summer (n): 1. the most beloved season, characterized by warm weather, cold drinks, and trips to the beach; 2. the time for living a stress-free lifestyle that includes outdoor activities, social events, and celebrations.
According to the calendar, summer starts on June 21, but in Ocean City,Maryland, it has a habit of arriving early. Memorial Day weekend traditionally marks start of summer and ushers in a season of excitement in OCMD. This year will be no different, although it was a tough road of preparation for many local businesses, residents, and tourists to arrive at this juncture.
When Super-storm Sandy barreled up the eastern seaboard last October, countless coastal communities were left at the mercy of its wicked winds and surging surf. Although Ocean City,Maryland did not face the brunt of the storm,Sandy still left much to be repaired and rebuilt in her wake, and generated much uncertainty about the future. After a long winter that included $1.1 million in damage repairs and countless hours of manual labor,Ocean City is proudly ready to open its shores for the 2013 summer season.
As tourists flood the town,Ocean City’s population will swell from approximately 7,000 residents to upwards of 300,000, making it Maryland’s second largest city between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It is anticipated that numbers of tourists will be uncharacteristically inflated this year, due to limited beach access along the New Jersey coast which was dealt Sandy’s toughest blow, and Ocean City is pulling out all the stops to give guests more to experience than ever.
It all begins with the re-opening of the Ocean City Fishing Pier, which has been closed since being damaged during Sandy. Mayor Meehan will be on hand Friday May 24 at 10:30am for a ceremonial first cast that will not only be symbolic of the readiness of the community to put the destruction of Sandy behind it, but also officially kick off what the mayor has dubbed “Lucky Summer 13”.
The “Lucky Summer 13” campaign is more than just a slogan; it’s a pledge to visitors to make this summer the best ever in Ocean City. “Lucky Summer 13” will feature free events 6 nights per week, as well as the abundance of other activities that make OCMD the premiere resort town on the East Coast.
Here are some highlights of the holiday weekend:
The start of summer means the start of summer freebies. The OC Beach Lights Show begins Memorial Day weekend, and continues each Sunday until Labor Day. The 5-story tall display will be visible from the boardwalk and will feature lasers, special effects, audio, and video packages. There will be shows on Saturday and Sunday this weekend commemorating our veterans with a patriotic theme. Shows will run three times nightly at 9:30,10:00, and 10:30 throughout the summer.
The Ocean City Marlin Club will hold its 4th annual Bluefish Tournament at Sunset Marina in West Ocean City from May 24-26. Registration begins at6:30on Friday May 24 before the boats set sail on Saturday. Weigh-ins will be from 3:30-6:00on Saturday and Sunday and the festivities will conclude with an awards banquet and dinner on Sunday from 6:30-9:00.
Those who love art or are looking to celebrate the holiday by shopping should head to the Roland Powell Convention Center for the 13th annual Spring Arts & Crafts Show on Saturday (10:00-5:00) and Sunday (10:00-4:00). Over 50 vendors will showcase paintings, carvings, nautical items, jewelry, and other arts and crafts. Local flowers and specialty food items will also be available and many vendors will conduct workshops and exhibitions .
For a complete listing of Memorial Day weekend happenings, check out our “Appearing Live” and “Out & About” pages, and stay tuned to facebook.com/ocfun and @ocfun on Twitter for updates throughout the weekend.
Welcome to summer!