The Ocean City Boat Parade was once a popular event that celebrated the start of the marlin fishing season. Usually held on the third Sunday in June, it attracted thousands of spectators.
Originating in 1938, the parade was suspended during World War II and not resumed until 1947. Charter boats, commercial fishing vessels, and even privately-owned boats participated. Decked out with flags and bunting they competed for prizes including a silver bowl inscribed with the winner’s name.
The boats would parade through the Inlet and pass the judges stand on the Ocean City Fishing Pier. Proceeding northward for three miles they would turn and head back to the Inlet, always keeping about 50 yards offshore. It was quite a show.
The “Boat Parade” sailed into history by the early 1970s but left many good memories for those that had participated or watched.
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Photo from Bunk Mann’s collection