OCEAN CITY – The 2015 Ocean City Air Show was described this week as the best yet for the Town of Ocean City.
For the first time in Ocean City, the 8th Annual OC Air Show was headlined by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels on Saturday and Sunday.
“This weekend the OC Air Show was by far the best, most successful and largest to date. One performer called it ‘epic’. I wanted to come here tonight and say thank you,” OC Air Show President Bryan Lilley said before the Mayor and City Council on Monday evening.
Lilley presented the city with a lithograph on behalf of the OC Air Show and U.S. Navy Blue Angels as an expression of thanks.
“This event has matured as you have matured as the promoter of this event in maximizing the efforts today,” Mayor Rick Meehan said to Lilley. “Everything went like clockwork. The crowds were huge. People were smiling, and enjoying it. It was fabulous. Having the Blue Angels this year following the Thunderbirds last year is tremendous. I don’t know how it can get any better but we are looking forward to many years to come.”
If the bumper-to-bumper traffic on Saturday wasn’t a telltale sign, Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association Executive Director Susan Jones confirmed their hotel membership was booked for Saturday night with a handful of vacancies left on Friday.
“There were a lot of sold out properties. It was a fantastic solid weekend for business,” Jones said.
Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Melanie Pursel agreed it was the most successful OC Air Show yet.
“By all accounts, it was a tremendous event. The show was outstanding, and went off without a hitch. It was great beach weather, and the beach was completely packed,” Pursel said. “It was a really great weekend; a strong weekend.”
The Kite Loft on the Boardwalk sold out of all the U.S. Navy Blue Angels flags they had in stock for the event, according to owner Jay Knerr.
“This was definitely the best one. I have witnessed them all, and not only from a spectator’s point of view was it the best air show to date, but by the amount of people it drew was far superior to any other air show in previous years,” said Knerr. “The Blue Angels are a huge draw, so it was great to see them here.”
As far as business goes, numbers were strong, Knerr furthered.
“The Boardwalk was mob city, you couldn’t even move out there, and the beach was packed. Weather wise it was a glorious weekend,” he said. “We did real well based on the amount of people in town … It was a very, very good weekend for us.”
Last weekend the OC Air Show was lined up with three major acts, including the first-time performance in Ocean City of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the Breitling Jet Team as first international performer to fly at the event and the most advanced fighter in the world, the F-22 Raptor.
Performances also included the National Anthem – Flag Jump; Mike Wiskus in the Lucas Oil Pitts; L-39 Cold War Era Jet Demo; John Klatt; Lucas Oil Jump Team; USAF Heritage Flight; USCG Search and Rescue Demo; and Fat Albert, the supply plane for the Angels.
Next year’s OC Air Show will take place June 11-12, 2016.
To see an album of photos from Chris Parypa Photography of the event, click over to www.facebook.com/thedispatchoc