OCEAN CITY – While Sunfest has been canceled this year, a resort business is planning a new festival for the first weekend in October.
Next weekend, Trimper’s Rides will hold its first annual SunFunOC festival.
From Oct. 2-4, the amusement park will host more than 30 arts and crafts vendors and offer $2 games, rides and food all day.
“In the spirit of Sunfest we created a new festival,” said Trimper’s Rides President Antoinette Bruno, “and we are going to do it every year.”
In August, the Mayor and Council canceled Sunfest because of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. In its place, Special Events Director Frank Miller pitched an alternative SunLITE festival.
Similar to the annual Sunfest event, the scaled-down SunLITE festival featured arts and crafts vendors, but at various outdoor venues throughout the resort. But when the town received a lackluster response from vendors and resort businesses, the concept was shelved for 2020.
Bruno said the park worked closely with Miller to come up with ideas for the proposed SunLITE festival. For example, Trimper’s worked with a developer to create a Bingo game that encouraged SunLITE participants to visit various resort businesses for an opportunity to win prizes.
But when SunLITE concept was scrubbed, Bruno said Trimper’s decided to host a special event of its own.
“We put so much effort into it that we decided to go it alone and created SunFunOC,” she said. “We did this because we felt like visitors still had hotel reservations without something to do.”
From noon to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Trimper’s will offer $2 games, rides and food and Marty’s Playland will offer 50% off video games. Inlet Village will also host a sidewalk sale, while Nana’s Hot Chicken – located in the center of Trimper’s outdoor rides – will offer $2 Chicken on a Stick, homemade cookies, cake pops, iced tea, and mini Big Wheels.
“We’re also planning a band one day, karaoke another day and a DJ one day,” Bruno said. “So there will be lots of entertainment all weekend.”
On South 1st Street, the park will host arts and crafts vendors, including Art Sea, Maret Maiste, J.L. Schlegel, Avante Painting, Pooley Glass Engravers, Green Bead Glass, Swirly Bracelets, Something4Me Jewelry and Silver Mine, to name a few.
“We have 103,000 square feet and that’s just in the amusement park alone,” Bruno said. “That doesn’t even count South 1st Street. We can safely host 20,000 people in the park and still be COVID friendly … We have a lot of space and welcome any Ocean City businesses that want to participate.”
For more information, or to become a vendor, visit www.sunfunoc.com or call Trimper’s Rides at 410-289-8617.
While the festival will take place from noon to 5 p.m. throughout the weekend, Bruno said Trimper’s will stay open as long as people are in the park.