(May 31, 2019) Baltimore Avenue in downtown Ocean City will bleed black and purple this Saturday as Ravens fans flock to the 55th annual Council of Baltimore Ravens Roost Parade.
Ocean City’s Ravens Roosts #44 and #58 will join around 50 roosts from Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland for the annual parade, which will take place from 19th to 26th streets beginning at 10 a.m. There is no cost to view the parade.
“This parade creates a friendly competition as well as provides an opportunity for other groups to strut their stuff in front of an amazing crowd,” Nicole Topper, chairwoman of the parade, said.
The theme for the parade this year is “Rockin’ Around the Flock.”
“The Ravens [started] calling their fans “The Flock” two seasons ago. They gave us permission to use the word flock and we ran with it,” Topper said. “For a couple years [our themes] had nothing to do with the Ravens, so we thought this year, ‘Let’s bring it back and then go completely different.’ That’s where we came out with ‘Rockin Around the Flock’ and went back to the ‘60s rock and roll thing.”
According to Topper, the annual Ravens Roost Parade is one of the oldest parades in the resort.
“The parade goes back to the days of the Colts Corral,” Topper said. “The Colts Corral celebrated their 50th anniversary six years ago, so they’ve been doing the parade down here for at least 40-45 years. Everything used to happen in the parking lot of the convention center [on 40th Street].
“There were no competitions besides the parade. [The fans] would all hang out, grill, and Saturday would be the parade and over the years it’s just grown and grown into the two-and-a-half-day festivities for the roost at Castle in the Sand,” she continued.
The parade will kick off with Boy Scout Troop #225 presenting the flags. Youth and musical groups from across the state will be participating in the event as well.
Some of the organizations participating includes OC Pipes and Drums, Catocin Aires, ABM Dance Troop, Arbutus Sailorettes, City Wide Gold Statz Marching Band, Dynasty Marching Band, State Highway Association and the Eastern Shore Marionettes.
Also participating in the parade this year is Ben Bennett of Roost #137 from the Glen Burnie, Pasadena area, who is in need of a kidney transplant.
“He’s been on the transplant list and he has – with the Council of Ravens Roost’s blessing – done a write-up on Facebook and we’re just sharing it all over in the hopes of finding a match,” Topper said.
Trophies will be presented at the culminating awards presentation on Saturday evening at Castle in the Sand Hotel on 37th Street, where the annual convention is taking place. After the Ravens Roost parade, registered roost members will gather on the beach for a variety of competitions such as volleyball, horseshoes, laser tag, mini golf, karaoke and a Crazy Hat Parade.
The Council of Baltimore Ravens Roosts and its members have donated about $4.04 million to local and national charities since 2007.
“This event wouldn’t be possible without the 25 convention committee members who work tirelessly throughout the year and the roost members that volunteer at the event,” Topper said.
For more information about the parade or to join a roost, visit www.councilrr.com.