(April 26, 2013) Ocean City’s 23rd annual four-day Springfest festival, which traditionally welcomes the start of the resort’s summer season, will kick off Thursday, May 2, with an opening ceremony at 10 a.m. on the outdoor stage at the inlet parking lot.
The event will feature the Stephen Decatur High School Navy ROTC presenting colors, followed by the Berlin school’s show choir singing the National Anthem and a performance by Ocean City Elementary School’s OC Stars, which will include Director Rick Chapman’s original Springfest song.
A ribbon cutting will then officially open the Springfest grounds.
“I’ve put in an order for great weather,” joked Tom Shuster, director of the Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department. “We’re looking to have a great weekend in Ocean City.”
Each year, thousands of visitors travel from across the country to Ocean City for the outdoor festival to listen to live music, shop for arts and crafts and sample a variety of food.
The 22nd installment in 2012 was well attended, with the four-day event drawing 106,321 visitors to the inlet parking lot. The attendance was higher than the five-year average of 103,283.
Aside from a food tent, which features more than two dozen vendors serving everything from Eastern Shore favorites and burgers to deep-fried Twinkies, jumbo turkey legs and alligator, Springfest is also home to two big-top tents that house more than 180 artists and crafters, as well as exhibitors offering commercial and gourmet goods in the midway area. Also featured in the midway area will be the Springfest Boutique, with imprinted apparel and merchandise.
“There’s a little something for everybody,” Shuster said.
A variety of children’s activities, including sand art, temporary tattoos and rock climbing wall, in addition to an inflatable slide, bounce house and obstacle course throughout the weekend.
On the entertainment side, acts specializing in everything from big band and country to rock and roll will perform. All of the entertainment is free, except for headlining acts.
“Every year we bring in some new entertainment to introduce new music to Springfest, but we’ll also have some of our old favorites back,” Shuster said.
Kicking off the headline entertainment will be Beatlemania Again. The group will take the stage on Thursday at 7 p.m. Tickets for the show range from $5 to $10.
Thursday is traditionally considered “locals day” so organizers wanted to give a number of area musicians the opportunity to be showcased that day. Following the Beatlemania Again performance, the third annual Local Band Jam, featuring musicians from the Ocean City area, will put on a free show at 8:30 p.m. Some of the musicians scheduled to jam include Kevin Poole, Lauren Glick, Joe Smooth, Joe Mama, Jeff Davis, John Remy and Mike Armstrong.
Country star Justin Moore will perform at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 3. Ticket prices range from $25 to $45. Tickets are selling quickly for the show. As of Tuesday afternoon, only 155 tickets were still available.
All tickets can be purchased at the ticket booth on the Springfest grounds or at the Ocean City convention center box office, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Foreigner will entertain the crowd on Saturday, May 4. Tickets are sold out.
2U, a U2 Tribute Band, will close the festival on Sunday, May 5, with a free concert at 4:30 p.m.
Springfest grounds will be open Thursday through Saturday, May 2-4, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, May 5, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit www.ococean.com or call 410-250-0125.