OCEAN CITY – Sunset Park capped off its first season of special events and entertainment on Labor Day, bringing a successful first season to a close and leaving the town hopeful for another year of value entertainment.
Sunset Park, located downtown on South Division Street on the bayside, has joined the ranks of the town’s parks available to the public. Sunset Park is adjacent to US Coast Guard Station and across from the downtown OC Transit Station. With panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, Assateague Island, Sinepuxent Bay and Ocean City’s commercial harbor, it’s no wonder the park has been deemed a success. Sunset Park provides breathtaking sunsets, but this year the Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC) coupled those sunsets with live, free entertainment.
Sunset Park became open to the public late August of last year, leaving little to no time to launch special events for the 2006 season. When special events weren’t being enjoyed at the park, people could enjoy the many amenities that it offers – beautiful landscaping, restrooms, crabbing and fishing, environmental message plaques and of course, the sunsets.
This year, the entertainment made its debut at Sunset Park, taking full advantage of the stage exhibits already set up. Both the town and the OCDC came together to provide the public with free music events and festivals. The OCDC put on four musical events throughout the summer. The bands featured were No Byscuts, smooth jazz, Opposite Directions, popular acoustic and Neon Swing X-perience, a swing band.
“With each event we got more participants,” said Glenn Irwin, Executive Director of OCDC.
The town put on music events as well as two festivals and a family fun day. The Rising Sun Reggae Band performed at the park in late June as part of a Family Fun Day presented by both the Town of Ocean City and the National Aquarium of Baltimore. Two festivals were held, the German Festival Night and the Italian Festival Night, with the Italian Festival Night wrapping up the season on Labor Day.
“Both had really excellent turnouts,” Irwin said, explaining that food, music and beer were available at both events. “We know Sunset Park is just going to grow with each event and with each year.”
Irwin compared it to the success seen at Somerset Street. This year concluded the fifth year of entertainment at Somerset Street, and according to Irwin, had its most successful year.
As for next year, residents and visitors can be expecting another summer of special events at Sunset Park, according to Irwin.