(March 8, 2013) Ocean City’s first “Finnegan’s Wake,” sponsored by the Friends of the Worcester County Developmental Center, will take place Saturday, from 5-9 p.m., in Seacrets’ Morley Hall on 49th Street.
Finnegan’s Wake is a mock Irish funeral that notes the supposed passing of Tim Finnegan. The Ocean City event is loosely based on a traditional Irish song of the same name about an Irish laborer.
“We thought it would be a nice, fun event for people to learn more about [the Worcester County Developmental Center],” said Jack Ferry, WCDC program director. “It’s a unique event.”
Morley Hall will open at 5 p.m. Saturday. A funeral procession, which will include St. Patrick, mourners, clergy, pall-
bearers and a leprechaun, or two, will begin at 5:30 p.m. The Ocean City Pipe Band will lead the procession from Sea-
crets’ parking lot into the hall, where Finnegan, in his “casket,” will be displayed for viewing.
Musician Patrick McAllorum will play Irish favorites that evening. The Ocean City Pipe Band is also scheduled to perform.
From 6-6:15 p.m., 7:30-7:45 pm. and 8-8:15 p.m., mourners can view Finnegan in his coffin. Jack Ferry Sr. of Ocean Pines and Cecil Tull and Lee Gerachis, both of Berlin, will take turns playing the part of Finnegan.
For a $1 donation, guests will have the opportunity to tell Finnegan a joke or funny story. If he laughs, the teller will win a free drink.
Wealthy Irish would often hire professional mourners, called Keeners, to cry for their departed. During the Ocean City wake, there will be a wailing/crying contest. Points will be awarded for volume, style and feeling. The winner will receive a prize.
Admission into Finnegan’s Wake is a $20 donation. Happy hour prices will be offered at the bar and a special Irish menu will be available.
“Start your St. Patrick’s Day festivities early with us. It’s going to be a fun time for a good cause,” Ferry said. “We hope to make it an annual event.”
All of the money raised will benefit the Friends of WCDC, the auxiliary that supports the Worcester County Developmental Center’s mission — to empower developmentally challenged adults in making individual choices in how they live and work in their communities.
The WCDC, located in Newark, Md., provides employment opportunities, day habilitation training, residential services and community-based support for adults who live with an intellectual disability in Worcester, Somerset and Wicomico counties. Staff works with about 85 clients on a daily basis, Ferry said.
For more information about the wake or services offered by WCDC, call 410-632-2382 or visit wcdcservices.org.