OC Council Allows Events To Conduct Boardwalk Rides

OCEAN CITY – The Mayor and City Council worked their way this week through a list of special event permits, but a few requests made a couple members wary of allowing additional events on the Boardwalk.

The first permit requested was made by former Councilwoman Nancy Howard representing the Downtown Association. She proposed the new event OC Rally to take place Saturday, Oct. 22 and Sunday, Oct. 23.

The event would allow for all who own an Ocean City license plate to participate. The motorists will drive on the Boardwalk from 15th Street to the Inlet where various city organizations will have tents set up.

There will also be a group photo taken from the view of the Ferris wheel or a ladder truck. The expected number of participants is 250, but there are at least 1,200 plates that have been distributed to date.

“We [Downtown Association] thought it would be fun to have a rally of all the people that have these license plates … and of course the one thing everyone wants to do is drive his or her own car down the Boardwalk,” Howard said.

The only opposition came from a couple council members who have been cautious in permitting new special events to drive vehicles on the Boardwalk due to damage that may be caused.

Councilwoman Margaret Pillas expressed how she was pleased with the concept but felt she couldn’t make an exception.

“I have been a proponent of not to be on the Boardwalk with parades any longer,” she said. “I think it creates a problem with the Boardwalk and for the life of the boards.”

Although other council members did not seem to remember, Councilman Brent Ashley pointed out that a few months ago the council had agreed to not allow any new events to drive on the Boardwalk.

The council voted 5-2, with Ashley and Pillas in opposition, to approve OC Rally.

“It is four hours of people who love Ocean City,” Howard said. “It’s just another reason for people to come to Ocean City. There is no expense to them, and no expense to us, just a feel good thing.”

Another event on the agenda was Pigs on the Beach, which is to take place Saturday, Oct, 1. The event is an annual ride on the Boardwalk from 27th Street to North Division Street, and there will be approximately 40 motocycles riding in the event.

Although this is not a new event, as its 19th annual edition, Pillas was sorry to say she was in opposition as the council voted 6-1 to approve the permit.

“I love this event but I have been doing this all along and I am not able to stop now,” she said.

Another event discussed involving the Boardwalk is the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Pink Ribbon 5K Walk/Run to take place on Saturday, Oct. 15.

The event is a fundraiser for the ACS where there will be a competitive run and noncompetitive walk. It will take place on the Boardwalk with the headquarters at Hooters on 5th Street but due to the scheduled renovation of the Boardwalk, the race route has not been officially charted.

Beverly Furst of the ACS said this will be the 11th year of the Pink Ribbon Walk/Run but with a twist as the event has teamed up with the ACS national event, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

“I am really excited about it because it brings more notaries to the event in Ocean City and with moving it to the Boardwalk we think that is a really good thing to bring in more people that may want to come to Ocean City for that weekend to participate in this event,” she said.

Furst added that in 2010 there were over 800,000 walkers and runners across the country that raised more than $60 million at this event.

Councilman Brent Ashley was concerned over risk management’s comment that if the Boardwalk is under construction the event should not take place.

City Engineer Terry McGean explained that the Boardwalk’s construction is scheduled to begin Oct. 3 on 27th Street moving south and six blocks only can be under construction at a time. The Boardwalk at the Inlet’s end is not to begin construction until November.

With that said, the Mayor and City Council voted unanimously to approve the ACS Making Strides Against Breast cancer Pink Ribbon 5K Walk/Run.

In one fell swoop. the Mayor and City Council approved the Annual Mid-Atlantic Surf Fishing Tournament, Sunfest Kite Festival, and Winefest up until 2013 as well as the Park Place Jewelers Treasure Hunt on Sept. 24 and 25 of this year where participants can dig in the sand to uncover prizes that consist of jewelry and gift certificates to local businesses.

“It is a great event and if you haven’t seen it, come up and see well over 100 participants digging for those prizes,” Park Place Jewelers owner Todd Ferrante said. “It is quite something and a lot of fun.”