22nd Annual Winterfest Of Lights Underway In Ocean City

22nd

OCEAN CITY — The Town of Ocean City will be a bit brighter for the next five weeks, as Winterfest of Lights celebrates its 22nd year illuminating Northside Park.

Named a prestigious Top 100 Event for 2013 by American Bus Association and voted “Maryland’s Finest Holiday Tradition” by Maryland Life Magazine, Winterfest of Lights is a winter paradise for the whole family to enjoy.

The Winterfest Express takes guests on a ride through a mile-long animated wonderland of dazzling lights and spectacular displays, including the Twelve Days of Christmas and additional fairytale favorites. Christmas carols float through the air and throughout the Winterfest Village, which is located inside a festive and heated pavilion.

To celebrate the spirit of the season, visitors can sip hot chocolate from The OC Recreation Boosters Café or browse the Yukon Cornelius Gift Shop for that special stocking stuffer or OC souvenir.

In celebration of 50 years of the Boardwalk Tram, guests can take their photo at Winterfest’s very own Instagram photo spot, with a classic Winterfest Express tram car.

Don’t forget to visit Santa with your wish list and meet Mrs. Claus, who makes her first appearance at Winterfest. Whereas Santa is all about giving to others as a sign of appreciation, Mrs. Claus is here to spread her wisdom on staying healthy and lending a helping hand. This iconic couple will be on site to delight adults and kids alike through Dec. 23.

A special opening ceremony kicked off the season last night at Northside Park’s Winterfest Village at 127th Street and the bay.

Adding to the excitement of Winterfest of Lights, the Jingle Bell Run and the New Year’s Eve Fireworks show will both be returning for a third year.

The Winterfest of Lights Jingle Bell Run, which will take place on Sunday, Dec. 7, is sponsored by the Town of Ocean City’s Recreation and Parks Department and OC TriRunning. The race takes runners through an animated course of dazzling lights and spectacular displays at Northside Park.

The New Year’s Eve celebration, which also takes place at Northside Park, will celebrate the beginning of 2015 with live entertainment, free give-a-ways, fireworks, warm hot chocolate, and the opportunity to ride the Winterfest of Lights.

Winterfest of Lights is located at Northside Park, 125th Street & the Bay. The hours of operation will be Sunday-Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for those 12 years and older and free for those 11 years and younger.

 

Things I Like

Going to the beach at least once a week

 

Checking in on my kids in their beds

 

An old suit that still fits

 

Thanksgiving morning workouts

 

Funny commercials with pets

 

Photos of a seal on a local dock

 

Short work days on Fridays

 

Big oak tree leaves

 

No-fee ATMs

 

My collection of “to read” books

 

Waking up early

 

Worcester Prep’s Upper School Fall Girls’ Sport Awards Presented

Students F

Worcester Prep Upper School Girls’ Fall Sports Awards were recently presented to, front from left, Bridget Brown, Varsity Volleyball Most Improved; Isabel Carulli, Varsity Field Hockey Coach’s Award; Shelby Laws, Varsity Soccer Most Improved; Jordie Loomis, Varsity Field Hockey MVP; and Maya Zia-Shakeri, JV Volleyball MVP; and, back, Rylie Doyle, Varsity Golf Coach’s Award; Cecily Sass, Varsity Volleyball Coach’s Award; Sophie Brennan, Varsity Soccer MVP; Mattie Maull, Varsity Volleyball MVP; Molly Soule´, Varsity Soccer Coach’s Award; Sophia Bandorick, JV Volleyball Coach’s Award; and Hannah Arrington, Varsity Field Hockey Most Improved. Missing from the photo is Eliza Chaufournier, JV Volleyball Most Improved.

Vanishing Ocean City With Bunk Mann

vanishing 11-21

The Seaview was constructed in the World War I era on the Boardwalk between 3rd and 4th streets. More of a boarding house than a full service hotel, the Seaview offered both rooms and apartments to summer guests. The frame three-story building was built on pilings and survived many storms including the famous March Storm of 1962.

The Seaview was damaged when the neighboring Hamilton Hotel burned down on Dec. 14, 1969 and was torn down after the fire.

The Polynesian, the first condo on the south section of the Boardwalk, was built on their sites and opened in 1971.

Postcard photo courtesy of Bill and Kitt Matthews

 

Final Phase Of 45th Street Village Redevelopment OK’d

OCEAN CITY – With distress, the Planning and Zoning Commission voted to approve the final phase of the 45th Street Village redevelopment that will include outdoor seating and bars at the Shallow Waters restaurant, residential units and new retail space.

On Tuesday evening, the Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed a proposed project includes a new 10,282-square-foot commercial retail structure. The applicant was Avi Sibony of 45th Street Village, LLC.

Architect Keith Iott explained the site plan also includes the construction of a deck bar with plantable area on the south side of Shallow Waters Restaurant, which currently exists on the western side of the property on the bay. Additionally, a proposed boardwalk area is proposed with some seating, two different bar areas and undefined seating along the bulkhead that will also be a plantable area to comply with Critical Area and Stormwater regulations.

“It will likely be a part of Shallow Waters but it is yet to be determined. There is a hope a pedestrian promenade will eventually be built to connect to the back of the Convention Center one day,” Iott added.

The Roland E. Powell Convention Center is located on the bay a few blocks to the south.

The other aspect to the site plan is where the current Sunsations and what was originally the restaurant, Flavors of Italy, on Coastal Hwy. a portion of the second floor will be removed to allow for additional retail space. Also a separate entrance will be added to serve three new apartments in that building. There will be a two-bedroom apartment on the second level and two, three-bedroom apartments on the third level.

The new retail area will replace the last remaining piece of the original buildings at 45th Street Village on southern side. It is yet to be defined as to what retail will be put in place.

Zoning Administrator Blaine Smith explained the shopping center totals 47,753 square feet. According to the Mixed-Use Code, of that total 25 percent can be used for restaurant space with the same parking ratio as the shopping center, which is one parking space per 225 feet. Anything above that 25 percent credit for restaurant space has to have one parking space per 100 square feet.

“They have a substantial amount of restaurant space in that shopping center exceeding the 25 percent allocation, so they have to provide more parking for the additional square feet of restaurant,” Smith said.

Smith furthered the project also applies for Special Bayside Regulations that allows for a 20-percent reduction of parking for mixed-uses.

“Because of the 25 percent credit, 11,938 square feet of restaurant use is the same as the shopping center of one space per 225 feet. They have around 16,000 more square feet of restaurant space that is one space per 100 feet,” Smith said. “With all that said, plus the apartments, they have to provide 314 parking spaces based on the shopping center and residential use but because they became a mixed-use project they were given a 20-percent reduction that reduced it by 61 parking spaces, so instead of providing 314 spaces they will provide 252 required spaces. They are providing 275, so they will provide more than what the reduced amount is.”

Commission member Lauren Taylor argued the project did not meet the definition of a mixed use.

“This is a restaurant complex that happens to have a retail store. That is a whole different concept than what the legislation was originally planned for,” she said.

Representing Sibony, attorney Joseph Moore, argued the location is unique in what commercial space is left in Ocean City.

“Back in July, I wrote Will Esham [Planning and Zoning attorney] a two-page opinion letter talking about the fact that mixed-use is not defined in Ocean City and you all rejected that. I am going to call on you all to comply with the Code of Ocean City. The fact is we have a mixed-use development, and therefore we are providing 275 parking spaces,” he said.

Moore furthered the property allows for nine million square feet of buildable space, but the total development comes to 1,073,000 square feet.

“We are not jamming a use into our parking area. We are providing an access of the parking that is required by the code,” he said. “We have a unique facility. You all have seen the type of development that Mr. Sibony has put there so far. It is a huge upscale to what 45th Street Village used to look like and we want to continue that trend.”

Commission Chair Pam Buckley agreed the site plan does not meet the intent of the mixed-use district.

“However, I am sufficiently satisfied with the fact that it is a unique situation and it could have so much more to be developed there” she said.

Acting Planning and Zoning Commission attorney Chris Mancini urged the commission to state the basis of the denial if that is the direction it was heading.

“If you are going to approve it, then you are basically indicating that it is in compliance with the code, but if you are going to deny it then you need to be specific as to the nature of why you are denying it. Whether you believe it is in violation with the code or whether you think it is just not an appropriate site plan,” Mancini said.

Commission member Chris Shanahan made a motion to approve the site plan and the parking calculations.

According to Shanahan, who is co-owner of K-Coast Surf Shop, brick and mortar retail is growing 1.5 percent a year while Internet retail grows 15 percent a year.

“I look at this project from more of an economic market point of view than neighborhood. The guy is trying to develop something that he can make money on and move forward with. My hat goes off to him for even wanting to do retail knowing the statistics. It is tough out there … to build a 10,000-square-foot retail store takes a lot of guts and Avi [Sibony] knows what he is doing, so he is going to do it right,” he said.

Shanahan believed the project does fall under the title of mixed-use.

“If people come to this place, they are going to stay for a while. I think he [Sibony] is counting on people going to the restaurants and bars but also patronize the retail stores. The retail is probably the draw … isn’t that the point of a mixed-use?” he said.

The commission voted 5-0 to approve with commission member Peck Miller excusing himself from the discussion because of an affiliation with the project and member Palmer Gillis abstaining.

Following the vote, the commission was in consensus the code regarding the mixed-use district needs to be revisited.

“They [commission] still have heart burn over it,” Smith said on Thursday. “They know technically he [Sibony] has met the letter of the law but they don’t believe it met the intent of the mixed-use law because it is not enough of a mixed-use. They can’t argue it so they went ahead and voted on it. It would take a code amendment.”

 

Atlantic Physical Therapy “Tough Guy Of The Week”

tough guy barrett

The final Atlantic Physical Therapy “Tough Guy of the Week” award went to Cole Barrett for his outstanding performance in the Seahawks’ 41-8 win over Snow Hill in the season finale last week. Pictured above is Barrett (center) flanked by Coach Bob Knox (left) and the ATP President and CEO Bob Hammond (right). The “Tough Guy of the Year” award will be announced this week at a special awards ceremony and will appear next week.

 

Submitted photo

OC To Host Holiday Shopper’s Fair Next Weekend

OCEAN CITY – The whole family will enjoy a visit to the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Nov. 28-30, for the 32nd Annual Holiday Shopper’s Fair.

The Holiday Shopper’s Fair, which was started in 1983 as part of the effort to bring visitors to the resort in the shoulder season, attracted 2,000 people with 66 vendors its first year in Ocean City. This year, the shopping extravaganza will feature more than 120 vendors with an estimated 9,000 people visiting the three-day tradition, which is sure to put everyone in the holiday spirit.

This year’s fair features unique gifts for everyone on your shopping list, including art and craft items, hand painted furniture, quilted handbags, ornaments, candles, jewelry, florals and other specialty gift items. You’ll also find toys, pet items and sports related memorabilia, nautical items, stained glass, country woodcrafts, lighted baskets and ceramics. Vendors will also offer honey-roasted almonds and chocolates, Greek pastries, assorted cakes and cookies for gift giving.

Non-profit organizations will also be on hand including Delmarva Cat Connection with cat/kitten adoptions and art and craft items, and Town Cats with adoptions, puzzles and other gift items for sale. Quilters By The Sea will sell raffle tickets for a quilt. The Marine Corps League will be on hand for Wounded Warriors and Toys for Tots.

Face painting and games will be offered this year for children and these activities are included in the price of admission to the show. Santa will be making a daily appearance from 11am to 3:30pm on Friday and Saturday, and 11am to 2pm on Sunday. Be sure to stop by and leave your Christmas wish list.

Door prize drawings will be held every hour on the half hour (must be present to win) and for the non-shopper, a television room will be open showing football games.

Show hours are Friday, Nov. 28, and Saturday, Nov. 29, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 30, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $3 for the weekend. Children 13 and under are admitted free.

For more information about the 32nd Annual Holiday Shopper’s Fair, call 1-800-OC-OCEAN, 410-289-2800 or e-mail mcollins@oceancitymd.gov.

 

 

Salvation Army Seeks Bell Ringers

SALISBURY — The Lower Eastern Shore Salvation Army is currently looking for and scheduling volunteers to help with this year’s Red Kettle Campaign.

Volunteer bell ringers are needed to man numerous kettles at several locations in the tri-county service area of Somerset, Worcester and Wicomico.

If you, your business, church, school, social club or civic organization would like to ring and become part of this wonderful tradition of good will and service to others, call the local Salvation Army offices today at 410-749-7771, ext. 113.

 

Berlin Seahawks Capture Pop Warner Title

BERLIN- The Berlin Seahawks’ midget Pop Warner team last week captured the Henlopen Tournament championship with an impressive overtime win over the Laurel Bulldogs.

The Henlopen Tournament title game played at Cape Henlopen High last Saturday featured the Berlin Seahawks and the Laurel Bulldogs. The game was tied at 20-20 after regulation, setting up a dramatic finish in the title game.

The Seahawks stopped Laurel on its first overtime possession after recovering a fumble on a third-down play. On Berlin’s first offensive possession in overtime, the Seahawks went for it on fourth down and scored a touchdown on a jet sweep to the left side, giving them the 26-20 win and the championship in the Henlopen Tournament’s midget division.

A Week In Business

Margaret Mudron of Taylor Bank and Nancy Bradford of the Bank of Ocean City are pictured receiving an award from the Maryland Bankers Association Financial Education Awards Program. Submitted Photo

Margaret Mudron of Taylor Bank and Nancy Bradford of the Bank of Ocean City are pictured receiving an award from the Maryland Bankers Association Financial Education Awards Program. Submitted Photo

Banks Awarded

BERLIN — The Bank of Ocean City and Calvin B. Taylor Banking Company recently received an award from the Maryland Bankers Association (MBA) Financial Education Awards Program, which recognizes member institutions that have excelled in spreading financial education in the communities they service.

The Bank of Ocean City and Calvin B. Taylor Bank were awarded second place in the category of adult and seniors for their “Elder Financial Abuse Program“. This was the first time in the history of MBA Financial Education Program that two banks have collaborated on their education efforts in the community.

Financial education classes are available to any local group, class or organization by contacting either the Bank of Ocean City or Calvin B. Taylor Bank. Accepting the award were Margaret Mudron, left, assistant vice president and financial education coordinator for Taylor Bank, and Nancy Bradford, assistant vice president at the Bank of Ocean City.

 

 

Text-To-Win Contest Launched

BERLIN — South Moon Under and Mexico Grand Hotels announced on Monday the launch of a nationwide text-to-win mobile SMS contest to “Win a Stylish Getaway.”

South Moon Under’s fans and customers can enter for a chance to win a five-night, all-inclusive stay for two guests at Hacienda Encantada Resort & Spa in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and $1,000 to spend at any South Moon Under location.  Customers can enter by texting ‘TAKEMETHERE’ to 33233 or through a simple entry form on www.southmoonunder.com.Contest ends Jan. 4, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern standard time and is open to the residents of the United States only.

South Moon Under is running this sweepstakes through mobile SMS and across all of their social media platforms, online and in all 22 brick and mortar locations in order to engage visitors with the brand as well as offer a unique opportunity to invite followers to visit and explore the destination resort & spa.  For more details about the giveaway, prize and official contest rules visit http://bit.ly/1sKTUy9.

“We are thrilled to partner with a well-known brand such as South Moon Under on the ‘Win a Stylish Getaway’ contest,” said Gabriel Ibarra, Sales & Marketing Director of Mexico Grand Hotels. “We are excited to offer our loyal guests and fans the opportunity to win a very stylish getaway.”

This is the first giveaway of its kind for South Moon Under.

 

Company Wraps First Year

OCEAN CITY – Live Wire Media, a full service entertainment production and marketing agency, is celebrating a successful first year in business.

The Eastern Shore-based company was formed last November by two Ocean City locals — developer Todd Burbage and event producer Brad Hoffman.

Live Wire Media produced four events this year ranging from a hot rod enthusiast event in Hampton, Va. to Ocean City Jeep Week this past August. The company also successfully launched several corporate activations.

This past week, members of the Live Wire Media team attended the SEMA Show in Las Vegas to promote the company’s 2015 events. Hoffman believes the company has grown successfully over the past year.

“We have worked very hard in 2014, from working out of a backpack and a cellphone this time last year to now having a team of talented professionals and an office in West Ocean City,” said Hoffman.

The company’s first event, The Virginia Hot Rod and Custom Car Show, drew an impressive 10,000 spectators to the Hampton Coliseum in March 2014. Live Wire Media’s most recent event, OC Jeep Week, saw a record number of 1,000 Jeeps and over 3,000 spectators.

“The future is now in our hands,” Hoffman said. “We will be producing a hot rod show in Virginia the OC Car and Truck Show, Ocean City Jeep Week and a festival in 2015. Locally, we will be working closely with Susan G. Komen’s spring event and the Dew Tour. We are also open to new ventures on a local, regional and national level. Our success and drive is fueled by every enthusiast that registers for our events or walks through our gate. They keep our passion for putting on first class events alive.”

The company will be holding an open house on Friday, Nov. 21, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. For more information on the 2015 event schedule or how to partner with the Live Wire team, visit live-wire-media.com.

 

Sarah Rayne

Sarah Rayne

Commission Appointment

SALISBURY – Sarah Rayne, government and public affairs director for the Coastal Association of REALTORS®, was appointed to the Salisbury Zoo Commission this month by a unanimous vote of the Salisbury City Council.

Rayne, a Salisbury resident since 2006, has in the past completed Salisbury Zoo Docent Training. This experience, along with her work in writing about the zoo as a former newspaper reporter, led to her pursuit of a seat on the Zoo Commission.

In a letter of support to the Mayor’s Office, Zoo Commission Chair Ron Alessi wote, “the commission has reviewed [Rayne’s] resume and feel, that with her background and interest in the zoo, she will make an excellent Zoo Commission member.”

According to the city’s website, the Zoo Commission acts as an advisory board to assure a balanced program of education, conservation, and recreation for the Delmarva Peninsula.

“The Salisbury Zoo is an invaluable asset for the entire Lower Shore and we’re thrilled that Sarah has taken an interest in serving on this commission,” said Sheila Dodson, executive director of CAR. “Our association is dedicated to the service of our communities, in which local REALTORS® not only work, but also live and play.”

 

Certification Obtained

SALISBURY — Peninsula Regional Medical Center announced last week that it has become a certified Philips Lifeline GoSafe provider. GoSafe is a leading mobile medical alert service that is designed to help provide peace of mind to seniors at home or on the go.

Peninsula Regional Medical Center achieved certification through completing a comprehensive training curriculum and program offered by Philips Lifeline, the nation’s first medical alert service. Throughout the certification process, Peninsula Regional Medical Center demonstrated its knowledge of GoSafe and expertise in how the technology can help active, independent seniors live life to the fullest.

Featuring the power of up to six location technologies, GoSafe gives seniors the assurance to get up and go while being protected by Philips Lifeline’s 24/7, U.S.-based emergency call response center. GoSafe is the only mobile personal emergency response system (mPERS) to use this “hybrid” locating approach, which allows response center associates to locate seniors in need of assistance in areas where GPS may not be available. Additionally, GoSafe’s built-in AutoAlert fall detection technology can automatically call for help if it detects a fall, providing protection even if the senior is unable to call on their own.

“We’re proud to offer a service that empowers seniors to age safely and independently while providing their families with peace of mind,” said Bevereley Stoakley, Lifeline Manager for Peninsula Regional Medical Center. “By offering GoSafe, we can give seniors the confidence to stay active and on-the-go while keeping them connected to help if they need it. Peninsula Regional Medical Center considers senior health and wellbeing to be our first priority and we’re delighted that Philips Lifeline shares that mission.”