(June 14, 2013) The sixth annual Ocean City Air Show was delayed by rain last Saturday, but Sunday’s performances went off without a hitch and were viewed by thousands.
“The air show was great. Despite a little rain on Saturday, which postponed the event until 2 p.m., the show went terrific,” said Jessica N. Waters, communications manager for the Town of Ocean City.
“Both Saturday and Sunday brought out a great crowd of spectators on the Boardwalk and the beach,” she said. “I think despite the sequestration and the grounding of the Blue Angels, the sixth annual OC Air Show certainly did not disappoint.”
The 2013 air show, produced by B. Lilley LLC Productions, featured an all-civilian, all-star lineup of performers.
Because of federal budget cuts, no U.S. military aircraft were flown at the air show, or any other show in the country, this year. When the federal government’s sequester grounded armed forces flight teams, a number of the military acts that had performed during the show the last few years could no longer attend, including scheduled headliner the Blue Angels.
The show was centered on the beach at 16th Street, where premium viewing areas were set up for a fee, though the performances could be viewed from the beach and along the Boardwalk for free.
The 2013 OC Air Show included aircraft demonstrations, low altitude flyovers, parachute team jumps and civilian aerobatic performances by some of the nation’s top civilian pilots over the beach both days.
The only civilian-owned Sea Harrier jet in the world, flown by Art Nalls, headlined the show lineup that also included the Red Bull helicopter, aerobatic pilot Mike Wiskus in the Lucas Oil Pitts, Lucas Oil jump team, Raiders Flight Team, L-39 jet, P-51 Mustang, Air Force Heritage flight, GEICO Skytypers, John Klatt in the ANG MXS and Ocean City resident Sean Carroll flying the Yak-9.
The Lucas Oil Jump Team descended from the plane to open Saturday’s show at 1 p.m. Then the rain began to fall, delaying the show a little over an hour, according to Cathy Bassett, spokeswoman for B. Lilley LLC Productions.
Sunday was a “perfect day,” she said and “everything went very well.”
“Overall, we’re very pleased with the show,” Bassett said. “We’ve heard a lot of positive feedback from the people who came.”
“I thought that the show was a tremendous success,” said Melanie A. Pursel, executive director of the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce. “The civilian line was very entertaining and the guests that we spoke to had a wonderful time. Sunday was especially exciting with the perfect weather.”
Besides the Air Show, other activities going on in town last weekend were the 12th annual OC Car and Truck Show at the convention center on 40th Street, lacrosse and basketball tournaments at Northside Park on 125th Street and a beach soccer tournament in downtown Ocean City.
According to the city’s Demoflush statistics, which estimate population based on wastewater usage, there were 204,647 people in Ocean City last weekend.
There are about 108 Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association lodging members (hotels, motels and some apartments) with approximately 9,500 rooms.
Susan Jones, executive director of the Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association, said about 90 percent of lodging members were full on Saturday.
“The culmination of all the events led to a lot of places being sold out,” she said. “It was definitely a solid weekend room-wise.”
Jones and her family took out their boat on Sunday and watched the air show from the sandbar near Hooper’s Crab House, located at the foot of the Route 50 bridge.
“The show was great. It definitely brings people to town, whether they just come for the day or stay overnight” she said.