Beer, Wine Sales Approved For Art’s Alive

OCEAN CITY – Art’s Alive in June is hoping to serve wine and craft beer t now that the Wine in the Park event has opted not to return this June.

At the conclusion of last week’s Recreation and Parks Commission meeting, Special Events Director Frank Miller brought up a proposal where Art’s Alive would serve wine and craft beer by the cup during its event at Northside Park. This week the proposal was brought before the Mayor and City Council for approval.

Art’s Alive is Ocean City’s annual fine art show where over 100 artists feature and sell their work around the lagoon at Northside Park, along with live entertainment. This year it is being held June 27-28.

Last year Wine in the Park in its second year was held on the same days as Art’s Alive at Northside Park in hopes it would draw more attention since Wine in the Park did not thrive in its first year. However, after reviewing last year’s attendance, Wine in the Park has decided not to return this summer.

“In the past, Special Events has discussed the idea of having wine included as an offering at Art’s Alive,” Miller told the council on Monday. “This year we decided to look at that more seriously. At first, we approached the [OC Recreation] Boosters but they were unable to assist because of their reorganization effort that is currently ongoing but Rina Thaler of the Art League [of Ocean City] stepped up and offered to take that on.”

The Art League of Ocean City has proposed to take on the initiative of serving wine and craft beer during Art’s Alive, similar to what is done at Springfest and Sunfest where non-profit organizations take turns in serving alcoholic beverages at the price of $3 a cup. However, the beer sold at Springfest and Sunfest are the more basic types compared to craft beer, Miller said, therefore increasing the price for craft beer is under consideration.

The City Council voted 6-0 with Council President Lloyd Martin absent Monday to approve the request.

Wine in the Park originated as grassroots efforts to have a wine festival in north Ocean City. The event was organized by the same promoter, Jerry Hardesty, as the Winefest on the Beach that has been held in the Inlet Parking Lot in September for 20 years.

A few years ago, Hardesty was approached by the North Ocean City Business Alliance (NOCBA) to organize the second wine festival as a means to draw crowds to the northern section of town.

Senator Jim Mathias joined the effort by submitting legislation in Annapolis allowing Worcester County to hold three festivals per year selling alcohol to go. Prior there was only one festival allowed and it was dedicated to the annual Winefest on the Beach. The bill was easily approved.