Ocean City Jeep Fest To Return Aug. 22-25

Ocean City Jeep Fest To Return Aug. 22-25
A photo from the 2023 Ocean City Jeep Fest event shows a Jeep display at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center. Photo Courtesy of Ocean City Jeep Fest Facebook Page

OCEAN CITY – City officials this week approved the return of Ocean City Jeep Fest.

On Tuesday, the council voted 6-0, with Councilwoman Carol Proctor absent, to approve the return of Ocean City Jeep Fest Aug. 22-25. Live Wire Media’s Brad Hoffman told officials the event was a great fit for the resort.

“Last year, we ran a very successful event,” he said. “The vendors we have, the participants we have, enjoy the event. It fits very well the end of summer, the weekend before Labor Day, and I’m excited to once again bring a great event to Ocean City. It’s well-run, it’s safe and it’s significant in its economic impact to the Town of Ocean City.”

City Manager Terry McGean told the council Tuesday the special events department had received two Jeep-related event requests, one for Ocean City Jeep Fest and another for Ocean City Jeep Week. As the events were tentatively scheduled for the same week, he said both applicants – Hoffman and Jeep Week’s Amanda Cropper – were asked to submit proposals.

“What happened initially with this event is both Mr. Hoffman and Ms. Cropper submitted applications for a similar Jeep event for the same week,” he explained. “After discussion with the council, what we did was we put out a request for proposals. They were sent to both the applicants, and we asked them for fairly lengthy proposals from each of them as to why their event should be the event that the city would host that week. Mr. Hoffman submitted a proposal. Ms. Cropper did not. Therefore, we move forward with Mr. Hoffman’s event for this particular week.”

During public comments Tuesday, Cropper came before the council to request that a decision on Ocean City Jeep Fest be postponed to next week, when the council is expected to hear an event request for Ocean City Jeep Week. She noted that Ocean City Jeep Week has moved its event to May 9-12.

“We submitted our application back in July to continue the event with the town with new dates, as to not compete with one of the largest Jeep events in the nation on Aug. 22-24 of 2024, which is called the Great Smokey Mountain Jeep Invasion in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee …,” she said. “With that being said, we are asking the town to delay the approval of the Ocean City Jeep Fest until we present Ocean City Jeep Week at next week’s council meeting. We feel the council should hear both of them before making an executive decision.”

For his part, Hoffman said this year would be his 10th consecutive year producing a Jeep event in Ocean City. Hoffman noted that he had spent 40 hours producing a proposal to submit to the town for this year’s event request.

“It was lengthy in the economic impact, and why I am fit and adequately equipped to run this Jeep event,” he said.

As proposed, Ocean City Jeep Fest would include a daily beach parade, a beach course to the north of the Inlet pier, and more. Hoffman added that the event was considered the safest of all motorized events held in Ocean City.

“I really work hard to make a good safe event for the town, for the participants, for the vendors that come. I treat them like family and they treat me like family. And I treat the town like it’s my house …,” he said. “In the end, I just appreciate the opportunity, and I look forward to making this year another great event for Ocean City.”

After further discussion, the council voted to approve the event request as presented.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.