OCEAN CITY — Sunfest, which recently ranked number one on Sunshine Artist Magazine’s annual 200 best shows list for 2014, will celebrate its 40th year next week as it takes over the Inlet Lot and beach.
Set for Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 18-21, the town kicks off its “second season” with four days of music, food, arts, crafts and just plain fun. Admission to Sunfest is free.
Earning the top spot for “traditional arts and craft shows in the nation,” Sunfest boasts over 180 crafters, along with live music, hayrides on the beach and a wide and delicious offering of food. Opening day on Thursday, Sept. 18 begins with a parade down the Boardwalk beginning at 9:30 a.m. at 12th Street and the Beach Plaza Hotel and ending at the festival grounds with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m.
Also adding to the excitement is this year’s fireworks and beach laser light shows. The fireworks will be displayed on opening day, Thursday, Sept. 18, at 10 p.m. in the area of North Division Street.
Guests won’t want to miss the OC Beach Lights shows on Saturday, Sept. 20, when the five-story inflatable sphere lights up the night sky. The shows, which are approximately eight minutes in length, feature a visual laser, lighting, special effects, video and audio production with visibility along the Boardwalk. Also including a fireworks effect, the shows will take place at 9 p.m., 9:30 p.m., 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
Live entertainment plays throughout the event. All entertainment is free with the exception of evening headline shows.
Headliners start on Thursday night with an evening of classic soul hits with the Righteous Brothers’ Bill Medley. Country music fans will flock to the festival on Friday night, when Eric Paslay and Parmalee take the stage. Finally, the ladies will swoon on Saturday when 80’s heartthrob Rick Springfield performs on the Sunfest stage once again.
Tickets for all three shows are on sale at the Ocean City Convention Center Box Office on 40th St. Box office hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets will also be available on site during Sunfest, or at www.ticketmaster.com, 800-551-7328.
Parking is restricted at the festival grounds so it is advised visitors take advantage of the Town’s park and ride services. The West Ocean City Park and Ride on Route 50 just west of the bridge provides a convenient location for attendees with free parking and shuttle service to and from the South Transit Center on S. Division Street, just a block from Sunfest. Shuttle service is $3 ride all day.
Special Event express shuttle service is also available at the Convention Center on 40th St., where you can park for free in the south lot and ride the express shuttle directly to Sunfest. Fare is $3 ride all day, as is the normal Coastal Highway bus fare service. Additional park and ride locations are also located at the Public Safety Building on 65th Street, the municipal lot at 100th St. and Northside Park at 125th St. (walk to bus stop on Coastal Highway).
The $3 ride all day pass is valid for use on Coastal Highway, Park n Ride and Express Shuttle buses from 6am to 6am. Exact fare is required. The Boardwalk tram also will be in service during the event with fare of $3 one way.
For additional information regarding bus fares for Senior Citizens, Disabled Persons, Medicare Card Holders and Children please call Ocean City Transportation at 410-723-1606 or visit the Public Works Transportation webpage at www.oceancitymd.gov