OCEAN CITY – Following a successful first year, organizers say preparations have begun for the 2nd Annual Maryland Coast Bike Festival.
Last week, event coordinator Salty Selt presented the Ocean City Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee with plans for the 2nd Annual Maryland Coast Bike Festival, to be held on May 7.
“Last year, coming out of COVID, we had just under 800 riders and about 45 vendors in the village …,” he said. “It’s hard to waive the magic wand, but this year we’re looking at thousands of participants.”
Last year, organizers held the first annual Maryland Coast Bike Festival, a series of scenic bike rides that began and concluded at the West Ocean City Commercial Harbor. The event not only had three courses, but a festival village featuring music, food, craft beer, kids activities and local vendors.
“For a first-year event, the planning and execution I think were really good,” said Worcester County Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition’s Patti Stevens.
Now back for a second year, Selt said the 2022 festival is slated to be bigger and better.
“Preregistration is already way ahead of what it was last year,” he said. “As far as our vendor village and our festivities area in the commercial harbor, I think I’ll fill it this year. I think we’ll have a minimum of 100 vendors there.”
Selt added that vendor space will once again be free for local businesses.
“Whether it’s Sunset Grille or Greene Turtle or a surf shop, if they want to come in, set up, sell and advertise, it’s free of charge,” he said. “It’s to help to grow the event, grow the community and help our local businesses. I don’t think this is a time right now where we solicit vending fees from our business community.”
Officials noted this year’s event will offer three courses, with lengths varying between 18 miles and roughly 64 miles. Selt added additional information can be found on the festival’s website, marylandcoastbikefestival.com.
“We drew from 11 states last year, and we’re going to start our hotel bookings on our website now,” he said. “Even though it started small last year, it surpassed our projections. We’re looking for rapid growth, even in the second year of the festival.”