Ocean City Offers Downtown, Northside Park Fireworks

Ocean City Offers Downtown, Northside Park Fireworks
The downtown fireworks display is pictured in a file photo by Chris Parypa.

OCEAN CITY — Ocean City will light up the sky once again in the evening of Sunday, July 4th in celebration of the nation’s Independence Day. With family and friends, beach chairs and blankets, residents and visitors can watch the fireworks sparkle over the beautiful water from the beach to the bay.

The northern celebration, featured at Northside Park, 125th Street and the bay, will kick off at 8 p.m. The spectacular fireworks display may be viewed afterward from anywhere in the park at 9:30 p.m.

“Northside Park is a spectacular place for families to watch the colorful displays light up the evening sky and lagoon,” said Mayor Rick Meehan. “We encourage spectators to get there early to claim their spot to watch the fireworks.”

On the south end of town, guests can head to Ocean City’s famous Boardwalk with its bright lights, an assortment of food, family fun and more fantastic fireworks. The evening’s show will begin on the Caroline Street Stage with music at 8 p.m. and fireworks filling the sky beginning at 9:30 p.m.

“The July 4th celebration in Ocean City is a unique opportunity to watch fireworks sparkle over the ocean,” Meehan said. “Our stage on Caroline Street allows visitors to bring beach chairs or blankets and claim a spot on the sand where they can enjoy the live performance and capture a special and patriotic firework display set to a modern mix of music.”

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Parking operations for the Inlet Parking Lot will stay the same for the holiday, Thursday, July 4, however; the parking rate for the Inlet Lot will increase to $5 per hour for the day. Visitors are reminded that parking is extremely limited at both fireworks locations and significant traffic delays are expected after both shows.

Coastal Highway bus service will be available from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m. Patrons can ride for only $3 for a ride all day pass and are reminded to anticipate delays, limited services, and full buses due to an ongoing shortage of bus drivers. Per the CDC, federal law continues to require a mask be worn over the nose and mouth on public transit (buses) until Sept. 13.

For the downtown festivities, the West Ocean City Park & Ride on Route 50 is another transportation alternative, offering free parking and $3 ride-all-day shuttle service downtown at Dorchester Street and St. Louis Avenue. The service running to and from the West Ocean City Park & Ride to Dorchester Street and St. Louis Avenue will be available from 6 a.m. to midnight. The West Ocean City Park & Ride will have a limited number of buses and major delays are expected. West Ocean City Park & Ride passes are valid on Coastal Highway buses.

Finally, area boaters should note that on the evening of July 4, the span of the Route 50 Bridge will remain closed to marine traffic at the usually scheduled 10:25 p.m. and 10:55 p.m. opening times. The Route 50 Bridge will reopen for boaters at 11:25 p.m. on the evening of July 4.

With safety in mind, the Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office is also urging spectators to leave the fireworks to the professionals.

“The power and danger of fireworks should not be underestimated,” said Ocean City Fire Marshal Josh Bunting. “In addition to causing damage, fireworks can cause injuries and we want people to be safe during their holiday stay in Ocean City. The safety and wellbeing of all residents and visitors of the Town of Ocean City is the primary goal of the Ocean City Fire Department.”

Although the state has approved the use of ground-based sparkling devices such as cylindrical and cone fountains, these are not legal to use or possess in Ocean City. Further, all other fireworks that may be sold in neighboring states are not legal for use by the public anywhere in Maryland.

“The Fourth of July holiday is a great opportunity for residents and visitors to stay and play in Ocean City,” Meehan said. “With a beautiful setting and two great fireworks events, we hope our guests will come early and stay late to celebrate America’s birthday at the beach.”