60.2 F
Ocean City

A Sparkling Winterfest of Lights

Winterfest of Lights has opened for 2022, and it will not disappoint!  Northside Park comes alive as the sun goes down, and it sparkles where ever you look. Like the last couple of years, this year it’s a walk through event. But don’t let that put you off. On the contrary, this way there are less lines, 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!

Welcome to Winterfest of Lights
Scooters available for rent
Buy a hot chocolate before or after your walk
Flying Fish!
Path through the lights
Practice your winter surfing skills
Plenty of places to sit down through out the park
What a place for a walk!
Thousands of sparkling, twinkling, colorful lights
Even the tress got in on the fun this year
Quite the view!
Time for a rest?
Many of our favorite lights are still here this year
Reflections on the water
A Winter Wonderland
The spectacular Christmas Tree
So many lights!
Happy Holidays!

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.

Making Waves: A Guide to the Oceans Calling Festival 2023 in Ocean City, Maryland”

Oceans Calling Festival 2023 headerA huge music festival on the beach, walks along the Ocean City boardwalk, waves crashing on the sand, local cuisine being celebrated by celebrity chefs – this is what the Oceans Calling 2023 will bring to Fall in Ocean City. This 3 day festival will start setting up weeks in advance to be ready when tens of thousands of people descend on Ocean City with visions of music on the beach.  With big-name artists each day, you can buy a ticket for one day or all three.  

Hotels for Oceans Calling Festival

The Grand Hotel!

Many of the hotels in town are starting to add packages. The Grand Hotel Ocean City rates that weekend start at $409. Check out the rates of other hotels here

Music Making Waves for Three Days

Oceans Calling 2023 is a three day festival in partnership with musicians O.A.R. featuring over 30 performances on 3 stages on the beach adjacent to the Ocean City boardwalk. 

Friday performances for Oceans Calling Festival 2023

Saturday performers at Oceans Calling Festival 2023

Sunday performers at Oceans Calling Festival 2023


Local Food is a Focus

Experience delicious east coast bites from local food vendors. Plus, learn tricks of the trade from world-renowned chef cooking demos that celebrate the region.  Check out the current list of chefs who will be participating!

Chefs at Oceans Calling Festival 2023


Sunrise from the Grand Hotel

Sometimes it’s worth getting up early and starting your day with something really special, and if you are in Ocean City, that’s a very easy thing to do. This morning, we watched the sunrise from the Grand Hotel, via its webcam, and took some photos as it happened. If you stay in an oceanfront room in Ocean City, this is your morning entertainment, and it happens daily!! Starting the day the Ocean City way makes you feel anything is possible with this brand new day!

Changes coming to Northside Park

On this the first day of Spring, we take a look at Northside Park, and the changes that are happening there this spring. Along with the blossoming trees, and the appearance of some daffodils dancing in the breeze, the playground is getting a new look, with completion of the project hoped to be by April 30. The rock-climbing wall has gone, and new slides and twirly climbing frames have appeared. Should be very exciting for our youngest visitors this summer! Next time you’re in town, stop by this beautiful park, a great place to walk, rest and play any time of the year. 

A new slide for the big kids!
Northside Park
Working on the new playground
Northside Park
The 21 year old playground is being updated this spring
Northside Park
The palyground is closed while the work takes place
Northside Park
Blossom trees and a new playground!
Northside Park
Looking over the pond towards the Ocean City Parks and Rec Center
Northside Park
Dancing daffodils
Northside Park
Over 1 mile of easy walking/jogging paths at Northside Park
Northside Park
Take a walk along the Northside Park Pier
View of the Pier at Northside Park
Northside Park
Great place to take a seat!
Northside Park
Foot bridge over the pond
Northside Park
These trees are just about to blossom!
Northside Park
Northside Park

Serenity on the Shore: Unwinding in an Ocean City Bayside Hotel

If you’re looking for a more laid-back, relaxing vacation in Ocean City, MD, a hotel on the bayside might be just what you need. Bayside hotels offer beautiful water views, sunsets, quieter surroundings, and easy access to a variety of water-based activities. Here’s a closer look at some of the top hotels on the bayside in Ocean City, MD.

Residence Inn

View from the Residence Inn Ocean City

The Residence Inn is an excellent option for those looking for a bayside hotel in Ocean City, MD. This hotel offers spacious suites with full kitchens, making it a great choice for families. The Residence Inn features an outdoor pool and fire pit, as well as a fitness center. Guests can enjoy beautiful views of the bay from the hotel’s outdoor patio area.

Fenwick Inn

The Fenwick Inn is another great option for those looking for a hotel on the bayside. This hotel is located just a short walk across Coastal Highway from the beach. The recently renovated hotel features an indoor pool and splash pad, updated rooms, fitness center, and their on-site restaurant is due to open this season. 


Aloft Ocean City

Aloft Ocean City outdoor pool

The Aloft is a modern and stylish hotel located right on the bay.  The hotel has a fitness center and guests can enjoy private balconies, and walk-in showers with rain shower-heads and personal Bliss Spa shower amenities. You can relax at their outdoor tiki bar, Liquid Therapy, and this hotels welcomes pets with the Arf program which gives dogs an Aloft-branded bed and bowl, plus treats and toys!.


Home2 Suites

Outdoor sitting area at the Home2 Suites

The Home2 Suites is a newer hotel located on the bayside in Ocean City, MD. This hotel offers spacious suites with a well-equipped kitchenette complete with a full-size refrigerator, dishes, microwave and flatware. Enjoy the open and airy layout of your suite, which includes a living room, featuring a sofa bed, and a partial separated bedroom.The Home2 Suites features an indoor pool and fitness center. Guests can enjoy beautiful views of the bay from the hotel’s outdoor patio area and grilling area. Bring your pets with you; they offer special amenities and services to our furry guests.


Princess Bayside

Princess Bayside Ocean City
The Princess Bayside

The Princess Bayside is a classic Ocean City hotel located right on the bay. This hotel features an indoor pool, and outdoor rooftop pool with beautiful views of the bay. Guests can enjoy easy access to a variety of water-based activities from their private beach, including boating, fishing, and jet skiing.


Hotels on the bayside in Ocean City, MD offer a unique and relaxing vacation experience. From modern and stylish hotels to classic and family-friendly options, there’s a bayside hotel that’s perfect for your needs. So book your stay, grab your sunscreen, and get ready for a fun and relaxing vacation on the beautiful bayside of Ocean City, MD!

Is it a booger? Is it slime? No, it’s seaweed!

Sea Lettuce
(Photo Credit: Cailyn Joseph)

Seaweed, scientifically known as macroalgae, is found all over the world. Our Coastal Bays are no exception. Though they may seem like something just floating by, the power of these salty plants cannot be overrated. Seaweeds require salty water, nutrients and sunshine, but that is about it. They are tough plants and can withstand changes in temperature, levels of salt in the water, and can even survive being dried out for a time. In fact, seaweeds are the foundation of any successful and healthy marine ecosystem.

Algae are the base of the food web for all marine life. But they serve other purposes as well. In our Coastal Bays, they are a part of the estuarine habitat, providing a nursery for all kinds of aquatic species. They assist with aid in water quality, acting as a signal for the health of the ecosystem. It is used as a food source for the critters that helps them to grow strong. From the coral reefs to the Coastal Bays, seaweed is vital to support the tangled ecological web. 

Agrah’s Red Weed
(Photo Credit: Cailyn Joseph)

Seaweeds come in three types; Red, Green, and Brown. They are described as benthic, a scientific term meaning that they live on or near the seafloor. While not all seaweeds live exclusively on the seafloor, some float free. In our Coastal Bays, Red seaweeds like the Agrah’s Red Weed and Graceful Red Weed are common. Green seaweeds like sea lettuce and Green Hair algae are also commonly found. Fun Fact: In the world it is estimated that 6,200 Red and 1,800 Green Seaweeds are found in marine environments.

Without seaweed, every other creature is affected, including humans. And humans use plenty of it. For food; like sushi and nori. They are used in medicine and scientific research. It is being used as an alternative energy source. Like all plants, seaweeds use the sun’s rays to create food to sustain themselves. This process, called photosynthesis, uses carbon dioxide by removing it from the water. Oxygen is created as a by-product and is released into the air. Which makes seaweed a wonderful tool for mitigating the effects of a changing climate. 

Harmful Algal Blooms 

Every drop of baywater is full of algae and most of them are beneficial. Brown seaweeds are not common in our Bays, but when nutrients are pumped into the watershed, they can blossom into harmful algal blooms. These eager algae begin to grow uncontrollably. By blocking the sun and taking up all the oxygen to breathe, these blooms can choke out the space for other sea life to thrive. These blooms sound scary; and to many that rely on the bay for food and safety, it’s a very real problem. “We may see the earlier onset of blooms, we may see longer blooms…The easiest solution is to keep these events from occurring in the first place” said UM Center for Environmental Science ecologist Pat Glibert.

About the Author: Greg Atkin is the Community Engagement Specialist at the Maryland Coastal Bays Program. Their work aids the mission of the Program through the facilitation of education and interpretive programs, digital communications, diverse partnership development, and various community engagement projects.

Find out more at the Maryland Coastal Bays Program at our website: https://mdcoastalbays.org/


Welcome Riptide to The Ocean City Police Department


The Ocean City Police Department has welcomed a new horse onto the force. His name is Riptide, Rip for short. With no connection to the popular television series, Yellowstone, Rip was named for the very dangerous Ocean City rip current. “We hope to bring awareness to water safety. People love to see the horses out on the beach and we thought it would be a great way to pair community engagement and education.” 

Riptide and PFC Sierra Stevens at Northside Park

Rip is a 6 year old Percheron, who is allowed to work up to 7 days a week! However when the hot and steamy summer months approach, Ocean City patrons will only see him 3-5 days a week. 

When asked if Riptide will have an actual work schedule like a person, the OCPD responded. “It all depends on the animal.  A horse regresses from its training much faster than other animals.  However, they have the second-best memory (first, elephants) of all animals and help them regain their skills very well. We try to ride in town as much as possible but sometimes we do remedial training.”

When Riptide isn’t working he gets to reside on a farm in Worcester County with the other equine members of the Mounting Unit, Benson, Moose, Storm and Major. 

Moose the OCPD horse smiling for the camera.

As Riptide gets older, the OCPD will continue to monitor him and his health to determine how long he can work on the force. “We really start to evaluate their health when they get closer to 20 years of age.  But with Ripetide’s size, 19.2 hands high and 2,200lbs we will keep a closer eye on his health.”

OCPD Horse: Storm

To become a member of the Mounting Unit in Ocean City, horses and riders alike must attend rigorous training. “Only one in every ten horses are suited for this line of work.  Horses selected for the unit go through two to three months of sensory obstacle training.  This training progressively gets more intense throughout looking to ‘bomb proof’ the horse.  The veteran horses are involved in this training to continue their training and also assist the new horse through their training.  This training will continue throughout their career.”

OCPD Horse- Major

If you’re old and about on the boardwalk this summer, feel free to stop and say hello to Riptide and congratulate him on his new position with the Ocean City Police Department. However, as with any working animal, please keep your distance and remember- you’re on vacation, but he’s still on the job.

From Sunsets to Surfing: 10 Free Things to Do in Ocean City, Maryland

When it comes to outdoor activities in Ocean City, there’s no shortage of things to do, and you don’t always need to spend a lot of money to enjoy them. From watching stunning sunsets to catching some waves on a surfboard, here are 10 free activities to try during your visit to Ocean City.

Watch a Sunset at Northside Park.

Danny Ivancich – Sunset at Northside Park

Northside Park is one of the best places in Ocean City to watch the sunset. The park is located on the bay side in North Ocean City and is best known as the location for Winterfest of Lights.  The view from here is simply breathtaking. Enjoy the facilities with indoor gyms, classes, team play and more and then pack a picnic and enjoy the sunset with your loved ones.

Take a Walk on the Boardwalk

Plan to walk the boards in Ocean City. It’s a great way to enjoy the resort without spending a dime – unless you want to, of course!

Ocean City’s iconic boardwalk is a must-visit spot. The boardwalk is more than two miles long, and it’s the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll or a bike ride. You can also check out the street performers, grab some snacks, or just people-watch.

Visit Assateague Island National Seashore

Lots of surfers enjoy Assateague when the waves are good – and even when they are not

Assateague Island is a beautiful barrier island just a short drive from Ocean City. The island is home to wild ponies, and you can also enjoy the beach, hiking trails, and wildlife watching.  The State beach has camping, concession stands and shower rooms while the National Seashore has bathrooms and camping options.  Check out our Assateague Guide for more information.  

Catch Some Waves 

Surfing in Ocean City is a fun way to spend the day.

Ocean City is a popular spot for surfing, and there are several beaches where you can catch some waves. Bring your own board or rent one from a local surf shop and hit the waves.

Explore the Ocean City Center for the Arts

The Thaler Gallery inside the Ocean City Art League's Center for the Arts.
With a chandelier by Jeffery Auxer in Berlin to constantly changing shows, and multiple gallery spaces, the Art League is a must see, is open 7 days a week, and it costs nothing to visit.

The Ocean City Art League’s gallery is located in North Ocean City, Maryland, and it’s a must-visit spot for art lovers. The gallery is housed inside the Ocean City Center for the Arts,  a beautiful building that’s located on the bay.  Just look for the water tower with their logo on the bayside at 94th Street.  Turn there and head to the bay where you will see their building on the right.  Step inside and you’ll find a wide variety of artwork created by local artists. The gallery is spacious and features multiple rooms filled with paintings, sculptures, photographs, and other types of artwork. The pieces on display are rotated regularly and they host a First Friday reception each month so there’s always something new and interesting to see.

In addition to the artwork on display, the gallery also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, such as artist receptions, lectures, and demonstrations. These events provide a great opportunity to meet local artists and learn more about their work.

Overall, the Ocean City Art League’s gallery is a wonderful place to visit for anyone who appreciates art. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or simply enjoy admiring beautiful artwork, you’re sure to find something to love in this vibrant gallery.

Take a Hike

pine tree in the pocomoke river state park
You can find big pine trees in the Pocomoke River State Park which is not far from Ocean City.

Worcester County is not only home to Ocean City, but is also home to many parks and trails where you can escape from the crowds and the noise and it costs you absolutely nothing.  You can find information on Worcester County here and many of the free things to do near Ocean City, Maryland here.

Go Fishing

a family fishing in Ocean City MD
Michelle Baker Trombetta
– A dad fishing with his girls off the shore at 18th street

There are lots of ways to fish in Ocean City where it doesn’t cost any money.  You will need a fishing license for surf fishing and fishing from the bridge, docks or boats.  If a boat has a license, it covers everybody on the boat.  However, there are a few places to fish in Ocean City without a license:  

  •  the “Oceanic Pier” or “Ocean Pier” as they have a Blanket Pier License.
  • The bulkhead from 2nd to 4th Street (Chicago Ave) and
  • the Northside Park at 125th Street.

According to the Town’s website, “You do not need a license in these two places but you do need a “free registry”. This is free and can also be done over the phone during daytime hours of 7am-7pm at 1-855-855-3906. If you go fishing on a party or charter boat you do not need a license or free registry. You can also go crabbing and clamming in Ocean City without a license.”

Visit the Ocean City Beach

Aerial view in Ocean City Md
Miles of beach are free and fun to walk on.          

Of course, no trip to Ocean City is complete without a visit to the beach. The town has ten miles of beautiful beaches, and there’s no fee to access them. Just pack a beach towel, sunscreen, and enjoy the sun and the waves.  The beach is fun and free in wild weather too.  Watch the waves, feel the wind and sand beat against you, but get off the beach if you see lighting or hear thunder!

Watch the Wild Ponies on Assateague Island

Assateague ponies
You can see the ponies on Assateague from Ocean City if you are really lucky.
Wild Horses at Assateague
The wild ponies of Assateague Island

If you’re visiting Assateague Island which we mentioned above, be sure to keep an eye out for the wild ponies that roam the island. You can often see them grazing or taking a dip in the ocean.  There is an entrance fee to get onto Assateague, but you can buy an annual pass and visit often which keeps your cost low.  Details are available here.  You can also see them from Ocean City by looking across the inlet.

Take a Bike Ride

Bicycles on the Ocean City Boardwalk
Ride with your friends on the Ocean City boardwalk. It’s free and fun.

Riding your bike on the boardwalk is fun and free, but be sure to follow the rules regarding hours that bikes are allowed on the boards.  You can find that information in the FAQs on this site.

These are just a few of the many free outdoor activities you can enjoy in Ocean City. Whether you’re a beach bum or an adventure seeker, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful seaside town. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your Ocean City vacation today and get ready to explore!




On behalf of the Art League of Ocean City, thank you to everyone who supported and made the 7th Annual Ocean City Film Festival a huge success, including our generous sponsors, attendees, filmmakers, committee, volunteers, moderators, and staff. A special shoutout to our headliner, the legendary John Waters, who performed to a sold-out crowd on Saturday night, and to our title sponsors — the Town of Ocean City, the Maryland Film Office, and Ocean Downs Casino — who helped make our festival happen.


The Film Festival was truly a citywide happening and a real boost to the off-season in Ocean City. A big thank you to all of the venues that screened the films and made this year’s festival a success — Flagship Cinemas, Fox Gold Coast Theater, Ocean City Performing Arts Center, Ocean Downs Casino, Seacrets Morley Hall, Residence Inn, and Nick’s. And also to the local businesses who supported us with the popular after-parties — Residence Inn by Marriott, the Princess Royale Hotel, Jay’s Café, Holiday Inn Coral Reef, Seacrets, and the Cambria Hotel. 

Thank you to the diverse group of filmmakers from around the world, many who attended, who allowed us to share 70 compelling films to more than 1,000 attendees. The festival showcased industry professionals as well as university students, young filmmakers, and local talent and gave them opportunities to network with others who share their passion.   

Thank you to our additional supporting sponsors: OCMD Hotels, Atlantic Planning & Development, Good Clean Fun Life Productions, Ocean City Chamber of Commerce, WRDE, Bank of Ocean City, Blue Fish, West O Bottle Shop, Shore United Bank, and Fager’s Island. Also, Papi’s Tacos, Coins Pub, Carousel Resort, Truist Bank, Taylor Bank, Town of Berlin, and Worcester County Tourism.  And to our media sponsors: OCToday, Coastal Point, The Dispatch, Ocean 98.1, Ocean City.com, and Unscene Productions.

Finally, to our audiences who laughed, shed a tear, asked insightful questions, and enthusiastically applauded, we appreciate you choosing to spend your time with us.

We invite you to join us for our monthly film nights at the Ocean City Center for the Arts on 94th St., where you can experience independent film screenings year round. Look for the next Ocean City Film Challenge in summer 2023.

Rina Thaler, Art League of Ocean City Executive Director

B.L. Strang-Moya, Ocean City Film Festival Creative Director

Ocean City is Continuing to Go Green


With over 8 million visitors annually, Ocean City has become one of the top vacation destinations on the East Coast. And with those high numbers of vacationers and locals alike, comes an exorbitant amount of trash and waste. 

Insert the GO Green OC Compost Program. Started by Josh Chamberlain in 2018, a two week pilot program began with The Hobbit Restaurant and owner Garvey Heiderman. “We collected under 2,000 pounds of food waste and our data showed we diverted nearly 51% of food waste. We were in absolute shock.” 

What Is The Go Green OC Compost Program?

“The Go Green OC Compost Program is powered by the tireless efforts of 99% volunteer support. Our collaboration with Ocean Compost, a forward-thinking for-profit business established in 2021, ensures efficient and effective management. While Go Green OC takes care of volunteer engagement, community outreach, and education, Ocean Compost manages the financial aspects and oversees the farm and equipment operations.”


OC Compost

OC Compost

How Does It Work?

“Every day, the Ocean Compost truck collects food waste from various locations in Ocean City, swapping out overflowing bins for clean ones. The waste is weighed and transported to a farm in Bishopville, where it undergoes rigorous quality checks, is blended with carbon-rich materials, and then piled for composting. Over time, this food waste transforms into nutritious soil, thanks to the hard work of our dedicated volunteers who maintain the farm and equipment.

In line with Maryland’s recent legislation, all establishments within a 30-mile radius of a compost facility must compost their food waste if they generate over 2 tons per week. Restaurants that partner with us receive in-house training, tutorial videos, and posters, along with complimentary compost bins and liners. We also give our composting partners a shoutout on our social media channels, which boast an annual reach of 200,000 impressions.”

Food Scraps
Composted Shells
Composted Food
Collected compost scraps

Who is Participating?

An official announcement of the 2023 restaurant and establishments has yet to be made, however here are some of the ones returning to the program : The Hobbit Restaurant, Dough Roller 70th, Dough Roller 42nd, The Bonfire, Longboard Café, Real Raw Organics, Mother’s Cantina 28th Street, Innerbloom, and Bayside Skillet

Dough Roller Composting Bins

How to Get Involved

The program, which is run by Go Green OC, Ocean Compost, and many volunteers works tirelessly year round to ensure that Ocean City is doing it’s part to keep the Earth around for our future. This go green initiative is always on the lookout for more volunteers. Rinsing out empty cans, spraying compost piles, light shoveling and hosing off equipment are just some of the light duties that volunteers can participate in to do their part. Volunteer hours are Monday-Friday 7am-12pm. Come spend an hour volunteering or make a day of it. “We will take all the amazing help we can get!”

Sierra Club and Go Green OC
Pat volunteering
Volunteering and keeping OC green
Volunteering Go Green
Go Green and Volunteer
Spraying the compost

What Does the Program Need?

“We need money. We rely on donations and sponsorships to fund our programs.  Grants have been very competitive. 100% of our donations goes towards our programs and Go Green OC.  Nobody on the Go Green OC board receives a salary.  We are 100% volunteer based.

What The Future Holds

“We are transforming Ocean City into the first zero waste resort town in the United States.   We also lead many more efforts like beach clean ups and we are converting events into zero waste like OC Bikefest.  We have recycled nearly 100,000 aluminum cans over 3 years.”

For more information about the program or donating please visit Go” Green OC on Instagram @gogreenoc. For more information on volunteering please reach out on Instagram or complete this google form here.

Get Your Green On: Why Ocean City, MD is the Ultimate St. Patrick’s Day Destination!

As St. Patrick’s Day 2023 approaches, it’s time to start planning your celebrations in Ocean City, Maryland. There are many exciting activities and festivities to enjoy this year. Here are some of the things to do on St. Patrick’s Day in Ocean City, Maryland, in 2023.

1. St. Patrick’s Day Parade

St-Patricks-Day-Parade Ocean CityThe annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the highlight of the holiday celebrations in Ocean City. The parade takes place on the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day, March 11th, and features floats, marching bands, and colorful performers. The parade starts at 12pm and travels along Coastal Highway from 60th Street to 45th Street. This event is free and a great way for the whole family to enjoy St Patrick’s Day. Make sure you wear something green!

Parking for the Ocean City St Patrick’s Day Parade

If at all possible, walk to the parade, or take the bus. Parking can be a little difficult, and it takes a while for the traffic to get moving after the parade. If you have to take the car, the further away from the parade you park, the easier it will be to leave when the parade is over. Street parking is free in North Ocean City if you can find it, or large parking lots such as the one at 94th Street can be easier. The West Ocean City Park and Ride is also a good option. Leave your car there, and take the bus into town.St-Patricks-Day-Parade Ocean City

2. Shenanigan’s

While many bars and restaurants get their green on during St Patrick’s Day celebrations, Shenanigans can make the Irish claim all year long. This year, they will be opening two weekends in a row for their St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations with live entertainment Thursday through Sunday both weekends!








3. Seacrets

Seacrets St Patricks DaySeacrets always put on a good Irish Weekend with their own Jamaican twist for St Patrick’s Day. Following the Parade on March 11th, Seacrets will have their 2023 8th Annual Seacrets Irie-ish Music Fest from 11am until 3am. There will be live entertainment from noon with 7 Bands & 4 DJs taking you through to the wee small hours.







4. Post-St. Paddy’s Day Parade Entertainment at the Residence Inn

Residence Inn-St-Patricks-DayGrab a seat at the Bayview Bar & Grille at the Residence Inn on 61st Street or catch some entertainment from your private balcony! The OC Pipe & Drums will be making their way here from the Ocean City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, for their own private performance! Watch and listen to the bagpipers parade through and in front of the hotel from approximately 4:30pm to 5:00pm. Following the OC Pipes & Drums, the Lime GREEN Duo will be continuing the celebration with a spread of their fun classic covers and a mix of fun Irish faves, too! Catch them from 6pm to 9pm. Enjoy Irish food and drink specials while they last!


5. Princess Bayside Hotel and Finnigan’s Pub

Princess Bayside, Ocean CityThe Princess Bayside Hotel is the perfect spot to stay for St. Patrick’s Day Parade Weekend, as the hotel is directly on the parade route. Finnigan’s Pub at the hotel will be open all weekend with Irish drink specials, and the hotel itself will be open Friday and Saturday, March 10th and 11th  for St Patricks Day Weekend, and will remain open on weekends until April 27th when they open full time for the season.




6. St. Patrick’s Day 5K

st patricks day 5k run
Photo by OC Tri Running

The St. Patrick’s Day 5K is a fun event for those who want to stay active on St. Patrick’s Day. The 5K race on March 11th  will start on the Ocean City MD Boardwalk on 4th Street at 9am directly behind Shenanigans Irish Pub.  The course will start running south toward the inlet, around pier, then down under the white tram station making a 180 degree turn back on the boardwalk heading north, past Shenanigans starting area, up to 16th st, then making another 180 degree turn heading south once again down the boards to the finish line at 4th st. Join in or cheer them on, and don’t forget to dress up in green and other festive attire!







7. 38th Annual Home Condo and Outdoor Show with Arts and Crafts

Ocean City Convention-CenterNot particularly Irish, but great if the weather is typically Irish, the Home Show at the Convention Center on March 17-19th will have exciting new products and services as well as the basic necessities for your home or condo. Exhibitors will showcase ideas on decorating, remodeling, accessorizing, renovating, and even building a home. The Art and Craft Fair will offer a wide assortment of creative and unique gifts and accessories made by artists and quality crafts people from near and far. This event is open Friday and Saturday, March 17 and 18th from 10:30am – 5pm, and Sunday, March 19 from 10:30am – 3:30pm. 




8. Blippi: The Wonderful World Tour

Blippi: The Wonderful World TourIt’s true, its not very Irish, but if you are in town with the wee ones for St Patricks Day Weekend, then you might want to consider taking them to see Blippi at the Performing Arts Center on March 19th from 2-4pm. There will be lots of singing and dancing, so some may say that makes it Irish enough!  




9. Local Restaurants and Bars

In addition to the pubs mentioned above, there are many local restaurants and bars that offer St. Patrick’s Day specials. Many restaurants offer corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, and other traditional Irish dishes. Local bars also serve green beer, Irish whiskey, and other festive drinks to get you in the holiday spirit.

10. Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy

If you’re looking for a more relaxed St. Patrick’s Day experience, then head to the beach or boardwalk. You can take a dip in the ocean and pretend you’re in Ireland, soak up the sun if it’s out, enjoy the showers, rent bikes to explore the 3-mile boardwalk, or just enjoy a leisurely stroll along the boards. 

St. Patrick’s Day is a fun-filled holiday that’s celebrated with great enthusiasm in Ocean City, Maryland. Whether you’re looking to participate in a parade, enjoy traditional Irish food and drinks, or do something fun with the kids, there’s something for everyone in Ocean City. So, gather your friends and family and head to Ocean City to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in 2023.

Beat the Weather Blues: Enjoy These 9 Indoor Pools in Ocean City, MD Hotels

If you’re planning a trip to Ocean City, MD, you might be wondering where you can find hotels with indoor pools. Fortunately, there are many great options in the area so guests can swim and relax no matter what the weather is like outside. Let’s explore some of the best hotels with indoor pools in Ocean City, MD.

Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront Suites

Hilton’s indoor heated pool

The Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront Suites is a luxurious hotel located right on the beach in Ocean City. The hotel features a large indoor pool with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer stunning views of the ocean. The swimming pool is located within a large atrium surrounded by tables. 32 Palm Lounge borders the indoor pool and drinks or light fare can be enjoyed poolside.

Princess Royale Oceanfront Resort

Princess Royale’s indoor pool

The Princess Royale Oceanfront Resort is another excellent option for travelers looking for an indoor pool. The hotel has a four-story Tropical Atrium, Olympic-sized indoor pool, and there is also a poolside bar where guests can order drinks and snacks.

Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Ocean City

Holiday Inn Hotel Suites Indoor Pool

The Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Ocean City is a family-friendly hotel that offers a range of amenities, including an indoor pool. The pool area features an indoor heated pool and a fully-equipped gym for guests to enjoy.

Grand Hotel Ocean City

Grand Hotel indoor pool

The Grand Hotel is a popular hotel located on the boardwalk in Ocean City. The hotel features a large pool, and there is also a game room and a fitness center to keep you busy.

Residence Inn by Marriott Ocean City

Residence Inn indoor pool

The Residence Inn by Marriott Ocean City is a great option for travelers looking for a hotel with an indoor pool. The hotel’s indoor pool area features a large pool, with windows overlook the bay. There is also a complimentary breakfast buffet for guests to enjoy each morning.

Carousel Hotel

Carousel’s Indoor Pool

The Carousel Hotel is a popular choice for families visiting Ocean City. The hotel features a large indoor pool complex, complete with hot tub, sauna, and fitness center. The Carousel Hotel also offers a range of family-friendly activities, including an ice skating rink, a game room, and a movie theater.

Ocean City Fontainebleau

Ocean City Fontainebleau Resort Indoor Pool

Another great hotel with an indoor pool in Ocean City is the Ocean City Fontainebleau. This oceanfront hotel features an indoor pool that’s open year-round, as well as a hot tub and a sauna. Guests can also enjoy the hotel’s beach access, onsite fitness center with cardio equipment and free weights and on-site restaurant and bar. 

Home2 Suites

Home2 Suites indoor pool

Home2 Suites on the bayside offers modern amenities and a convenient location. The hotel features an indoor pool area with a pool and hot tub, as well as a fitness center and outdoor patio area. Guests can also take advantage of the hotel’s complimentary breakfast and fully-equipped suites.

Fenwick Inn

Fenwick Inn indoor pool

The Fenwick Inn is located bayside in North Ocean City, MD, and offers a great value for visitors. The hotel has recently been remodeled and features a heated indoor swimming pool, hot tub, and Splash Pad. There’s also an on-site restaurant and bar, as well as a game room and fitness center.

There you have it, Ocean City, MD, is an excellent destination for tourists looking for a beach vacation with the added benefit of indoor pools in hotels. Whether you’re traveling with family or looking for a luxurious getaway, there is an indoor pool option for you. So pack your bags, grab your swimsuit, and get ready to enjoy all that Ocean City has to offer!

Our Wintertime Thrush – The Hermit Thrush

Photo by Kim Abplanalp, MCBP

Unpretentious?  Yes, I think that’s it.  I think that may be the best word to describe the hermit thrush.  That little fellow, who, unlike his other thrush cousins, decides he just doesn’t want to migrate any further south.  “No thank you, I think I’ll stay right here.  The cold doesn’t really bother me.” 

What a funny little fellow he is.  And how beautiful – in a drab and elegant way.  The reddish-brown of the tail.  The olive-drab of the back and the slight, sometimes barely noticeable, dark streaks or smudges on the breast.  Not a particularly colorful bird, but a beauty nonetheless.

The hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) is one of several species of spotted thrushes in the eastern U.S.  But unlike his cousins, the hermit thrush is the only spotted thrush that we will see on the Eastern Shore in the winter.  Other thrushes, like the wood thrush, the gray-cheeked thrush and the very head for the warmer climes of Central America in winter.

Photo by Ann Kramer/Audubon Photography Awards

You don’t have to look up into the trees to find him.  He’s usually at eye level or lower.  Typically, in woody or brushy areas where he can search for insects or berries.  And you’ll also notice a bit of tail bopping.  Usually, he’ll stay fairly still, perched on a branch close to

Photo by Seth Yarkony/Audubon Photography Awards

the ground, and will give you the opportunity for a good long look. 

But you won’t see him in the summer.  Not around these parts.  By spring he’s headed back to the northern woodlands and boreal forests where he’ll breed until the diminishing daylight lets him know it’s time to head south again.  If you go looking for him this time of the year, keep watch for that slight movement in the corner of your eye.  They’re not gregarious like wrens and they won’t make a lot of noise or movement.  They’re a bit stealth.  But they are out there and they’re fairly common.  You just need to be a little stealth yourself to find them.  Good luck.

About the Author

Kevin Smith is the Executive Director of the Maryland Coastal Bays Program. As Executive Director, Kevin handles the primary responsibilities of organizational management. Kevin joined the MCBP after spending 34 years at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. He spent most of his career in the field of aquatic and habitat restoration—much of it on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Kevin graduated from the University of Maryland with degrees in Resource Conservation and Fish and Wildlife Management.