OCEAN CITY — A lot can change in 20 years, as is evident in the evolution of the Mayor’s Open House on New Year’s Day. The event, which has been a community custom since 1997, has celebrated various town departments, community partnerships and elected officials, past and present.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Mayor’s Open House, resort officials agree that a new venue and a new tradition seem fitting.
“For 20 years, the Mayor’s Open House has offered the perfect opportunity for our citizens to meet with the elected officials that serve our community,” said Mayor Rick Meehan. “Now, with the opening of the extraordinarily Performing Arts Center, what better time to provide residents with an opportunity to enjoy this amazing venue for free, featuring entertainment from local and regional talents.”
Moving from City Hall to the Roland E. Powell Convention Center for the second year in a row, the “theme” of the event will now focus on the talent and venue, by highlighting local artists in the unique setting of the Performing Arts Center.
“For years, we highlighted new themes to celebrate Ocean City, both past and present,” Meehan said. “Now, however, we have turned the focus to the venue and the talent that we have within our community.”
Scheduled from 1-3 p.m. on New Year’s Day, residents and visitors are invited to meet the Mayor and City Council members at the Mayor’s Open House. Once inside, visitors are treated to a series of performances in the two tiered auditorium. This rare, free variety show, is hosted by Bryan Russo and includes performances by Bryan Russo’s Bargain Scotch, Mickey Justice, Tim Cooney, Lauren Glick’s vocal students, and much more.
“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,” Meehan said.
Also participating in the event are several of the town’s community partners, including the Ocean City Beautification Committee, the Ocean City Development Corporation, the Art League of Ocean City, the Chamber of Commerce, the Ocean City Life Saving Museum Society, the Beach Patrol and the Community Response Team. Outside the festively decorated Convention Center, the Ocean City Fire Department will have equipment on display and also back by popular community demand will be the mounted police and canine units of the Ocean City Police Department.
The Open House is free, with ongoing entertainment and small refreshments provided by Center Plate.