OCEAN CITY – A series of new events received its final approval this week from the Mayor and Council and is slated to begin Memorial Day weekend.< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office">
Since December, there has been much discussion over a new series of events proposed to come to Ocean City this summer. At that time, the Tourism Advisory Board (TAB) brought forward Bob Rothermel of Special Event Productions/T.E.A.M Productions, who proposed a number of new events that would be funded with TAB’s funds, $275,000, which was allocated by the town of Ocean City.
The Mayor and City Council voted unanimously on Monday to approve the campaign’s private event permit requests.
The first up was OCtoberfest, which will take place Friday through Sunday, Oct. 19-21 and Oct. 26-28.
“TAB approached us a long time ago to come up with some ideas for funding family-friendly events and to extend the season — that is where this idea came from,” Rothermel said.
OCtoberfest is a beach maze built out of sand with a large “OC’ posted in the center. It will feature Halloween displays, music and activities including a family costume parade and a Howl-o-ween costume pet parade. The event will take place on the beach in the area of N. Division, Dorchester and Somerset streets. There are 100 participants expected for the parade and 2,000 participants expected for the maze.
Next the council approved the permit for the Summer of Thanks events campaign, which includes OC Beach Lights, fireworks and the demonstration of a Big Flag on Memorial Day.
When the series of events was first introduced, it was proposed to go hand-in-hand with Ocean City’s new “Summer of Thanks” campaign, which is also scheduled to be featured throughout the summer in a variety of different mediums.
OC Beach Lights will be held every Sunday from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, or the traditional summer season. It is a five-story tall inflatable sphere featuring a visual laser, lighting, video and audio production that will have visibility from up and down the Boardwalk. Each show is eight minutes long and there will be three shows per night at 9:30, 10 and 10:30 p.m. The sphere will be located on the beach in the area of North Division, Dorchester and Somerset streets.
Beach fireworks will be held featured on Tuesday evenings, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. It will be a low-profile, high-intensity aerial fireworks and musical presentation with visibility up and down the Boardwalk. Each fireworks show will also be eight minutes long and will begin at 10 p.m. The fireworks will be held on the beach near North Division Street.
“There has been a great amount of discussion on the time of the fireworks, and one of the things you want to do is use it as a draw to bring the people to a specific area, and once the fireworks are over it is generally time to go home but you also want to keep them there,” Rothermel said. “From a family perspective, the time frame for children, a lot of times while families are on vacation the rules go away for when the kids have to go to bed at night.”
The third event is the Big Flag activity set to held on Monday, May 28 at noon and will last about an hour. The event, which was held in Ocean City in the past, is the unfurling of a football field size American Flag held up by participants and will also be visible up and down the Boardwalk.