OC Mayor’s Open House Features Convention Center

OCEAN CITY — The 19th Annual Mayor’s Open House, which has been a community custom on New Year’s Day since 1997, will move from City Hall to the Roland E. Powell Convention Center on Wednesday, Jan. 1.

The theme, which changes year-to-year, will feature the evolution of the Convention Center, highlighting the building’s new attraction, the Performing Art Center, which officially opens in grand fashion on Jan. 17.

Scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. on New Year’s Day, the Mayor’s Open House will offer an open invitation for residents and visitors to meet the Mayor and City Council members. Once inside, visitors can view the pictorial history of the Convention Center, while also having the privilege to enjoy a first-look of the two-tiered, 1,200-seat auditorium.  This rare glimpse will also offer free entertainment by Bryan Russo with several special guest performances.

“The Open House offers the perfect opportunity for our citizens to meet with the elected officials that serve our community,” said Mayor Rick Meehan.  “The tradition at City Hall has been carried on for nearly two decades, so what better time than now to allow residents and guests to preview the Performing Art Center. It’s a perfect time to start a new tradition in our incredible new theater.”

Also participating in the event are the Ocean City Beautification Committee, the Ocean City Development Corporation, the Art League of Ocean City, the Beach Patrol and the Community Response Team.  Outside the festively decorated Convention Center, the Ocean City Fire Department will have equipment on display. Also on hand will be the mounted police and canine units of the Ocean City Police Department.

The event is free with light refreshments provided by Centerplate.

The celebration on Jan. 17 will include a ribbon cutting ceremony and performances by the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Julien Benichou and featuring Israel Lozano. The OC Stars will also take the stage for a special appearance.

Ticket are currently on sale through TicketMaster at www.ticketmaster.com or the convention center box office.  In addition to the performance, tickets include complimentary hors d’oeuvres. A cash bar will be available and black tie is optional. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with the ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled at 7:15 and the concert to follow.