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(June 21, 2013) The wait is finally over. After months of anticipation, the Dew Tour, with its world-class athletes, has returned to Ocean City.

Last week, workers began erecting a vertical ramp, skateboard bowl and a BMX park, along with the rest of the venue that will contain the “Dew Tour Experience” booths, activities and concert stage just north of the pier in downtown Ocean City.

Working day and night, the crews completed the blocks-wide “Dew Tour Experience” earlier this week — just in time for Day 1 of the four-day Beach Championships, which was scheduled to kick off yesterday, June 20, and will continue through Sunday.

“The Dew Tour brings such an exciting energy to Ocean City. The Beach Championships are a unique celebration of action sports and what better place to host such a lively event than Ocean City’s beach and Boardwalk?” Jessica Waters, communications manager for the Town of Ocean City said last week. “It’s four days of sports, music and fun for our residents and visitors.”

This is the third year the Dew Tour is holding competitions in the resort.

In 2011, the Pantech Open set a Dew Tour attendance record by drawing an estimated 73,000 fans during its four-day run, July 21-24, in Ocean City — its first beachfront venue.

That record was broken last year, as approximately 93,000 spectators came out to the beach in downtown Ocean City for the Dew Tour Pantech Beach Championships, Aug. 16-19.

“It’s always great to come back to Ocean City where we enjoy strong support from the city, local officials and entire community,” Dew Tour General Manager Kenny Mitchell said last week. “We’ve held very successful Dew Tour events here for the past two years and are looking forward to another amazing Beach Championships event in 2013.”

Ocean City offers an “amazing beach setting” and the energy of the Boardwalk creates a perfect synergy with the event, he said.

“Ocean City is an ideal East Coast beach destination and [a place] where we can celebrate action sports with the thousands of fans who attend the Beach Championships each year,” he said.

Events scheduled for Ocean City Beach Championships Friday through Sunday include Skate Vert, Skate Bowl (pro and legends divisions), BMX Park, Vert and Flatland.

No athlete is more familiar with the resort than professional skateboarder Bucky Lasek, who grew up in Baltimore, vacationed frequently in Ocean City and skated at the Ocean Bowl park on Third Street.

Now 40 years old, Lasek, who lives in California, will battle some of the top skateboarders this weekend.

“Competition is going to be at an all-time high,” Lasek said. While many athletes have just one event to focus on, Lasek will have two. He will compete in the Skate Bowl and Skate Vert events.

Depending on the layout of the vert ramp, Lasek said he has some new tricks he may display this weekend.

“The bowl will take a bit of warming up for me,” he said. “Once I get acclimated, we’ll see what I can do.”

When he is not skating, Lasek said he will do “fun family stuff,” such as going to Jolly Roger Amusement Park and snacking on Fisher’s Popcorn, among other Ocean City tasty treats.

New to the event lineup this year is Skate and BMX “Battle at the Beach” Street Sessions, which will feature a small group of top street skaters and BMX riders in a high-energy event that “brings street to the beach,” Mitchell said.

The Tour will also present “Recognize: Art” to celebrate and highlight artwork from action sports athletes and influencers.

“We feel it’s important to inspire our fans and show them action sports is more than amazing tricks, it’s about culture and a way of life,” Mitchell said.

Admission is free for all competitions and concerts, although a limited number of premium passes are available online at http://dewtour.com. Premium Pass tickets guarantee fans a seat for that day’s competitions as well as Dew Tour swag and exclusive souvenirs. They cost $80 each for Friday, Saturday and Sunday activities.

“The Dew Tour Beach Championships will feature the biggest names in skateboarding and BMX competing in our Vert, Skate Bowl and BMX Park and Flatland events, in addition (to) the ‘Battle at the Beach’ Skate and BMX Street Sessions,” Mitchell said.

“Fans can also enjoy the Dew Tour Experience, where our partner brands will host a wide range of activities, games, athlete meet and greet sessions and more. To round out the weekend, visitors can also take in the ‘Recognize: Art’ event and two nights of great live music,” he said.

Tonight, fans can hear New Politics and Krewella, while Saturday night’s “Battle at the Beach” Skate Session will be accompanied by a set from DJ Stimulus, followed by a performance from Talib Kweli.

On April 3, Alli Sports, a division of the NBC Sports Group, announced the 2013 Dew Tour schedule, with Ocean City again stop No. 1.

For the 2013 season, The Dew Tour will feature the “Beach – City – Mountain” format. The tour will return to the urban action sports heritage of San Francisco for the second event of the year, Oct. 10-13, and wrap up at Breckenridge Ski Resort in Breckenridge, Colo., Dec. 12-15.

The 2013 Dew Tour will be shown on NBC, NBC Sports Network and Dew Tour Live on Dew Tour.com.

Dew Tour Live – Dew Tour’s digital platform – will stream every competition live, providing contest action, interviews and behind-the-scenes access. In addition, all telecast hours will be distributed internationally across NBC’s global distribution partners.

“Hosting the Dew Tour provides an enormous amount of free publicity through the TV broadcasts,” said Susan Jones, executive director of the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association. “Not only is our town highlighted during the actual event, but there are countless mentions and replaying of the event throughout the year.”

“Dew Tour has brought in a whole new group of visitors from areas that may have never even heard of Ocean City. We are fortunate they chose our city,” she said.

According to the Demoflush statistics, which uses wastewater flows to estimate the city’s population, approximately 303,787 people were in town during Dew Tour weekend last year.

“There is definitely a positive impact on the town economy, thanks to the Dew Tour. Last year’s event was the largest attended event in the Dew Tour history with over 93,000 people attending,” Waters said.

“Not only is it broadcast live on NBC and NBC Sports, but it is streamed live on dewtour.com. They have a huge fan following and people from all over the world who follow action sports are able to see all of the amazing things Ocean City has to offer; beginning with our beautiful beach and Boardwalk,” she said.

For more event information, visit www.DewTour.com and the Dew Tour Facebook page.

Bucky Lasek

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