OCEAN CITY – The new Sunday night OC Beach Lights shows downtown have experienced a few technical difficulties, but “the show goes on” as adjustments are being made along the way.
Mayor Rick Meehan explained this week that there have been a few difficulties that the city in conjunction with Bob Rothermel of T.E.A.M Productions has been working on to tweak the show, which entails a five-story tall inflatable sphere featuring a visual laser, lighting, video and audio production.
In order to have the visibility of the ball just right, the town has been working on minimizing ambient lighting on the Boardwalk in the immediate area, which is around North Division, Dorchester and Somerset streets.
This week the Mayor and City Council approved to have a large section of lighting on the Boardwalk turned off during the shows. Those sections of lighting are immediately turned back on at the conclusion of the shows.
“Also, what happened last Sunday night was as they were inflating the ball they got a tear in the ball but they adjusted very quickly,” Meehan said. “It was amazing what they were able to do, so that had caused some concern. As a matter of fact, immediately after the show the ball was shipped … to the manufacturer to be prepared and it will be back here in time for Sunday.”
Ongoing communication with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has been occurring to ensure the show can have full unrestricting lighting of lasers. In order to do so, activity at the Ocean City Municipal Airport has been suspended during the time of the shows.
“In order to do those unrestricted displays of the lasers, we need to make sure that it doesn’t conflict with air traffic and with pilots, and we have been able to do that because the airport has actually been closed during those time periods the last couple of weeks because of construction and we needed the council’s permission to move forward and ask the FAA if we can continue that for very short durations on Sunday nights,” the mayor said.
At Monday evening’s meeting, the council approved that airport activity be suspended on Sunday nights from 9:15 to 9:40, 10 to 10:10, 10:30 to 10:40. The council’s approval was necessary in order to file the same request with the FAA in order to receive a final approval.
As the discussion came to an end, Rothermel announced a new addition to the laser light show. Photos can now be submitted of Ocean City visitors and their stay to be displayed on the video screen on the sphere. He said just an hour after the announcement was made on Sunday night they had already received 100 submissions. Visit ocbeachlights.com for more information on submitting photos.