NEW FOR WEDNESDAY: Area Fourth Of July Festivities

Ocean City

It’s time to celebrate the Fourth of July in Ocean City. For families who want to watch the fireworks sparkle over the beautiful water, the Town of Ocean City offers two great locations to enjoy the holiday, with free concerts and fireworks displays.

At Northside Park, 125th Street and the bay, the Reagle Beagles start the evening off at 8 p.m. The spectacular fireworks display will be shot from the west side of the park at 9:30 p.m.

“You’ll hear the oohs and aahs throughout the park as families watch the colorful displays light up the evening sky,” said Mayor Rick Meehan. “We encourage spectators to get there early to claim the best location to view the fireworks.”

On the south end of town, you can head to Ocean City’s famous Boardwalk with its bright lights, assortment of food, family fun and more fantastic fireworks.

OH Boy! A Tribute to America will perform a free concert on North Division Street at 8 p.m. with fireworks filling the sky beginning at 9:30 p.m.

“The July 4 Celebration in Ocean City is a unique opportunity to watch fireworks sparkle over the ocean,” Meehan said. “Bring your beach chair or blanket and claim a spot on the beach for a special and patriotic display.”

Parking is extremely limited at both locations. It is recommended that visitors take the bus. Bus service is $3 ride all day or $1 per boarding. The West Ocean City Park & Ride on Route 50 is just west of the Route 50 Bridge and offers free parking and $3 ride-all-day shuttle service to downtown.

Also, area boaters should note that on the evening of July 4, the span of the Route 50 bridge will remain closed to marine traffic at the usually scheduled 9:55 p.m. and 10:25 p.m. opening times. The Route 50 bridge will open for boaters at 10:55 p.m. on the evening of July 4.

Ocean Pines

Ocean Pines Recreation and Parks Department has announced an improved schedule for the Fourth of July Celebration.

The day will now begin at 8 a.m. with the special patriotic Freedom 5K race. At approximately 9 a.m., the Sports Core Pool and the South Gate lawn surrounding the Worcester County’s Veteran Memorial will host the “All American Day,” festivities. Lastly, the Ocean Pines Association will light up the night sky with fireworks over Showell Park just after dark.

The 2013 OPA Freedom 5K Run will jump start the national holiday in the morning. Runners will race around the stunning South Gate Pond, travel up Manklin Creek Road and then return to the finish line at the Veterans Memorial.

The cost to race will be $25 per person, which also includes a T-shirt, hospitality area, and a free wristband allowing entrance into portions of the post-race activities and Fourth of July celebrations. A portion of race proceeds will be donated to the “Home of the Brave Inc.,” which provides a vacation home and entertainment for returning soldiers and their families.

Race medals will be awarded to the overall top male and female performers. Awards will also be given to top finishers in each age group male and female: Younger than 10, 11 to 19 years, 20 to 29 years, 30 to 39 years, 40 to 49 years, 50 to 59 years, 60 to 69 years and older than 70 years.

The race is open to all ages and interested runners can register on active.com using the keyword: OPA Freedom Run or by using the online portal on www.oceanpines.org. Interested participants can also register by visiting/calling the Ocean Pines Recreation and Parks Department at 410-641-7052. Early registration is required to guarantee a shirt. There will be day of registration for $35.

At 9 a.m., the “All American Day” festivities will begin. Families are invited to a pool party and a vast assortment of fun activities. There will be moon bounces, water slides, face painting, carnival games, and refreshments such as cotton candy, hot dogs, snow cones, root beer floats and more. New for 2013 will be a 51-foot inflatable shark moon bounce and three-player inflatable play zone. A live DJ will also play all day. Moon bounces and water slides are $5 for unlimited rides with a wristband, additional fees may apply on particular attractions. The pool will be free to swim members; all others will pay the regular daily pool rate.

At dark, after a day of celebrating the country’s birthday, settle into a seat as the Ocean Pines Association sponsors a light show in the sky. Fireworks will shoot over the Showell Park on Route 589 at approximately 9:15 p.m.  

The recommended viewing locations for fireworks are Showell Elementary School, the Community Church of Ocean Pines, Most Blessed Sacrament School, St. John Neumann Church, and the pavilions. All parking will be free.

Snow Hill

SNOW HILL — The Town of Snow Hill will continue its Independence Day celebration into the weekend following the 4th with a full day of activity on Saturday, July 6.

Beginning at 10 a.m., registration for the Annual Canoe Joust will be in Sturgis Park on River Street. This unique event is sponsored by the Snow Hill Volunteer Fire Department. Attendees are invited to watch this seventh annual battle on the river as teams vie for dominance from their canoes against teams from the surrounding area.

Food and beverage vendors will be on hand for the actual joust that begins at 11:30 a.m. and will continue throughout the afternoon. The US Army Field Band, The Volunteers, will provide the backdrop for the Independence Day celebration that begins at 5 p.m. Look for activities for families to include bouncy houses, face painting, boat rides and vendors. A DJ will play up until dusk when the fireworks display will begin followed by SmallTime that will play after the Fireworks until midnight.

Fireworks will be set off from Byrd Park over the Pocomoke River. People are asked to bring their lawn chairs, blankets and families to Sturgis Park to see this outstanding display of fireworks. Neon bracelets and glow sticks will be sold by the Purnell Museum.

Sponsors for the Fireworks display include an anonymous donor, the Town of Snow Hill and the Snow Hill Area Chamber of Commerce. The event is free to the public.

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