OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City Special Edition 2011 Jeep Wrangler is in the works and will be joining the recently approved Ocean City Jeep Week Parade this year.
The second annual Ocean City Jeep Week is slated for Aug. 25-28 and is hosted and funded by The Commander Hotel on 14th Street and sponsored by a group of local businesses.
Will Lynch, spoke on behalf of The Commander Hotel and Ocean City Jeep Week, during Monday evening’s Mayor and City Council meeting. He explained the event started last year on a whim because the hotel was looking for a way to sell some rooms on a dead weekend.
“Last year, we picked the weekend before Labor Day,” Lynch said. “I don’t know if it’s true for every business but our hotel is typically dead the weekend before Labor Day.”
He said he came across a Jeep forum where they were looking to start up a Mid-Atlantic event. He posted the thought of holding an event in Ocean City and by the next morning there were several hundred responses of interest.
“Within a two-week period last year, we put the whole event together and drew a little over 200 Jeeps to the event,” Lynch said. “Now we have had a whole year to put it together and being that we are calling it Ocean City Jeep Week we would like to have at least one event here in town, and over the years we can add other events in the city.”
Lynch said that even though the event is called Ocean City Jeep Week last year organizers weren’t able to have any events actually within town limits.
“Being that our family business [The Commander Hotel] is here, this is what we wanted to name it and where we wanted to bring it,” he said.
The parade will be held Saturday, Aug. 26. Set up will begin at 7 a.m., followed by the parade at 8, and finishing up by 9. The parade will move south, beginning at 30th Street and ending at the Inlet. It will take place on the beach, putting the Jeeps all four-wheel drive to good use.
“The parade is not to exceed 80 cars this year with room to grow in the upcoming years,” Private Events Coordinator Lisa Mitchell said.
Lynch said the parade’s following events is a scavenger hunt throughout Worcester County, and the Jeeps will end up in Sussex County for a Jeep Show. Eventually, organizers would like to hold the following events in Ocean City as well, for example at the Convention Center, but they are still “feeling out the waters” and have to coordinate venues in what their expenses allow.
Following the council’s unanimous approval for the Jeep Week Parade, Larry Sackadorf, also representing Ocean City Jeep Week, revealed some exciting news. He said the growth in sponsorships has been tremendous and about a month ago he was contacted by MOJO Custom Jeeps and Thompson Automotive, a Jeep dealership in Harford County, who said, “You guys are onto something big, this is going to be cool and we really want to be a part of it.”
Sackadorf revealed the two companies are working to create an Ocean City Special Edition 2011 Jeep Wrangler. He said it will be the color of Ocean City blue and will even represent the Ocean City flag.
According to Sackadorf, the Ocean City Jeep will be for sale during Jeep Week, as well as a Recovery Jeep will be raffled off to raise funds for charity.
“In the future, they want us to work with them to create a Jeep each year that we can raffle off and go with local charities,” he said. “So the interest is incredible and I don’t know where it’s going to go, but I am very, very excited about it.”