amidst the slow reopening process, the Taustin management team believed that the habits of diners were changing.
So, while the members of the Taustin team were quarantining, they searched for new options for the vital 24th Street property. Now, a new era will soon begin at the old Embers site, with construction in progress on a massive three-story building that will house countless new businesses, offering retail, food, and entertainment.
Management hopes that the new building provides something for everyone. “Throughout the pandemic, we explored what this property could offer the community for tourists and locals alike, said Kyler Taustin, Director of Marketing. “We searched for a property model that would excite our loyal patrons of the Taustin Group but also bring something different to the Town of Ocean City.”
The new site will maximize its outdoor space with a full-scale courtyard shared by all the businesses on the property.
Jay’s Café will serve as a convenient morning stop for many visitors, with delicious coffee and pastries, but will also have sandwiches perfect for taking to the beach.
Plus, as craft beer continues to make its mark on our coastal community, The Other One Brewing Company promises to offer an adventurous experience. The new site will have a rotating tap list as well as beer-inspired snacks and cocktails. Plus, unlike many other local breweries, staff will be able to brew throughout the day, with customers even having the chance to take a peek at the process.
Founder and Head Brewer Nathan Todd is no stranger to brewing on the shore. On the contrary, he spent the past decade working for Backshore Brewing on the Boardwalk, which closed at the end of last year. With countless experiences under his belt and a lifetime of passion for craft beer, he cannot wait to get to work.
For Todd, this is a dream decades in the making. “This space will allow visitors to see and experience every aspect of beer, from watching the brewing process to trying new drinks and enjoying times with friends while listening to good music. Over the past ten years, I have had the chance to talk with people all across the Boardwalk and love the chance to share my passion and education about beer with them,” he said. “This is something that I love and can’t wait to share with people. It is important to me that we don’t focus only on a flashy look, but an authentic experience that provides Ocean City with a place where beer is truly made unique to our town.”
Above the brewery, the reincarnated Embers will have an entirely new open concept kitchen and a relaxing bayside ambiance, paying tribute to the rustic sheik lounge-style origins of the Embers on 9th Street in the 1970s. Most menu items will flow through massive brick ovens, with the new restaurant specializing in Neapolitan pizzas with seasonal flavors.
These changes are not the only thing happening lately on the 24th Street block. The Taustin Group has not skipped a beat during the pandemic, making major adjustments to BLU Crabhouse and Raw Bar.
With recent updates, the restaurant now maximizes its outdoor space. The beach bar remains open, but there are elevated outdoor spaces with picturesque views. Additionally, the team incorporated some of the old Embers building into BLU, allowing the restaurant to also take advantage of indoor components and continue serving diners year-round. BLU now holds many more events and tastings during the shoulder seasons.
“Seeing the evolution of this property and watching the dreams of so many people all come together is very special,” Taustin reflected. “This is exactly what my family has hoped for this property to become for so long – for people to be able to come to one spot and get the full Ocean City experience.”
Jay’s Café and The Other One Brewing Company expect to begin welcoming customers by June, and the remainder of the building will open on a rolling basis. Stay tuned for additional updates.
*Editor’s Note: Many remaining buffet restaurants have reopened in Ocean City, ensuring the safety of all patrons through mitigation practices.*
Our long awaited unofficial start to the summer with Springfest was not what we had hoped for this past weekend. Although Thursday, and a good part of Friday, was dry, the weather did not cooperate for the rest of the weekend, and despite every effort, Saturday nights headline concert by Starship Featuring Mickey Thomas was canceled. Although Ocean City officials held out hope the forecast would change, the coastal storm conditions at the Inlet worsened to a point where is became dangerous to continue.
“With standing water in the entertainment pavilion and increased wind gust projections, we simply cannot risk the safety of our concertgoers or staff,” said City Manager Terry McGean. “This is not the Springfest we had hoped for, but our hardworking employees and vendors did the very best they could with challenging circumstances.”
Springfest Concerts Refunds:
The Drew Holcomb show was cancelled Friday night due to members of the band testing positive for COVID, and Starship Featuring Mickey Thomas was cancelled Saturday night due to the coastal storm.
Please contact your point of purchase for ticket refund information. Let’s hope Springfest 2023 is bigger and brighter, and dryer next year!
School spring breaks and holiday travel have caused a drop in blood donations over the last 6 weeks
Types O supply is at just a 1-to-2-day level
DELMARVA PENINSULA – Blood Bank of Delmarva announced a blood emergency today, as school spring breaks and holiday travel have caused an alarming drop in donations over the past month. The blood supply currently stands at a 2-to-3-day level, with type O negative and O positive at just a 0.5-day to 2-day level. This is well below the ideal, 7-day inventory.
Hospitals and patients rely upon a steady flow of volunteer donors to receive life-saving blood donations, but the recent spring break and holiday travel has caused uncertainty.
In addition, according to the latest figures put out by America’s Blood Centers, only 3 percent of the U.S. population donates blood. Blood Bank of Delmarva is a member of ABC.
“This time of year can always be difficult for the blood supply,” said Patricia Killeen, Senior Executive Director at Blood Bank of Delmarva. “One blood donation has the ability to save up to three lives. We highly encourage all who are able to donate today to help Delaware and Eastern Shore residents who need it most.”
It only takes one hour to donate, and a single donation can save multiple lives. Roughly one in seven hospital admissions require a blood transfusion. Those in need include: cancer patients, accident, burn, or trauma victims, transplant recipients, surgery patients, chronically transfused patients suffering from sickle cell disease or thalassemia, and many more.
About Blood Bank of Delmarva: Founded in 1954, Blood Bank of Delmarva is a not-for-proﬁt 501(c)(3) community blood bank with a simple mission: saving lives. The Blood Bank of Delmarva, a division of NYBCe, achieves its mission every day by providing safe blood and blood products to all 19 hospitals in Delmarva and relies on over 80,000 volunteer blood donors each year to ensure patients’ needs are met. The Blood Bank of Delmarva distributes over 130,000 blood products annually and operates four donor centers. Each year, the Blood Bank of Delmarva normally hosts over 600 blood drives. These blood drives would not be possible without the commitment of community organizations that volunteer to serve as sponsors or coordinators, which provides opportunities for blood donors to give blood and help patients in need. BBD is a New York Blood Center Enterprises affiliate and a member of AABB and ABC. For more information, please visit delmarvablood.org or follow us at facebook.com/delmarvabloodbank.
From the sand and surf to coastal food and activities, Ocean City truly has it all. Although a typical trip consists of relaxation by the sea, sometimes a visit is not complete without a little action. For nearly six decades, Jolly Roger has provided families with endless excitement across its various attractions.
Although there are shortages of most things these days, activities at Jolly Roger are certainly not one of them.
First started in 1964 by local entrepreneur Buddy Jenkins, the park initially opened as a putting course and driving range. Jenkins worked in collaboration with golf icon Arnold Palmer to open the amusement hub. However, Jolly Roger would quickly grow with the addition of more than 15 rides over the next few years. By 1970, Splash Mountain opened, and Speedworld followed soon after in 1976, and the expansion has never stopped. Jolly Roger consistently seeks ways to evolve as the demand from tourists only increases.
“We work to provide family-friendly fun throughout Ocean City in a nostalgic way,” said Dawn Dillon, Director of Sales and Marketing. “From smelling the cotton candy to riding the roller coasters, the activities we offer are timeless and span across generations. Coming out of the pandemic, we’re thrilled to bring back fun activities and see smiling faces once again.”
The excitement continues with rides along both of Jolly Roger’s iconic Giant Ferris Wheels, offering visitors an aerial view of the bustling resort town.
Looking for more excitement? Jolly Roger also offers a free circus and pirate theatre at 30th Street. Additionally, construction has kicked off on a brand-new family track at Speedworld, which will open sometime in the next year. Finally, are you searching for the largest water park in Maryland? Look no further than Splash Mountain.
Still, the park is far more than a business. It is a true titan of the community. Jolly Roger always gives back and engages in philanthropic efforts. In 2017, the staff launched Christmas in July, an annual effort in coordination with the Marine Corps Reserve, serving underprivileged children on the shore. The event acts as a local agent for the well-known Toys for Tots organization. Patrons donate unwrapped toys and receive a 20% discount on Jolly Roger passes in exchange. Plus, the park staff takes part in various local festivities and even won the Ocean City Christmas Parade. It’s not just a summer amusement park but rather a year-round community partner.
While many of the health concerns of the pandemic’s early stages have faded, one major problem still looms – finding enough staff to keep the amusement park open daily and providing top-notch service. The seasonal worker shortage is not a problem unique to Jolly Roger but continues to challenge the park team. Jolly Roger is hiring and currently accepting online applications.
“We are looking forward to a great summer. We have so many groups booking trips to return to Jolly Roger, which is very exciting. I’m also very excited to see our team return to work as well as our returning customers,” Dillon added. “Plus, we’re crossing our fingers that it is warm enough to open up Splash Mountain in time for Memorial Day weekend. Seeing the rides like the Carousel and the Zipper that have been here forever return and come alive is so thrilling.”
Jolly Roger looks forward to welcoming you back to Ocean City as the summer arrives in just a few weeks. Visit jollyrogerpark.com for more information.
Ocean City, Maryland – (May 7, 2022): Despite every effort, tonight’s headline concert by Starship Featuring Mickey Thomas is canceled. Although Ocean City officials held out hope the forecast would change, unfortunately coastal storm conditions at the Inlet have worsened.
With standing water in the entertainment pavilion and increased wind gust projections, we simply cannot risk the safety of our concertgoers or staff,” commented City Manager Terry McGean. “This is not the Springfest we had hoped for, but our hardworking employees and vendors did the very best they could with challenging circumstances.”
Please contact your point of purchase for ticket refund information. “We thank all of our Springfest vendors and visitors for their patience and understanding throughout the last few days,” McGean continued. “We look forward to a bigger and brighter Springfest in 2023.”
Springfest Event Closed Today, Concert w/Starship Still Planning to Play Unless Weather Worsens
Ocean City, Maryland – (May 7, 2022): Due to the current coastal storm and the absence of event vendors who left early, Springfest will not open today as expected. The National Weather Service (Wakefield, VA) predicts gale force wind gusts could reach 45 mph. In addition, moderate to major coastal flooding could cause up to 3 feet of inundation above ground level late Saturday night and through Sunday, according to the NWS coast storm briefing.
Ocean City Special Events staff and Emergency Services personnel continue to monitor the forecast for tonight’s concert headlined by Starship featuring Mickey Thomas. At this time, the concert is scheduled to take place at 8 p.m. as originally planned. Parking for concertgoers will be available in the Inlet Parking Lot, however food and beverage services during the concert will not be available.
The Springfest Express Shuttle from the Convention Center and the Boardwalk Tram will not operate today, however transportation from the West Ocean City Park n’ Ride will be available.
The Town is closely monitoring weather conditions and will provide updates as they become available. The next update from the Town of Ocean City is expected to be released at 5 p.m. today, Saturday, May 7. Continue to follow the Town of Ocean City or subscribe to e-news for the most updated information: https://oceancitymd.gov/enews/
The weather is a hit or a miss for Springfest every year. Some years it feels like mid July, and we all end up a little sun burned for being unprepared. This year however, the weather does not look like it is going to co operate all weekend. The first day of Springfest, Thursday, however, was dry, mild, and at one point a little glimpse of blue sky appeared. Here are some photos from Thursday at Springfest when everyone was able to sit out and enjoy the music, the food, and all the shopping. Here’s hoping the rest of the weekend affords us the same opportunity!
It’s finally getting warmer outside and the flowers are blooming, just in time for Ocean City’s signature springtime event. Springfest, set for May 5th through 8th, is the ultimate festival, with great food, live music, and artisan vendors. Since Springfest began three decades ago, much has changed in Ocean City, but this joyful family weekend has always been a constant source of Eastern Shore spirit. We checked in with the town’s special events team for a preview of this big festival weekend.
From the bright lights of Winterfest, to the spectacular planes of the Air Show, Ocean City is home to numerous exciting special events that attract thousands of people. This year’s long-awaited 31st annual Springfest at the Inlet Lot is expected to be bigger and better than ever before.
The free four day family festival will include live music, countless artisan vendors, and delicious food. Music will run all day every day, with many local acts taking the stage. If the music just calls out your name and you want the beat to go on into the night, check out the ticketed headliner concerts on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Bands include Romeo Delight, the ultimate Van Halen experience, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, and finally, the iconic Starship featuring Mickey Thomas. Yes, Springfest is certainly part of what “built this city,” in the eyes of Special Events Director Frank Miller and Coordinator Brenda Moore.
Springfest Organizers & Beach Tennis
“Springfest is really designed to bring people into town and offer a family-friendly opportunity to not only experience the amenities the town offers 365 days a year, but give them a new opportunity with music and crafts,” said Miller. “That has been a very valuable asset to the town for the past 30 years, and now into our 31st year.”
While you have the whole weekend to enjoy Springfest, you won’t want to wait too long to make it down because the food supply might not last forever. Gourmet food tents will be opening, with crab cakes, cheesesteaks, and funnel cakes all available for sale.
Plus, Springfest has a new addition this year. As beach tennis continues to trend on the West Coast, Springfest is bringing the sport to the east, with several exhibition events, with the hopes of hosting a full-blown tournament later this year.
Parking for Springfest
Thinking about parking? Have no fear; free parking is available at the West Ocean City Park and Ride, and the Boardwalk trams, beach bus, and shuttles will be in operation.
After three decades, Springfest is a longtime local tradition the town and its visitors continue to take pride in – it’s the unofficial kickoff to the reason why our town exists – the long-awaited summer.
“That family-friendly component is vital to Ocean City and Springfest and Sunfest really carry that banner,” Miller added. “Springfest typically draws 100,000 people and Sunfest brings in 200,000 people, so in terms of the size of these events and the impact they have on our local businesses, that is huge. So, as long as we can, we are going to maintain Springfest.”
“It’s a shoot-off from our fall event, Sunfest, which is going to be 47 years old this year,” Moore explained. “We want to get people to come when they normally wouldn’t – before Memorial Day or after Labor Day. It’s really a kickoff for the summer season.”
The full live music and beach tennis exhibition schedules are available on the town’s website.
Springfest will run rain or shine May 5th through 8th, with hours of 10 to 8 Thursday through Saturday and 10 to 6 on Sunday. We hope to see you there as we kick off our busiest summer yet here in Ocean City.
It is officially the start of the season in Ocean City, Maryland as this beach resort town celebrates the 31st Annual production of Springiest, May 5 – 8th, 2022. Come to Maryland’s Eastern Shore for 4 days of live music, arts, crafts, food and more – all located in the Inlet parking lot adjacent to Ocean City’s historic boardwalk and beautiful clean beach. Admission is FREE!
Springfest, one of the top Arts and Crafts Shows in the United States, features nearly 300 vendors with over 250 selling art and crafts. Visitors should bring their appetite as the event includes 30 food vendors serving a variety of delicious offerings, from famous Eastern Shore delicacies an assortment of ethnic food and gourmet offerings.
Springfest Hours for 2022:
Thursday – Saturday: 10 am – 8 pm
Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm
Live Music Headliners:
Romeo Delight, The Ultimate Van Halen Experience. THURSDAY, 5/6 AT 8 PM
Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors, FRIDAY, 5/6 AT 8 PM
Starship featuring Mickey Thomas, SATURDAY, 5/7 AT 8 PM
Free Entertainment Line-Up:
May 5 – 8, 2022
Thursday, May 5, 2022
Outdoor Stage 10:15 am OPENING CEREMONY
10:30 am Jesse Garron’s Tribute to Elvis
1:00 pm Poole & the Gang
3:00 pm The Rockoholics
5:00 pm Rick K Road Trip
6:30 pm BK & Chrissy of Radio OC
12:00 pm Recreation Dancers
2:00 pm Among the Stars
4:00 pm Lennon La Ricci & the Leftovers
Friday, May 6, 2022
11:00 am Still Rockin’ Band
1:00 pm Beach Bandits
3:00 pm Rick K Road Trip
5:00 pm Dad Jokes
6:30 pm DJ Kutt
10:15 am Rick K Road Trip
12:00 pm Saved by Zero
2:00 pm Kittyback
4:00 pm Jimmy Charles
Saturday, May 7, 2022
11:00 am Jukehouse Bombers
1:00 pm Rick K Road Trip
3:00 pm Route 50
5:00 pm Guys in Thin Ties
6:30 pm BK & Chrissy of Radio OC
10:15 am Rick K Road Trip
12:00 pm Real Diamond “Neil Diamond Tribute Band”
2:00 pm Sapphire
4:00 pm Randy Lee & the Saltwater Cowboys
Sunday, May 8, 2022
10:15 am Island Fusion
12:30 pm Mathew Street Band
2:30 pm Mike Hines & the Look
4:30 pm Back to the Beach Band “Beach Boys Tribute”
11:30 am Recreation Dancers
1:30 pm Bob Lougheed & the Memphis Mafia
3:30 pm Doc Marten & the Flannels
*entertainment subject to change without notice
More Springfest Details:
Springfest is located in the Inlet Lot at the south end of Ocean City’s famous Boardwalk. Springfest is fun for people of all ages and admission to the four-day event is free, including all entertainment, with the exception of the ticketed evening headline performances.
Since parking in the downtown area is limited, the Town of Ocean City will offer shuttle bus service to and from the West Ocean City Park and Ride on Route 50 beginning at 6 a.m. Thursday, May 6, and operating throughout the event, May 6-9. For more information about the West Ocean City Park and Ride service, call the Ocean City Transportation Department at 410-723-1606.
The Boardwalk Tram WILL BE OPERATING FOR SPRINGFEST running from 10 am – 10 pm, Thursday – Saturday, and 10 am – 7 pm on Sunday.
Hours for the popular free-admission event are Thursday – Saturday 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
The Taustin Group is thrilled to announce The Other One Brewing Co, a new collaboration with Nathan and Gina Todd. The microbrewery will be on the first floor of the new development on the 24th street bayside block, and Nathan Todd will serve as founder and head brewer. As the only brewery on the island, The Other One Brewing Co. will be a place for everyone. The microbrewery and tap room will have a laid-back, rustic vibe with 30 seats as well as outdoor seating in the courtyard shared with BLU Crabhouse and the all-new Jay’s Café & Trading Co. When asked about the name, Nathan Todd said, “When you go on vacation, you have a choice – stick with what you know or be adventurous. We believe in seeking out the ‘other one!’ Those hidden gems are where you find innovation, creativity, and a good time.”
With a regularly rotating tap list, The Other One will offer a wide variety of styles on its 8 taps as well as beer inspired cocktails and snacks. “The microbrewery will serve as an integral player in our vision to make 24th street a premier dining and entertainment destination for all times of day,” says Taustin Group CEO, Cole Taustin.
In 2021, the Taustin family began construction on a three-story building that encompasses a newly renovated indoor space for BLU Crabhouse & Raw Bar as well as multiple areas for retail, food, and entertainment. The third floor is designed to be a new incarnation of the Embers Restaurant. The redevelopment on the block will have a rolling opening throughout the summer of 2022 with The Other One Brewing Co. opening in June pending all final state and federal approvals.
ABOUT NATHAN TODD
Nathan Todd, founder and head brewer, moved to Ocean City, MD in 2005 after vacationing in OC while growing up. His passion for beer led him to learn all aspects of his favorite drink, from bartending at several local bars to home brewing. For the last 10 years, Nate managed and operated Backshore Brewing Co and served as their head brewer for their last 2 years.
Upon Backshore’s closing, Nate knew he wanted to be sure that locals and tourists alike still had a place to go to enjoy quality brews made on the island. “Uncle Nate” is proud to bring his passion for beer to 24th street as the creative visionary of The Other One Brewing Co. where he can put his ideas in motion and bring his passions to a broader audience.
Now that the weather is finally warming up, we have ventured out and about to take more pictures of our town as we gear up for Easter Weekend and the eventual start of the summer season. Get snapping on your next visit to Ocean City as our Photo Friday contest will be starting soon. Each week we will ask you to submit photos of Ocean City and then we’ll randomly choose one winner to receive 2 gift cards to Jolly Roger Amusement Parks for the 2022 season. In the mean time, enjoy a slice of life in Ocean City during the week of April 8th-15th.
Ready to visit? Start by picking your hotel here, and we’ll see you soon!
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