OCEAN CITY – The festival to benefit first responders will return to Ocean City this weekend.
This weekend, military and law enforcement personnel, residents and visitors are invited to the second annual OC AdventureFest outdoor sports and gun show.
Held Sept. 23-24 at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center, the event will feature a Showmasters gun show, daily performances from Delmarva Dock Dogs, a miniature art gallery featuring works from Harley Davidson licensed painter David Uhl, and numerous outdoor sports vendors, to name a few. Proceeds from the show will benefit the Ocean City Helping Heroes Foundation, a local nonprofit that supports first responders.
“We are looking forward to another great year of OC AdventureFest,” said event promoter Cliff Sutherland. “This event allows us the opportunity to raise money for the Ocean City Helping Heroes Foundation, while providing a fun experience for visitors
and residents of the city.”
Organizers Rebekah Jones, Mike Alexander and Sutherland, well-known event promoters and founders of OC BikeFest, introduced OC AdventureFest to the community last year. Sutherland said the event was the brainchild of Andy Mutchler, founder of the Hogs and Heroes Foundation.
“He thought of an idea that would not only support the police and military, but would also discourage people from coming to H2Oi,” he explained.
Sutherland said it was during a conversation that Mutchler pitched the idea for a festival to be held during the unsanctioned pop-up car rally. With a strong police and military presence in town for a festival, organizers had hoped it would discourage rally participants from coming to Ocean City.
“That was the purpose to start off with,” he said.
Through the town’s proactive measures, the pop-up car rally never materialized last year. However, roughly 10,000 came out to the first OC AdventureFest.
“Last year we had 10,000 people over three days,” he said. “This year, we shortened it to two days, and we believe we will have between 15,000 and 20,000 attendees.”
Sutherland said this year’s festival includes a hunting, fishing and gun sportsman’s show inside the convention center. The event will feature daily demonstrations from Delmarva Dock Dogs, a catfish pond, a hog trough for on-site fishing and numerous vendors and art displays.
Attendees will also have an opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for a custom gun, donated by RPG Gunsmith.
“For the second year, Roger Partridge of RPG Gunsmith in Berlin has generously built and donated a custom 223 gun to the festival to give us the chance to raise additional money for our first responders,” Sutherland added.
Organizers note that Saturday’s festivities will conclude with a concert at the Performing Arts Center, where artists Dave Bray USA and Don McLean will perform.
“In conjunction with that there will be an autographed guitar raffled off to the highest bigger,” he said.
OC AdventureFest will be held Saturday, Sept. 23, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 24, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at ocadventurefest.com.
A portion of proceeds from this weekend’s OC AdventureFest will also benefit Maryland Concerns of Police Survivors. The Hogs and Heroes Foundation will also hold a Memorial Poker Run to benefit Maryland C.O.P.S. in honor of Glenn Hilliard and Keith Heacook. Information is available on the OC AdventureFest website.
“We are excited to welcome OC AdventureFest to the Roland E. Powell Convention Center for a second year,” said Ocean City Marketing and Communications Director Jessica Waters. “With workshops, demos, and concerts, attendees can learn from exhibitors with incredible knowledge while enjoying the views from the breathtaking bay.”