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Ocean City

The best fall weekend to visit Ocean City (and how to save a little money, too)

(Every weekend in the fall is a good one to visit Ocean City, but one of the best this year is Oct. 23-24.) 

Shore Craft Beer’s OCtoberfest

Friends and family enjoy a beautiful fall day with beer in Sunset Park.

Ocean City’s biggest craft beer festival will be back at the scenic Sunset Park in downtown Ocean City on Saturday, Oct. 23 with a rain date of the Sunday, the 24th. Set upon the beautiful Assawoman Bay and co-sponsored by the Ocean City Development Corporation and the Town of Ocean City, OCtoberfest is the celebration of local, delicious and seasonal craft beer.

Live music will be provided by Easton, Md. band Johnny Bling, vendors will sell crafts, cookies and other creations, and food trucks including The Street Kitchen and Pirates Cove Oyster Company will be on site. The event is child-friendly and pet-friendly, and there’s always a handful of dogs in the cutest Halloween costumes imaginable.

Save money (exclusive to this festival): Hotel packages are available from the Gateway Hotel, the Residence Inn by Marriott, and the Clarion Resort specifically for this event. More will be added.  Most of them include one- or two-night stays at a discounted rate, plus tickets to the festival, meal credits, pint glasses and/or gift certificates to local restaurants.

Dog in a dress
Also, if you’re in town the weekend prior, the Howl-o-Ween pet parade is just about the cutest OCtoberfest event there is.

10th Annual OCtoberfest Free Family Fun in Ocean City

OCtoberfest isn’t just a beer festival — it’s also the name of the town’s weekend in October (22-24) celebrating free family fun, with a little bit of spooky thrown in (but nothing that even the youngest kids can’t enjoy).

Giant Halloween Beach Maze

On the October 22, 23, and 24th, the giant Halloween Beach Maze will allow children of all ages to “enjoy a pleasant scream as they meander the sands of the giant, bigger and better than ever, beach maze!”

The Giant Beach Maze on North Division Street will be up and running for three days this year, but only on this one Fall weekend. Billed this year as “bigger and better than ever,” the maze is lined with witches, pirates, scarecrows, ghosts in the graveyard, zombies and more.

Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade

October 23rd at 1 pm on the boardwalk near North Division Street will be the site of a parade of costumed pets.  You can “dress up your pets and parade the boards or sit back, relax and cheer for your favorite.”  There will be prizes and even “surprises” will be awarded.  The Worcester County Humane Society will be there to collect any donations of pet supplies or funds.  You’ll need to have a completed application before you can join.

Spooktacular Drive In Movie at the Inlet

No details out yet, but organizers say the details are coming on the drive-in spooktacular at the inlet Saturday night.

The Great Pumpkin Race

Meanwhile, Sunday’s Great Pumpkin Race allows families to build their own pumpkin race car to compete in a “wacky and zany side-by-side downhill race.”  Prizes will be awarded to winners in each division as well as a prize for creativity. Make sure to follow the Rules for the cars and get your application in early.

 

Special Event Zone in Ocean City September 21-26th 2021

The lowered speed limit and increased fines and penalties in the Special Event Zone have been successful tools for law enforcement officers during large Motor Events. These types of events draw large crowds of pedestrians and spectators. The Special Event Zone helps to keep our pedestrians safe on the sidewalks and in the designated crosswalks.

The Special Event Zone applies to all of the roads within the corporate limit of the Town of Ocean City. The town limits begin midway on the Route 50 and Route 90 bridges and extend from the inlet to the Delaware State Line. This year, the Special Event Zone is being extended to include all roads in Worcester County. Our resort community welcomes everyone with the expectation that they will follow our local laws and ordinances. During this week’s Pop-Up Rally, the town recommends staying off the road for the weekend, as residents are safer at home.

A Guide to the 17 Parks in Ocean City

Because Ocean City sits on such a narrow strip of land, surrounded by water on either side and made up mostly of sand, pavement, Boardwalk and highrise condos, most people don’t assume there’s much green space in town. But there is — in fact, there are 17 parks in Ocean City according to Ocean City’s department of Recreation & Parks.

While a few of them are simply hidden-away fishing holes or children’s climbing equipment jutting out of the sand, others are sports centers, rolling pastures, informative exhibits and even a skate bowl. Ocean City’s parks are as diverse as the town and the people who visit it, and from the avid fisherman to the overactive 10-year-old, there’s a little something here for everyone.

1. Inlet Park

Ocean City’s South End • Crabbing/Fishing • Exhibits

We’ll start at the southernmost end of Ocean City and work our way north. The Inlet Park consists of a Boardwalk perfect for fishing, as well as benches, binoculars and signs with fun facts about Assateague Island (look through the binoculars on a clear day and you’ll see straight to it.) Crabbing and fishing are welcome here, and on a quiet day, your only companion might be the “Inlet Indian” totem pole.  (Make sure you get any necessary permits from DNR)

Bench at inlet park Ocean City Maryland
Bench at Inlet Park.

2. Sunset Park

South Division Street Bayside • Exhibits

Moving just a block north and over to the bayside, you’ll find yourself at Sunset Park. Native plants brighten up the promenade, and here you’ll find the views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Commercial Fishing Harbor and the Sinepuxent Bay are unbeatable. Restrooms are open during special events, and during the season you’ll often find live music and Movies in the Park.  This is the home to the Octoberfest Shore Craft Beer Fest at the end of October each year.  The event benefits the Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC).

Live music at Sunset Park.

3. Wally the Whale Playground

Somerset Street on the Beach 

Wally made his debut on the beach in 2016, replacing the old wooden structures that formerly served as beach playgrounds. Wally’s sister playground is a pile of dinosaur bones located a few streets north (see below).

4. Boardwalk Playground

North Division Street & Boardwalk 

Aside from Wally and the dinosaur bones, there’s only one real playground on the beach, and it’s on the Boardwalk at North Division Street. The playground features three slides, monkey bars, a small  ice cream stand and a map of the United States that are perfect for kids when they’re done playing in the surf and sand.

The Boardwalk Playground was brand new in 2017.

5. Dinosaur Bones Playground

3rd Street & Boardwalk on the Beach

Don’t worry, he doesn’t bite! He’s fun to play on, but luckily the closest living animal in Ocean City is the seagull.

OC Beach Clean up
Dinosaur bones!

6. Third Street Volleyball Courts

Between 3rd and 4th Street on the Beach

Here you’ll find four public courts where you can pick up a game during daylight hours. Individual courts can also be reserved for $35/hour for residents and $42/hour for non-residents.

7. Downtown Recreation Complex

Between 3rd and 4th Street Bayside • Ballfield • Basketball • Crabbing/Fishing • Playground

If you’re looking to stay active during your summer vacation, you might just find yourself at Ocean City’s Downtown Recreation Complex. Here you’ll find all the recreational amenities you could need in one place, and there’s even a Victorian-themed promenade on the bay where you can fish and crab.

skateboarding in Ocean City
It’s right by the Ocean Bowl Skate Park.

8. Ocean Bowl Skate Park

3rd Street and St. Louis Avenue

The Ocean Bowl blends east coast and west coast styles to make the perfect 17,000-square-foot park, open daily in the summertime from 9:30 a.m. til dark. It features a pool bowl with a deep and shallow end, a large vert ramp and a mini ramp, and accommodates skateboarders and inline skaters of all abilities.

Ocean City Skateboarding
The Ocean City Skatepark is the oldest continually operating park of its kind in the country.

9. Ninth Street Fishing Pier

9th Street Bayside 

The Ninth Street Fishing Pier is one of the best places to fish in Ocean City, and it’s right in the heart of town. The pier includes cleaning tables equipped with hoses, and is just waiting for you to come hook the catch of the day.

10. Robin Park

28th Street and Robin Drive • Playground

Robin Park is a little-known hideaway in Ocean City that’s perfect for families with small children. It includes a playground, picnic tables and enough open space to run around and play.

11. Convention Center Park

41st Street Bayside • Crabbing/Fishing • Exhibits

The Convention Center park, just behind the Convention Center, consists of a long boardwalk on the bay that’s another great, if somewhat secret, spot to fish and crab.

12. OC Tennis Center

61st Street Bayside

Game, set, match. The OC Tennis Center offers classes for kids and adults that can be booked online. In addition to the courts, on-site amenities include a hitting wall, tennis lounge, tennis shop, restrooms and free parking, and weekly and seasonal passes are available for purchase.

13. Little Salisbury Park

94th Street Bayside • OC Dog Playground • Basketball • Playground • Tennis

Turn down 94th Street and you’ll see Little Salisbury Park on your right, in front of the Ocean City Center for the Arts and to the left of the OC Dog Park. The park includes two hard tennis courts, a basketball court and a playground.

Your four-legged friends can come along to this park, too.

14. Northside Park

125th Street Bayside • Ballfield • Crabbing/Fishing • Grills • Gym/Fitness Equipment • Jogging • Picnic Shelter • Playground • Pickleball • Exhibits

Northside Park is the largest of its kind in Ocean City, and has a little something for everyone. Exhibition signs are placed around the jogging path to teach visitors about the local ecosystem,

winterfest of lights
Ocean City’s biggest park is famously home to Winterfest of Lights.

15. Gorman Park

Left at 136th St., Right at Derrickson, Left Into Park • Grills • Picnic Shelter • Playground • Racquetball • Tennis/Pickleball

Find Gorman Park on the bayside in North Ocean City, where you can drop by for a game of tennis or racquetball or watch the kids play on the playground from the shade of a pavilion.

16. Fiesta Park

141st Street Bayside • Grills • Picnic Shelter

Fiesta Park is a great little place to bring the family for a picnic or a walk on the trails. The wooded park allows for a peaceful and relaxing outdoor experience.

17. North Surf Park

Left at 142nd Street, Adjacent to North Surf Road • Playground 

North Surf Park is located within a neighborhood on the northernmost end of Ocean City, just before the cross into Delaware. This park provides a playground and an open landscape perfect for running around under the shade of the trees.

North Surf Park
Peace and quiet at North Surf Park.

Bonus: Homer Gudelsky Park

Navigate your way through the West Ocean City McMansions by the Park and Ride and you’ll find Worcester County’s Homer Gudelsky Park (“Stinky Beach”). You can bring your pets to this beach even in the summertime, fish in the Sinepuxent Bay and, on most days, enjoy some much-needed peace and quiet. The view of the downtown Ocean City skyline from across the water can’t be beat. Homer Gudelsky Park

Delmarva’s River Soccer Club Celebrates 25th Anniversary

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By Logan Dubel

A local athletic group celebrating a major milestone continues to shoot for the stars. River Soccer Club, based in southern Delaware, is celebrating 25 years of developing and empowering young leaders both on and off the field.

Started as a small program by middle school principal and soccer lover Howard Gerken, River has filled a void in the community since day one. With no recreational programs in Sussex County, the small group, with the help of volunteers, garnered tons of interest before officially forming the club in 1996.

River prides itself on not only providing a home to passionate athletes but also an outlet for children to grow socially and gain new experiences they cannot get online. With a state-of-the-art facility constructed in 2000 in Frankford, Delaware, and seven fields, River is a premier destination for children on Delmarva, whether they are future soccer stars or looking to try something new. From learning teamwork, discipline, and decision-making, there is a lot more to soccer than simply kicking a ball and winning a trophy.

Image by River Soccer Club.

“Children need all kinds of experiences in life, and soccer isn’t for everybody. However, soccer is a game where all boys and girls can play at a young age for enjoyment,” said Rebecca Mais, President of River Soccer Club. “Then, if you want to go on and develop your talent, that’s great, or just come out and play with your friends recreationally on Saturdays. The life lessons sports provide kids are invaluable. We hope that it’s a great family experience and a way to make memories.”

The organization has offerings for players at all levels, from recreational and clinical programs to a travel group, which takes on teams throughout the mid-Atlantic region. In the early days, River managed three travel teams and has since grown to fifteen.

For Rebecca Mais, managing the club has and continues to be a family affair.

“On a personal note, I have two sons who are now soccer coaches. They started out young as players, enjoyed the game, and went on to play in college,” she explained. “We have been so very lucky to have such great models and motivators as part of the club over the years.”

Aubrey Sizemore, a volunteer with River and the mother of two players, is grateful for all that the group has provided her sons.

“River Soccer Club has been a great influence on my boys. At River, my oldest son has learned to referee soccer and refs games during rec league, soccer tournaments and EDP games,” she said. “My younger son plays travel soccer at River. He has grown so close with his teammates over the years. The coaches are so great. They truly care about the payers and their development. River is definitely a family.”

Image by River Soccer Club.

In honor of its silver anniversary, the organization has planned a weekend of festivities. On Friday, September 24, River will welcome back former players over the age of 21 for a social with adult beverages and food. They will have the opportunity to watch a game, as old friends catch up and reminisce about their soccer memories.

The excitement will continue on Saturday, September 25, as River hosts a family fun day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Parents and their children are welcome to explore the club’s offerings, watch the rec soccer program, enjoy food trucks, view an exhibit of the group’s history, and participate in a variety of activities.

River has had an action-packed quarter century and has many goals for the years ahead, including hopes of scoring some on the field!

To learn more about River Soccer Club, click here.

Sale Market Affects Rental Market

 

After a nearly a two-year run on sales properties, the market still leans to the sellers’ benefit.   The statistics show an increase of 2.9% in sales during the month of August 2021 when compared to the sales in August of 2020.   Further, there were less properties available for sale in Maryland in August 2021 (10,119 properties) compared to August of 2020 (13,524 properties).  Considering the active inventory has been lower in 2021 than 2020, the seller’s market should hold and remain steady in the near future.  Supply and demand are always the driving factors.

 

Maryland Association of REALTORS: http://www.mdrealtor.org/Resources/Publications/Monthly-Housing-Statistics

 

Personally, I have a number of qualified buyers right now just waiting to locate a property to purchase.  Since May 2021, in most cases, within a week of a new listing appearing on the market in Ocean City, it goes under contract.   This occurs frequently before my buyers can arrange to come to town to look at the listing.   Therefore the market is seeing more offers from buyers “sight unseen” as a result.

 

Regardless, prices continue to escalate.  Values have increased approximately 20% during the past year and a half.  The strong seller’s market, and associated increase in prices, has encouraged many property owners to sell over the past eighteen months.

 

While the high prices have pleased sellers, one of the downsides of this market is the number of families left desperately searching for a long term rental.

 

Approximately 27% of the sales, mentioned above, were owners of yearly rental properties.   In turn, that has left a great number of families and individuals in desperate need of long term and temporary housing.  Our company, Beach Real Estate, alone, has a list of 34 people in need of a place to live, including several older Veteran’s.

 

 

This scenario leaves a vacuum, hopefully to be filled by visionary investors.  Worcester County (specifically in the Berlin, Bishopville, Ocean Pines, West Ocean City and Ocean City areas) is ripe for an investor/builder to construct reasonably priced long term rental housing.  It would seem those investors would be ensured immediate and constant occupancy.

If you own a property that is unoccupied, and are interested in renting long term, please contact the Veteran’s Administration, or your local REALTOR.

OC BikeFest and Delmarva Bike Week Are Back for 2021!

If you wanted to ride your motorcycle on the Boardwalk, OC Bike Week is the time.

OC BikeFest and Delmarva Bike Week are back as the “largest motorcycle rally on the East Coast.”   Roaring, concerts, vendors, and lots of motorcycles from around the country to Ocean City, Maryland September 15 -19, 2021.  Just like the tourism season in Ocean City this year, fans of Bike Fest missed out last year due to COVID and plan to join in the festivities this year.

In a press release last year, organizers of the events wrote, “Due to Covid-19, and extensive discussions with the Town of Ocean City and Worcester County Health Department, we have decided to postpone all activities to 2021.”

Not all participants have the traditional Harleys

Despite COVID’s continued hold on some of the country, you wouldn’t notice the impacts here in Ocean City for 2021. There are no COVID restrictions, concerts are scheduled, and enthusiasts are already coming into town.  For those of you who bought tickets to last year’s cancelled performances, the organizer states that they will honor those tickets.  Please contact the organizer at info@ocbikefest.com for more information.

Kid Rock headlines OC Bikefest for 2021
Photo courtesy of OC Bikefest – Kid Rock will entertain on Saturday night.

Popular concerts are scheduled every day.  Wednesday Kix and Great White take the stage.  Thursday, George Thorogood and the Destroyers and Foghat play.  Friday you can enjoy Bret Michaels and Tesla and on Saturday, the much anticipated Kid Rock and Brantley Gilbert perform.   Performances are scheduled on two stages, the Ocean Stage and the Main Stage.

Organizers have scheduled events throughout the weekend at various venues including the Convention Center, Arthur Purdue Stadium for Delmarva Bike Week activities, the Rommel HD Delmarva in Salisbury, and the Ocean City Inlet.  Check the OceanCity.com Bike Fest page for more information.

The weather looks good, so enjoy the concerts, explore the vendors and revel in the activities of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts this weekend in Ocean City, Maryland.

Updates from the organizer may be available on their Facebook page.

 

Things to do in the Off Season in Ocean City

These days, Ocean City is a year round resort, although a trip here in the summer can be very different from a winter visit. If you are looking to get away from it all, time to relax and focus on family and friends, this is the place to be during the fall and winter. It’s a much slower pace, but that can be a good thing! You can choose to do nothing, or you can choose to take advantage of  all that off season Ocean City has to offer.

In case you were wondering, the Ocean City Boardwalk never closes! Although less businesses are open during the off season, you can always find somewhere open to get a coffee,  French fries, or buy a sweatshirt. A walk along the Boardwalk during the quieter off-season may be even more enjoyable than in the hot, busy summer months of July and August.  Grab a coffee and enjoy the almost 3 miles of safe, car free boards. Take advantage of less people and ride a bike from one end to the other, any time of the day!

Hop in the car and take a trip to Assateague Island National Seashore. Assateague is well known for it’s wild ponies. Located just 8 miles from Ocean City is a nature preserve that anyone can enjoy. Take a nature tour, watch the birds, or check out the visitors center before the Verrazano Bridge. The park is always open for a quick pony peek but call ahead for tour times and information.

The wild ponies of Assateague Island

Looking for some indoor entertainment? The Escape Room offers visitors of all ages the chance to exercise their brains, and solve the clues to escape the room! There are three locations in Ocean City, and the 118th location is open year round. Old Pro Golf has two indoor miniature golf courses in Ocean City. Putt-putt is always one of our favorite things to do in the summer months in OC, why not play putt in the winter, too? Safari Village indoor mini golf is located on 136th Street and Undersea Adventure mini golf is located on 68th Street in Ocean City. There are also family arcades at each location.

Escape Room at 118th Street

Interested in something educational? How about one of Ocean City’s museums? There are a few in the area that are open during the off-season. The Ocean City Life-Saving Museum is on the Boardwalk at the Inlet takes you back to the old days of life saving in Ocean City by featuring amazing saves and notable guards, but that’s not all; there are also fish tanks, sea life tanks, and shipwreck exhibits. The DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum is on the Ocean City-Fenwick Island boarder and features 10,000 rotating artifacts from shipwrecks in our area and across the world. There are hands-on exhibits pulled from shipwrecks, too!

Ocean City Life Saving Museum
Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum displays the rich history of OC.

Check out all the Fall events happening in town. There’s Sunfest at the end of September, trying hard to hold on to the summer season,  and Endless Summer Cruisin, where even the most unknowledgeable person can marvel at the design of older cars during the free Boardwalk parade each morning, at the beginning of October. Then there’s Shore Craft Beer’s OCtoberfest, the best craft beer festival on the Eastern Shore at Sunset Park in Downtown Ocean City on October 23rd, and various Halloween activities sprinkled throughout the end of October.

The Art League of Ocean City is located on 94th Street in Ocean City and is open year-round. Look at over 30 years worth of artwork that rotates from art league to art league in the Ocean City area. Check out many types of different medias and styles of work by local artists. Stop by the Art League to see if there are any workshops that you may like to participate in. The Art League of Ocean City is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm.

Don’t forget about all of Ocean City’s restaurants! If you’re coming to Ocean City and looking for something good to dine on, you’re in luck. You most likely won’t have to wait to be seated, prices are typically lower, there are more specials, and your service may be more enjoyable. Some of our restaurant suggestions during Ocean City’s off-season are: 28th Street Pit n Pub, Longboard Cafe, Billy’s Sub Shop, Pickles Pub and the Original Greene Turtle.

Winterfest of Lights is Ocean City’s most dazzling attraction from November 18th, 2021 to January 1st, 2022. This year, the festival will run five days a week instead of seven, and the hours will stay the same each day. Visitors can head to Northside park on Wednesday – Sunday from 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. The Winterfest of Lights is located in Northside Park: 127th Street and the Bay in Ocean City. With more than 1 million lights and hundreds of displays to walk through, this is a great family tradition for everyone to take part in.

Winterfest of Lights

Have you ever been to Berlin? Berlin, MD is a small historic town only 6 miles from Ocean City. This town is home to many antique shops, local art galleries, great restaurants, and beautiful historic homes. The Atlantic Hotel was built in 1895 and is decorated in Victorian décor. The hotel is open year round and features a nice bar and restaurant. There are several really good restaurants and cafes dotted throughout the town, some with live music and local artwork on display. There are a handful of boutiques, gift shops and antique stores lining Main Street that you could spend hours in.

Berlin Md

Shopping in Ocean City is always an option in the off-season. There are many specialty shops in Ocean City that adapt their hours based on seasonal fluctuations. The Ocean City Outlets on Rt 50 is located in West Ocean City. There are many stores from which to choose including Bed, Bath & Beyond and Marshall’s.

Drive only 30 minutes west of Ocean City to check out the Salisbury Zoo. The town of Salisbury has a modest zoo that makes for a great day-trip in the Ocean City area. The zoo is open every day, year-round, from 9:00 am until 4:30 pm except Christmas Day and Thanksgiving. The Zoo is located at 755 South Park Drive, Salisbury, MD. Admission is free! Some of our favorite animals at this zoo are the prairie dogs, bison, turtles, flamingos, and sloths.

Annual Sunfest Kicks Off Fall Season in OCMD

With beautiful weather, extraordinary entertainment, fantastic food and unique arts and crafts, Ocean City’s Sunfest earns its spot at the top of many event and festival lists worldwide. Taking over the Inlet Lot from September 30- October 3, the annual event offers something for everyone, with four days of just plain fun by the beach and Boardwalk. Admission to Sunfest is free.

Sunset in Ocean City Md

Boasting over 250 vendors including over 180 artists, Sunfest distinctively combines live music, artistic demonstrations, gourmet food and beverages, along with family hayrides on the beach. Guests can delight in eastern shore favorites found in the famous food tent or relax to the sounds of free entertainment at the outside pavilion.

Sunset shopping

Live entertainment plays throughout the event. All entertainment is free with the exception of evening headline shows. Headliners start on Thursday night with an evening of authentic classic rock and roll music of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s hits from The Fabulous Hubcaps at 8pm. On Friday, Eli Young Band take the stage, and Blues Traveler are our Saturday night headliners. Tickets for all three shows are on sale at the Ocean City Convention Center Box Office on 40th St. Box office hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets will also be available on site during Sunfest, or at www.ticketmaster.com, 800-551-7328.

Listening to the FREE live music

Parking is restricted at the festival grounds so it is advised visitors take advantage of the Town’s park and ride services. The West Ocean City Park and Ride on Route 50 just west of the bridge provides a convenient location for attendees with free parking and shuttle service to and from the South Transit Center on S. Division Street, just one block from Sunfest. Shuttle service is $3 to ride all day.
Special Event express shuttle service is also available at the Convention Center on 40th St., where you can park for free in the south lot and ride the express shuttle directly to Sunfest. Fare is $3 to ride all day, as is the normal Coastal Highway bus fare service. Additional park and ride locations are also located at the Public Safety Building on 65th Street, the municipal lot at 100th St. and Northside Park at 125th St. (walk to bus stop on Coastal Highway).

Boardwalk Tram

The $3 ride all day pass is valid for use on Coastal Highway, Park n Ride and Express Shuttle buses from 6am to 6am. Exact fare is required. The Boardwalk tram also will be in service during the event with fare of $3 one way. For additional information regarding bus fares for Senior Citizens, Disabled Persons, Medicare Card Holders and children please call Ocean City Transportation at 410-723-1606 or visit the Public Works Transportation webpage at www.oceancitymd.gov

Sunfest

Labor Day Weekend in Ocean City

Labor Day weekend in Ocean City will be a real celebration in 2021.  Summer vacation might be coming to an end, but at least you have this four-day weekend to help ease you back into the swing of things.

Mary Mossburg – My kids were so excited for an impromptu trip to the beach this past weekend!!

And spending the long weekend in Ocean City is probably the way to say goodbye to the summer and hello to earlier sunsets and falling leaves. Labor Day is the last busy weekend of the season that maintains a festive summer feeling. It also tends to be the last weekend to enjoy many of Ocean City’s special summer events, like Sundaes in the Park (last night Monday, Sept. 5) and the OC Drone Show both at Northside Park.  You can get your sundaes from 7-9 and then watch the drone show starting at 9 pm (last night Monday, Sept. 5).  Then, Ocean City moves towards Fall with a few popular events in September like Bike Week and Sunfest.

Be sure to enjoy the Maryland sunshine, play on our white sand beaches and just relax while you still can. Boardwalk businesses and rides will still be open and the Ocean City Beach Patrol will remain on duty throughout the weekend (in-stand from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), so head to the beach and enjoy one last dip in the Atlantic.

And take advantage of the…

FREE Live Music at the Jellyfish Festival, Sept 4 & 5

Jellyfish Festival - 2 days and nights of live music and craft beer
Join us for 2 days and nights of live music on the beach. All you care to drink options available on Saturday

Live Wire Media and Shore Craft Beer bring you 2 days of unforgettable live music Saturday and Sunday.  All music is FREE, just be sure to reserve your tickets online. Don’t forget to bring your beach towels or blankets and chairs so you can sit in the sand, enjoy the music, watch the waves and enjoy the local craft beer, wine, hard seltzer, Hoop Tea and other beverages available all weekend.

There will be vendors lined up along the boardwalk south of the Caroline Street Stage.  More vendors will face south towards the inlet and you can access them all from outside the fenced area.  There’s a fitness zone, a craft area, spike ball and a cornhole tournament.  You can enter the fenced area FREE and enjoy the live music and have access to individual drinks all weekend.

Shore Craft Beer Fest at the Jellyfish Festival, Sept. 4

If you like the idea of live music and sitting in the sand with a drink, then you might love the all you can drink options on Saturday from 12 – 4.  If you are feeling important and want a real deal, you can buy the VIP tickets.  You have your own tent with free pizza slices, you get a white festival t-shirt with a cool jellyfish logo, a commemorative pint glass when you leave, and 4 HOURS OF ALL YOU CARE TO DRINK OPTIONS.  You also get a protected hour where you can talk to brewers and brewery reps.  The cost for being a VIP is only $65, but we will likely sell out, so buy your tickets now!

Drink options include over 35 different craft beers, hard cider, hard seltzer, Hoop Tea and more.

If you still like the all you can drink options and think 3 hours is enough, you can buy the GA tickets for only $45.  The first 1200 ticketed people to arrive at the festival will get a glass when they leave.

The Town of Ocean City hosts Sundaes in the Park almost every Sunday evening in the summer from 7 to 9 p.m. There’s live music, ice cream sundaes (of course) and sometimes a few surprises, too.

Story Haensler – Sundaes in the park the weekend I bought my first beach house 7/18/21

Nature

Since the temperatures are soon to drop, Labor Day weekend is a fantastic time to take one last pontoon ride or jet ski out on the water. Consider taking a thrilling trip on the bay at Odyssea Watersports, or try a nature tour on the OC Bay Hopper.    The Bay Hopper also has ice cream cruises and Shore Craft Beer Cruises.  While neither of these tours is really focused on nature, you usually see the wild ponies of Assateague, lots of cool birds, and even dolphins.  No guarantees – but your odds are good!

Nightlife

Obviously a holiday weekend means live music and taking advantage of happy hour specials, so be sure to check out the special events happening at venues like Seacrets, The Greene Turtle, The Shrimp Boat and Macky’s.

Family Fun

Because most local amusements are still open on weekends through September, you’ll still be able to visit Jolly Roger, Trimper’s, Baja Amusements, The Escape Room, OC Paintball and more. Labor Day Weekend is also the last weekend of the season for the Jolly Roger Splash Mountain water park. If you’re looking for less thrill and a little more chill, treat your family to a game of mini golf at any one of the many indoor and outdoor courses that Ocean City has to offer.

Jolly Roger Amusement & Water Park

It’s always sad to see the summer go, but one last weekend trip to OC is the perfect way to ring in a new season.

Despite what this picture might tell you, Labor Day weekend isn’t normally as crowded as holidays like the Fourth of July–really!

And if you still need a hotel room…

These are some of our favorite hotels that still have rooms if you want to spend just one more weekend at the beach.  Check out OceanCity.com’s area guide to ensure you find the perfect location for your trip.

Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel. (North Ocean City)

Hyatt Place Ocean City Oceanfront (Downtown)

Hyatt Ocean City, MD

Home2 Suites by Hilton, Ocean City Bayside (Midtown)

Home2 Suites on 67th Street bayside.

Residence Inn by Marriott Ocean City (just Friday) (Midtown)

View from the Residence Inn Ocean City

The Princess Bayside – Standard rooms starting at: $299, Bayfront room starting at: $429 (Midtown)

Michele Scopel Muir’s view from the Princess Bayside.

The Aloft Ocean City (Midtown)

aloft hotel ocean city md
Aloft Hotel on 45th Street bayside.

Madison Beach Motel (Downtown)

Madison Beach Motel
Madison Beach Motel

Surf Inn Suites (North Ocean City)

Surf Inn Suites

Ocean 1 Hotel and Suites (Downtown)

Ocean 1 Hotel & Suites

6 of the Best Parties in Ocean City for Late Summer

Everybody knows that parties on the beach are worthwhile and nobody knows how to throw a better beach party that the people in Ocean City, Maryland.  Whichever season you like best in Ocean City, you can usually find a great party.  We will start with this weekend and Jeep Week festivities and work our way through Sunset at the end of September so you can plan ahead to party in Ocean City, Maryland.

Jeep Week, August 24 – 29, 2021

Jeep week offers parties for jeep lovers

If you like jeeps you may enjoy Jeep Week.  This is a party for Jeep lovers with parades on the beach and boardwalk.  Jeep Jam with obstacle courses and a lot of mud! Sand Courses.  A beach crawl from 29th Street to the Inlet parking lot. A gathering of Jeep themed vendors at the Convention Center and finally, a Jeep Week closing party on Saturday, August 29 on thee stage @Jeep Jam with live music by the Rockoholics.  BYOB and bring your own chairs.

Jellyfish Festival, September 4 -5, 2021

Bands in the Sand are FREE this year. Make sure to reserve your free tickets

Free concerts for 2 unbelievable days and nights.  Sponsors have made these concerts free so take advantage of the opportunity and come party at the beach, in the sand, on the ocean, with unlimited beverages during the Shore Craft Beer Fest and lots of options for “by the glass” consumption.  Shore Craft Beer is bringing lots of different local craft beverages to the beach and offering one ticket for all the beverages you care to drink.  They focus on local craft beer, but are also offering wine, hard seltzers, Hoop Tea, mead, craft cider and more.  $65 will get you 4 hours of unlimited tastings, a t-shirt, a commemorative pint glass (to the first 1200 attendees) and pizza.  If you are a later riser and would rather show up at 1, you can still get unlimited tastings and a commemorative pint glass (if you are in the first 1200 attendees) for 3 hours.

RESERVE YOUR FREE TICKETS HERE!

BUY YOUR ALL YOU CARE TO DRINK BEVERAGE TICKETS FOR SATURDAY HERE

Beers (& Beverages) on the Beach, September 4, 12 – 4

We had to repeat this message as one of the best parties all year.  Just because it’s part of Jellyfish only makes this party that much better! Did we say all you care to drink? That certainly makes the party fun when you are listening to live music and the sound of the ocean for four hours.  Located just off the boardwalk, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to get 4 hours of unlimited tastings, a t-shirt, a commemorative pint glass (to the first 1200 attendees)and pizza for only $65.  In today’s post COVID world, this is a bargain you won’t want to pass up! Get your tickets now! 

All you care to drink for 3 hours on Saturday will include a pint glass for the first 1200 attendees.  ONLY $45! Get your tickets now! 

Drinks offered:  Local Craft Beer, wine, hard seltzer, mead, craft cider, and more

Beards at the Beach 4 Competition, East Coast Championship October 9th

 

Beards aren’t just for pirates anymore

No, it’s not a pirate event. It’s a fundraiser by a bunch of bearded guys who want to have fun and raise money for good causes.  Beards at the Beach 4 will be at Seacret’s so not much more needs to be said about having a party.  There will be a 50/50 raffle, silent auction and much more!

OC Bike Week 2021 September 15-19, 2021

Bikes on the Boardwalk for Bike Week in Ocean City

OC BikeFest brings bikers from all over the country to enjoy national entertainment and bands, stunt shows, bike builders, vendors, food and beverages at the OC Convention Center. Come with your bike, or come just to admire these machines as they parade up and down Coastal Highway, and at the Convention Center.

The music goes on for days.  Wednesday KIX and the Great White will kick off with a free show.  George Thorogood and the Destroyers and Fought will play Thursday.  Friday brings Bret Michaels and Tesla.  Saturday Kid Rock takes the stage.  If that doesn’t add up to a great party on the beach, we don’t know what would!

2021 Ocean City Sunfest, Sept 30 – October 3, 2021

Some changes to Sunfest will make the event even more fun in 2021 – Here they are setting up the tents in 2011

Weekend and there’s plenty to do at Ocean City, MD’s biggest and best festival,  Sunfest 2021. Enjoy four fun-filled days of arts and crafts, delicious food, hayrides, kids activities and musical entertainment. Plus, Sunfest hosts big musical headliners every year!  Acts include:  The Fabulous Hubcaps on Thursday, Eli Young Band on Friday, Blues Traveler on Saturday.

So grab your friends and family–it’s the perfect time to visit OC! Festival activities are held in the Inlet Lot at the south end of Ocean City’s famous Boardwalk.

EVENT HOURS (rain or shine!):

Thursday – Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Our Peachy Icon: Beloved Baltimore Fixture Releases New Novel

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By Logan Dubel

Everyone yearns to feel beloved, but the word takes on an entirely new meaning when used synonymously with one Baltimorean. Leonora “Peachy” DiPietro Dixon, an iconic and longtime waitress at Sabatino’s, is an all-time favorite in Charm City’s Little Italy. For over half a century, she has met celebrities and politicians galore, making memories to last a lifetime. She has also developed relationships with Baltimore’s finest citizens, serving generations of families. With countless stories to tell, Peachy is a published author, sharing the triumphs and pains of her wild life as well as fictional local mysteries for the people of Baltimore who know her best.

With too many stories to tell (and forget), Peachy decided a decade ago that it was time to start writing. While you may not know it after just one meal with her tableside at Sabatino’s, she is a walking encyclopedia of all things Baltimore and one of the most special citizens in the city. Her books are and will continue to become a record of the last half-century. Her unwavering love for Baltimore, despite its faults, shines through every phrase.

While many doubted her writing talents and refused to publish her work, some of Baltimore’s finest, including media personalities Michael Olesker and Marty Bass, finally recognized her unique and untold stories as local gold.

Her latest book is her first work of fiction but still focuses on her beloved Baltimore. Entitled, “The Baltimore Bookies: A Story of Greed and Misconception,” the action-packed and intense book chronicles the struggles between competing bookies. The book also highlights the perilous impact of drugs in the inner-city. While this is her first shot at fictitious writing, she says her knowledge of the city certainly helped to weave the story together. In fact, she completed much of her writing while on vacation in her absolute favorite destination, Ocean City, Maryland.

Peachy’s new book, “The Baltimore Bookies,” is available for purchase now. She will host a book signing party at Sabatino’s on Tuesday, September 28th, from 5 to 9 p.m. Copies are also available now at Sabatino’s, the Ocean City Center for the Arts on 94th Str., or by email request to peachydixon1@gmail.com.

Recognized for her decades-long career at Sabatino’s beginning in the 1970s, Dixon, an Italian herself, is a familiar and steadfast presence in downtown’s Little Italy neighborhood. Her life began in the early 1940s in Highlandtown, a diverse blue-collar neighborhood in East Baltimore. Born to hard-working parents, Peachy’s father worked at Bethlehem Steel, and her mother was a homemaker.

Growing up in a working-class family, the Patterson High School graduate did not have strong aspirations to leave the city, but as we know now, that did not stop her from achieving great success in the hospitality business. Still, her life came with many personal struggles, which she chronicles in her first book published in 2011, “A Peachy Life.”

At the forefront of her challenges was her marriage, in which she endured abuse that was the reality for far too many women in the 1960s. Pregnant at 21, she grew up rapidly and became the strong and independent woman she is today. With a fighting spirit that has weathered heartbreak, cancer, and defeat, she is the true soul of Baltimore.

“For my entire life, I have never lived anywhere but Baltimore. It’s my home forever,” Peachy reflected. “The best part of my life has been all the great people, famous or not, I’ve had the chance to talk to. My experience makes what many consider a typical job sound very atypical.”

To make ends meet, she worked at Johnny Unitas’ Golden Arm and Haussner’s restaurants. At Unitas’ place, Dixon had a ball, talking with the superstar athletes who she says in those days made much less money and were more down to earth. However, over at Haussner’s, she did not make a large enough wage, and in 1974, she eventually moved on to Sabatino’s. This decision would have an impact on the rest of her life. Throughout her books, she notably mentions that everything great that happened to her happened at or because of Sabatino’s.

Image courtesy of Sabatino’s.

In the early 1980s, she decided she wanted something more fulfilling than waitressing and began to develop ideas for her own business, which she describes in-depth throughout her second book, “A Peachy Business.” As the owner of Peachy and Boh’s Place, named after her late father, she worked daily to provide customers with only homemade foods, a rarity then and even more so now. Well-known for her soups, subs, and delicious hand-crusted onion rings, the shop remained open for a decade. The business, which sometimes stayed open until 4 a.m., took a toll on Peachy. She decided to sell and return to a place she could always call home – Sabatino’s.

The lively downtown restaurant has always been there for her through thick and thin. Unlike other waitressing jobs, it has had one unique perk – meeting and greeting famous diners. Arguably, Peachy has approached more celebrities than some talent agents do, meeting the likes of Frank Sinatra, Debbie Reynolds, Johnny Depp, and Will Smith. She has also witnessed visits from countless politicians, including President Jimmy Carter, Vice President Spiro Agnew, and former California Governor Jerry Brown.

Her celebrity run-ins, prominently featured in her third installment, “My Peachy City,” are unforgettable tales. Many would agree that Peachy’s Frank Sinatra story tops all the rest. Sinatra, who first discovered Sabatino’s through his friendship with Vice President Agnew, a Charm City native, ate a meal from the restaurant each time he visited Baltimore. Before arriving, Peachy had no clue the “Chairman of the Board” would be arriving soon, but what she saw made clear something major was going on.

“I was walking up to the street corner at the restaurant, and I just saw the wildest things happening up at the fire escape. Our people were throwing all kinds of debris up there. I went in to see what all the commotion was about and noticed the upstairs dining room in shambles,” she explained. “The carpet was all torn up, and they were nailing down a new one. No one wanted to say anything, but they finally admitted that Frank Sinatra was coming. They begged me not to call anyone. Right after, with the restaurant literally remodeled in a day, Sinatra arrived.”

It’s remarkable and wild stories like these that remind Peachy of why Baltimore is where she has spent nearly every day of her exciting life. Still, she lives in the same Highlandtown home where she grew up. As for criticisms of the city, she chooses to look on the bright side.

“There is something good in everything, and through my life and books, I try to bring out the good,” Peachy said. “There’s too much violence in our city. It’s time to turn things around.”

Just a few months shy of her 80th birthday, Peachy is still going strong. Her golden personality shines everywhere she goes. While she does not know what the future holds, she is still waiting tables four nights a week at Sabatino’s and plans to keep treating people as she would want to be treated for as long as she is able. Her life is living proof that success stories of all types lie anywhere, even where others may initially see nothing.

Animals on Assateague (12 photos)

Baby raccoon digs for food on Assateague

Animals on Assateague are plentiful and easy to spot if you keep your eyes open.  Assateague Island is just south of Ocean City, Maryland and is home to both a State park and the National Seashore Park. There is camping available for RVs and tents as well as wilderness sites. The State park has a concession stand and is the first area you reach once you drive onto the island. The Visitors Center is on your right just before you get to the Verrazano bridge onto the island. There are kayak rentals on the island provided by SuperFun Ecotours. Wildlife is abundant. You will see schools of fish swimming off shore.

Wild horses assateague park

The world-famous Assateague Island wild ponies graze all over the island and the beaches. You might even see them standing in the water or sleeping on the beaches. Guard your food, however, and stay away from the ponies. They are wild and can hurt you. You will also be fined if you are seen attracting or petting the ponies.

Kerrie Meiser – My son & seagulls – Sunrise at Assateague

Birding on the island is amazing. Eagles, osprey, herons, shore birds of all types, owls, geese, and pelicans are everywhere. Other mammals are abundant as well. In addition to the ponies, there are red foxes, the endangered Delmarva Fox squirrel, Sika deer, white tail deer, dolphin, raccoons, river otters, and rabbits.

Assateague horse
It pretty warm for the winter, a nice day to be a horse.

Come to surf, relax on the beach or walk the miles of paths, both paved and wild. Bike the island, make a bonfire on the beach and watch the sun go down and the moon come up over the Atlantic ocean. While the beach is less crowded than Ocean City’s beaches just north of Assateague, plan to get there a little early on busy weekends when the weather is spectacular so you won’t have to wait to get through the toll booths. Better yet, pay for your annual pass (only $45 for the year at the National Seashore) and breeze through the left lane into your favorite beach retreat.

Dragonfly taken on Assateague Island.
Assateague Island in Sept 2018. My friend and I walking on the bridge in the rain watching the horse’s enjoying the grass below. They didn’t seem to mind it was raining and neither did we.
There are many varieties of birds on Assateague
Volunteers and staff from the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Marine Animal Rescue Program–the centerpiece of the aquarium’s ocean health initiative–scan the ocean during the 16th annual dolphin count last year. A total of 113 Atlantic bottlenose dolphins were spotted along the 26 miles of Maryland coastline during the aquarium event. Count locations were on the beach at 40th, 81st and 130th streets and at Assateague State Park.
Seal photographed by the National Aquarium staff. The Aquarium in Baltimore rehabs the injured seals and returns them to the Atlantic. Seals are frequent wintertime visitors to our shores

Deer on Assateague Island
You can frequently see white tailed deer on Assateague
Look out at the marshes as you drive onto the island. You will frequently find the ponies grazing.
The ponies are beautiful in the wild, but please keep your distance. They can hurt you and you can be fined if you get too close.