OCEAN CITY – Planning for OC Beachfest is preceding smoothly, reported event coordinators last week, noting that while the running component of the three-day sporting event will be seeing some changes, the rest of the events remain on track.
Event planners Brad Hoffman and Jack Hennen returned to the Tourism Commission last week to update members on the progress of the 2009 scheduled event.
OC Beachfest is tentatively scheduled for June 19-21, 2009 and will include three days of professional and amateur sports. The three-day, citywide event would include surfing, skateboarding, bodyboarding, several running components, paddleboarding, BMX and kiteboarding. Interactive activities, vendors, music, demos, entertainment, sports celebrities, health and fitness, and beach movies will also be featured over the course of the three-day event.
Plans for the event originally called for a 5K run and half-marathon, but concerns over police overtime and traffic control for a half marathon through the town led Hennen and Hoffman to rethink the running component of the event.
“It’s not going to be nearly as much of an impact on the town’s roadways,” Hennen said.
Instead of the half marathon, the event will now feature several shorter runs. Hennen explained that the shorter runs will have less of an impact on the town’s resources and will also promote more family involvement, one of the larger goals of the event. The runs will also be geared more towards the recreational runner now rather than marathon runners.
“The way we’ve revamped the run, we probably won’t need any police officers, maybe one,” said Hennen.
The new route for the runs will include the beach, Boardwalk, and parts of downtown Baltimore Ave. EMS assistance will be required from the town as well as traffic cones from the Department of Public Works.
Hoffman reported that the Recreation and Parks Department is onboard and excited about the use of the Ocean Bowl Skate Park for the skateboarding events.
The surf events are tentatively scheduled for the beach in front of the Castle In the Sand, said Hoffman, an area that is used annually for the town’s long-boarding surf competition. Hoffman hopes for pro-surfers from as far as Hawaii, Florida and Puerto Rico to attend the contests to draw crowds.
So far, OC Beachfest will only require in-kind services from the town. Hennen and Hoffman requested the use of advertising space last week, requesting advertising support on the town’s website, in the town newsletter, on bus boards, and in various locations throughout town.
“We’ll supply all the stuff that’s needed, the banners, the posters, the rack of cards,” explained Hennen.
The commission remained receptive and enthusiastic about the event.