OCEAN CITY — On Saturday, Oct. 1, the waterfront docks of West Ocean City will come alive with the sights, sounds and smells of the sea.
Harbor Day at the Docks will take place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and is being held along the working harbor docks adjacent to Sunset Avenue. Created in 2008, this free admission event will celebrate the history and heritage of local maritime traditions, including both commercial fishing and sport fishing.
Highlights will include stories from the sea where local watermen will reminisce their adventures of life on the water. From “dock to plate” seafood cooking demonstrations and discussions will be held from 1-4 p.m., featuring chef Travis Wright, owner of The Shark on the Harbor, who will be preparing a swordfish dish from fisherman Kerry Harrington and the SeaBorn boat. Waterman and cook, John Martin of Martin Fish Company will discuss scallops while preparing a tasty dish, and Chef Tony Hilligoss will delight attendees with his culinary presentation using mussels. Rounding out the FishTales Cooking tent, Phillips Seafood Restaurants will discuss and demonstrate all things related to oysters, while guests enjoy samples.
Maritime artisans will be under the big tent offering their finest wares. Artists from the Art League of Ocean City will be painting plein air style throughout the harbor.
This waterfront heritage festival was developed to teach locals and visitors all about commercial fish harvesting techniques and handling and deep sea fishing methods. Touch tanks and various fishing vessels will be located along the dock and local fishermen will be available to interact with visitors. Watch as the fishermen teach kids how to band a lobster or mend a net. Additionally, a working Coast Guard ship will be available for touring.
Harbor Day at the Docks offers a day of free family fun. Kids’ activities include scallop shell painting, Gyotaku (japaense fish printing) on T-shirts, seashell craft making, moon bounces and more. Ayres Creek Adventures will be offering kayak tours of the harbor to view the commercial boats from a different angle at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Listen to the sounds of locals’ favorite, Opposite Directions, from noon-4 p.m. Delicious, fresh seafood including local lobster, Hooper’s Island jumbo lump crab, shrimp salad, cream of crab soup and more will be available for purchase from The Shark on the Harbor, Crab Alley, SubMarina, Martin Fish Company and the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Companies Ladies Auxiliary. The event culminates with the ceremonial “Blessing of the Fleet” when Sean Davis will offer blessings.
Parking will be limited along Sunset Avenue, but the Francis Scott Key Motel complimentary shuttle bus will be running from the West Ocean City Park-n-Ride lot.
The event is a joint partnership between the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce, the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association and Worcester County Tourism.