City Seeks Better Beach For Best Day Foundation Event

OCEAN CITY — While certainly not disagreeing with the event itself, resort officials this week sent a beach special event request back to the drawing board over concerns about the proposed location.

During Monday’s meeting, the Mayor and Council had before them in the consent agenda a request from the Best Day Foundation to hold an event on the beach at 94th Street next June 27-28. Typically, items are placed on the consent agenda because they appear headed toward easy approval with little or no discussion.

Few would argue with the good intentions of the event approval request from the Best Day Foundation, which provides children and young adults with special needs with special days at the beach. Participants enjoy a day at the beach including obstacle courses, surfing and boogie-boarding, for example.

However, before the event could be approved as part of the consent agenda, questions were raised about its proposed timing and location. For example, the event is proposed for the beach at 94th Street on a Saturday and Sunday in late June from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The event would utilize a considerable area of the beach at 94th Street with three tents and an obstacle course. In addition, the beach at 94th Street would be closed to the public for swimming because the event would be utilizing surfboards and possibly stand-up paddle boards. Special Events Coordinator Lisa Mitchell explained the event has been held in September in the past when the beach closure was less impactful, but it has run into issues with fall storms in recent years. Last year it was cancelled due to the rough surf.

“While this would be the third year for this event in Ocean City, it would be the first time in June,” she said. “The last two years, it was held in September. Because of the threat of hurricanes, the organizers have requested to move the event to June.”

However, while supportive of the event for the foundation and its participants, Councilman Dennis Dare questioned the timing and location, particularly because it would require cordoning off a vast section of popular beach in late June.

“That’s one of the busiest beaches,” he said. “There’s a large bayside community in that area. It just seems like the Inlet lot would be better suited for this event.”

Council President Lloyd Martin agreed the location should be revisited.

“I kind of agree with Dennis,” he said. “That’s a busy beach at that time of year. Maybe they should consider a different location.”

The council voted to approve the consent agenda except for the Best Day Foundation event and instructed Mitchell to go back to the promoter to work on a new location.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.