OCEAN CITY — Celebrating coastal heritage is paramount to the organizers of Harbor Day at the Docks, which on Saturday, Oct. 6 will mark its fifth anniversary.
Beginning at 10 a.m., the waterfront festival showcases Ocean City’s humble beginnings as a fishing village. Held along the working harbor docks adjacent to Sunset Avenue, “this event is truly authentic and is great because it caters to people of all ages,” according to Amy Tingle, event manager for the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association and one of the event organizers.
Local chefs will prepare fresh fish during the “dock to plate” seafood cooking demonstrations and discussions. Guests are encouraged to come with an appetite as local restaurants concoct tasty seafood dishes for sale. Phillips Seafood Restaurant will conduct “crabology 101” describing this crustacean and the art of crab picking, while guests enjoy samples. Additionally, for the first time, visitors can enjoy fresh steamed crabs as Hooper’s Crab House will be steaming crabs on-site.
Maritime artisans display and sell their hand-crafted items while artists from the Art League of Ocean City paint plein air style throughout the harbor. The Jolly Roving Tars begin playing nautical music at 10 a.m. and local musician Bryan Russo takes the stage at 3 p.m.
New this year, the Fishmobile (a converted bookmobile) will arrive on the scene with live specimens from local waters. This traveling marine science exhibit allows children to touch and hold living animals and learn how an oyster reef is created. Various fishing vessels will be located along the docks and local fishermen interact with visitors offering the opportunity to actually learn how to band a lobster, clean a fish or mend a net. Additionally, a working Coast Guard ship is available for touring.
This day of free family fun includes numerous kids’ activities including scallop shell painting, seashell craft making, moon bounces and more. Get up close and personal with the vessels with views from the water during free kayak tours offered by Ayers Creek Adventures.
The event culminates at 5 p.m. with the ceremonial “Blessing of the Fleet” where Minister Sean Davis will offer blessings for the fishermen and their families.
Everyone is invited to join us in celebrating our unique coastal heritage and traditions. Parking will be limited along Sunset Avenue; however, the Francis Scott Key Family Resort will offer complimentary shuttle bus service running from the West Ocean City Park-n-Ride lot.