OC Events Planned To Kick Off Summer Season

OCEAN CITY – The resort is planning several special events to kick off the summer season over Memorial Day weekend.

With most of the COVID restrictions now lifted, the Town of Ocean City is ready to celebrate the start of what appears to be a promising, if not challenging, summer season with several festivities on tap.

The holiday weekend will start with a re-enactment of an event 75 years ago. In 1946, then-Gov. Harry O’Connor and Ocean City Mayor Daniel Trimper kicked off the summer season by meeting on the beach and planting a ceremonial umbrella in the sand.

Two years ago, Mayor Rick Meehan and Gov. Larry Hogan re-enacted that season kick-off from 75 years ago, but the event was postponed last year with the rather subdued season kick-off. Meehan said this week Hogan will be on hand next Friday for the ceremonial planting of the first umbrella at 11 a.m. at North Division Street.

“In 2019, we opened the summer season on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend and the governor was here and placed the first ceremonial umbrella on the beach, re-enacting a similar event from 1946,” he said. “We couldn’t do it last year, but we’re going to do it this year.”

Meehan said Hogan was enthusiastic about recreating the 1946 event.

“When I asked the governor to join us he said, ‘let’s do it,’” he said. “We need to get back to what works and what we can all do together.”

Next weekend’s festivities also include the return of the giant American flag on the beach. The flag measures over 45,000 square feet and is one of the largest in the country.

Memorial Day traditionally honors those who have lost their lives in the service of their country and that will always be the case. This year, however, Ocean City holiday weekend festivities will also honor those who have served their communities through the pandemic.

“The ceremony is going to be a little different,” he said. “We’re going to celebrate a number of things. We’re going to celebrate the real meaning of Memorial Day. It’s not just about coming to the beach and going on the rides and eating French fries. There is something more to it.”

Meehan said healthcare workers and first-responders, along with anyone else who cares to join, will be invited to help unfurl the giant American flag on the beach.

“We’re also going to honor all of the front-line healthcare workers and first-responders that have put their lives on the line for everybody else over the past year,” he said. “We invite everybody to be there and really open up the summer season with a thank you and encouragement for better times ahead.”

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.