OCEAN CITY – It rained on the bikini parade last weekend but nothing was held back as women lined up to break the Guinness World Record.
The Uptown Beach Bash started last Friday with the Kick-off Bay Party and Paddle Board Regatta was held at BJ’s on the Water. Brad Hoffman of Spark Productions reported there were about 25 to 30 families who participated in the paddle board activities and about 100-120 people all together.
“We had people up on the deck cheering and it was a great day for a paddle board event at BJ’s,” he said. “It was really a great event for the kick-off for a first year event … there were no issues with weather that day.”
When Hoffman woke up on Saturday and heard the rain, he admitted his heart sank a bit but he was not going to pull the plug on the bikini parade.
“Instead of running from Mother Nature, I embraced it,” he said. “We had so much energy and focus on that day and that record.”
The buzz was already out on Ocean City’s attempt to break the bikini parade record, as the Travel Channel was on site and filmed the event from beginning to end.
Prior to the parade, the Princess Royale hosted a party where final registration took place. The parade moved north from the Princess Royale to the Carousel Hotel routed by the Ocean City Beach Patrol.
Hoffman admitted the rain did hurt the turnout with 70 percent of the pre-registrants being a no show and banner planes and sign boats that were scheduled to advertise the parade that day on the beach canceled.
“But we got there and I could not believe it, people were just coming from everywhere,” Hoffman said.
Bikini parade participants lined-up shouting “USA” in hopes to break China’s record of 1,000-plus, but Ocean City’s final registration came to 325 women.
“Nobody was bummed out,” Hoffman said. “Even though it was pouring outside people showed up in their bikinis and they were ready to walk … and we marched up that beach and there was about five to six blocks of a line. I was so proud. There were the moms and the daughters, and the teens and the tweens. It was exactly the demographic we wanted to hit.”
The parade finished at the Carousel where an awards ceremony was held and Hoffman said it wasn’t even 15 minutes before the sky opened up and began to pour.
“The story is in the participants,” he said. “The vibe they created and the positive atmosphere, and they are all already talking about next year…the weather didn’t dampen the spirit and that’s what made me proud. Even though we didn’t break the record, we made a great statement.”
All donations from the parade were given to Relay For Life of the American Cancer Society, the Surfrider Foundation, and Diakonia
On Sunday, about 800 people showed up for Local Palooza at Northside Park where a lineup of bands played a variety of music. The stages and the Ocean Art Show were moved indoors so that the damp soccer fields were not damaged. The Monster Energy BMX stunt team performed outside.
“It was a great day for families at Northside Park and that’s what we really wanted it to be,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman plans on giving the Uptown Beach Bash another whirl next year.
“Mother Nature definitely rained on my parade but it didn’t stop it,” Hoffman said. “I am really looking forward to crushing the record next year.”