(Aug. 16, 2019) Jeep enthusiasts will be driving throughout Worcester County next Thursday when more than a thousand Jeep owners will turn the ignition for the coast’s 10th annual Jeep Week.
As many as 1,400-1,500 Jeeps are expected to take over Ocean City and participate in obstacle courses, monster truck rides, parades and other activities.
“It’s all about the Jeep enthusiast and the Jeep community,” Live Wire Media owner and event coordinator Brad Hoffman said. “It’s like the ultimate vacation for a lot of these people. They come down and they enjoy the end of the summer in Ocean City.”
Jeep Week was created by Will Lynch and Chris Cropper 10 years ago as a means to promote businesses in Ocean City and provide an entertaining week for Jeep owners and enthusiasts. Hoffman joined the Jeep Week team five years ago as a sponsor.
A Jeep Week kick-off party sponsored by title sponsor KICKER, Wicked Coastal, OC Jeep Week and Wicked Jeeps for vendors and early participants will take place Wednesday from 6-9 p.m. at the Clarion Resort on 103rd Street.
“Some people wonder what Jeep culture’s all about,” Hoffman said. “There’s a lot of stuff for the kids to do. The monster truck rides are enjoyable. We have music at the event. We have a deejay spinning music, and I feel like it really kind of fits the beach. Jeeps have always been synonymous with the beach and beach culture.”
There will be an early Jeep welcome at the Decatur Dinner in West Ocean City from 1-3 p.m. on Wednesday.
Jeepers can also participate in some nighttime activities as well. Hooters in West Ocean City will have an LED light show 8-10 p.m. next Saturday. There will be a contest on best lights and music by DJ BK. There will also be a Night Jam OC wrap party at Ponzetti’s on 142nd Street from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. next Saturday, featuring music by King Schascha and Black Dog Alley.
Jeep parades will take place Thursday through Sunday from 7:30-9:15 a.m. The parade will begin at 29th Street and continue down to the inlet. Around 300 Jeeps will ride down the beach toward the inlet each day.
Spectators can watch the parade from the Boardwalk. Parade participants are advised to arrive at the Jolly Roger parking lot on 30th Street early to ensure the parade begins on time.
The 50-acre Jeep Jam at the MAYS Sports Complex in Pittsville, created in part by course builders Cropper of CC Customs, Chris Russell of Superior Contracting, and John DeForce, will return this year. Jeep Jam had replaced the original jeep obstacle course held in Berlin two years ago.
“You have mild trails along with some rock crawling in a specific obstacle course area,” Hoffman said.
Also returning for the second year by popular demand is the beach obstacle course, which will be located north of the pier between Somerset and Dorchester streets in Ocean City.
“It’s a little Jeep course on the beach, which brings more participants, which brings more revenue and keeps it local,” Hoffman said. “This has some hills and different obstacles, not serious obstacles. A stock jeep can do it or a modified jeep, but it’s fun.”
There are three shifts for the beach course each day except on Sunday, which only offers the a.m. course. The morning course runs from 10 a.m. to noon. The first p.m. shift will take place from 1-3 p.m. and the last shift will go from 4-6 p.m.
Activities at the convention center on 40th Street next Thursday and Friday will run from at 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. DJs will provide music each day. Children also might enjoy “Sarge,” a monster truck ride.
“We’ve had ride trucks in the past, but this one is going to be really, really cool,” Hoffman said.
Al Pine North America will bring a new display and activation trailer which will have all their products on display. The company will also do installations and sales on site as well. Last year, the company broke a world record on sales during the event, Hoffman said. The company will be offering Jeep Week-only specials this year. A KICKER XRV will also have a trailer with hands-on products.
Vendors and representatives from I.G. Burton of Berlin, the title sponsor, will showcase various products throughout the week at the convention center. I.G. Burton will also welcome people to its dealership in Berlin on Sunday from 1-4 p.m. for a Jeep sendoff, open house party.
Andy Cohen from Junkyard Empire, a reality television series filmed at Maryland’s Damascus Motors, will make guest appearances throughout the event.
“He’ll be on site hanging with the Jeep people and talking Jeeps and about Junkyard Empire,” Hoffman said. “He’ll be at the beach crawl, convention center and just be a part of Jeep Week this year.”
This year’s Jeep Week is dedicated to the memory of Hoffman’s close friend, Sean Baker who passed away last week unexpectedly. He was 41.
“He was a friend of mine that designed a lot of the Jeep graphic posters and also designed a lot of our stickers,” Hoffman said. “He was our head judge for the show. Sean was just a big behind-the-scenes part of the planning of Jeep Week.
“He was such a great giving guy,” he continued. “He always wanted to give and help out there in the trenches during the event, whether it was judging or designing or getting graphics ready or making sure the website was right. Those people don’t always get the credit when they’re behind the scenes because they’re not visible … his work is visible. He was a true artist and designer when it came to all that.”
Jeep owners can still register for the event at www.oceancityjeepweek.com.
General admission for the convention center and MAYS Sports Complex is $10. A two-day and three-day pass is available for $15 and $20, respectively.
For more information, see the full schedule or to register, visit www.oceancityjeepweek.com. Participants also can register onsite by Tuesday or Wednesday morning. Call Hoffman at 443-366-5944 or email email@example.com.