Air Show Booze Sales On Beach OK’d

OCEAN CITY – When City Council heard event organizer Brian Lilley read off the impressive list of performers for next month’s Ocean City Air Show, the debate over whether he could serve alcohol on the beach once again this year kind of became an afterthought.

Lilley came before the Mayor and City Council on Monday night to discuss and outline his plans to sell beer and wine on the beach at “Display Village” between 15-17th streets during the 2nd Annual OC Air Show, which will take place on June 13-14.

In showing the council that all beer and wine sales would be limited to the interior of the gated areas on the beach, accessible to only ticket buying patrons, Lilley seemed to appease the council’s concerns with the touchy subject of selling alcohol on the resort’s beach.

The council gave the nod to Lilley’s request in principle, but in order for Lilley to be granted the license needed to sell alcohol on the beach for that particular weekend, he needs to go through Worcester County’s Board of License Commissioners.

As of Wednesday, according to liquor license administrator April Payne, Lilley had yet to apply for his alcohol license for the air show.

“I don’t foresee it being a problem since the council is okay with it, and he was granted the license last year,” said Payne, “but usually, it takes at least 30 days to process.”

Over four hours of “in-air” time will be logged on both Saturday and Sunday in the skies above the resort, as all five of the active military branches will be represented in some capacity.

“We are only one of 10 or 12 air shows in the country to have every branch of the military so it’s an amazing achievement in only our second year,” said Lilley.

In addition, the air show has doubled its advertising revenue from last year, reporting over $91,000 from 22 sponsors, both local and national.

“We have all but one of our sponsors returning from last year, and we have added many others,” said Lilley. “We are especially excited about that in these tough times, but we still have a ways to go where we feel that we can be self-sufficient, but we are on our way.”

Various council members, who appeared impressed by Lilley’s report, called the list of performers “outstanding” and “incredibly impressive”.

Performers include but are not limited to: the US Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, the USMC Harrier demonstration, the US Navy F-18 Thunderbolt, the US Coast Guard Search and Rescue team, and the headlining act, the infamous US Airforce Thunderbirds.

Prior to the event, there are kickoff parties and sponsored happy hour events, which will feature prelude jumps from the Golden Knights.

Thursday night’s (June 11) gathering at Sunset Grille will feature a “twilight jump” by the Golden Knights parachute team, who will repeat the night jump on Friday night (June 12) at 7 p.m. at the official “dropzone” on 16th street.

In addition, the public is invited to have breakfast with the performers at Layton’s on 16th street each morning at 9 am on Saturday and Sunday (June 13-14) and there will be an after party of sorts at Seacrets on Sunday night after the finale.

Council President Joe Mitrecic said that the council agreed to essentially the same set up as was approved last year for the air show, including the alcohol sales, but noted that they moved the gated area a bit closer to the Boardwalk.

“He wasn’t really asking for anything that he didn’t get last year,” said Mitrecic.

The council also approved a tentative date hold for next year’s OC Air Show, setting aside June 5-6, 2010, in order for Lilley to begin to book acts for next year.