pet parade

Salisbury resident Ray Shanklin gives 3-year-old Australian cattle dog, Django, a treat before the Boardwalk Pet Parade last year.

(Oct. 23, 2020) An assortment of activities, from a beach maze to a pet parade, will be available in Ocean City this weekend during the ninth annual O.C.Toberfest. 

Unlike years past, all the Halloween activities will take place in one weekend, according to Bob Rothermel, CEO of T.E.A.M. Productions. This was done because of poor weather conditions in the past.

The weekend will kick off with Friday night beach fireworks beginning at 7 p.m. near North Division Street. 

Next will be the Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade on Saturday at 1 p.m. The event will start near North Division Street. Participants can dress up their pets to take along the Boardwalk for the parade. 

In the past, pet owners have brought their dogs, cats, lizards and even hermit crabs.

Walking in the parade and spectating are both free and the Worcester County Humane Society will be collecting pet supplies and monetary donations. 

Pre-registration is highly encouraged. 

Following the Pet Parade, the Town of Ocean City will host the Drive and Disguise parade at 3 p.m. 

Cars decorated for Halloween will leave from 26th Street on the Boardwalk and head toward the inlet. Once they reach the inlet parking lot, the decorated cars will hold Trunk or Treating at approximately 3:30 p.m.

Prizes will be awarded for the most uniquely decorated cars.

Saturday’s activities will end with a drive-in movie, “Hocus Pocus,” in the inlet parking lot. At 7 p.m., movie goers can get snacks from the Boardwalk, park their cars and enjoy the classic Halloween film. Guests will still have to pay the inlet parking lot fee.

On Sunday, the festivities continue with The Great Pumpkin Race at 1 p.m. on the Boardwalk at North Division Street. Participants can bring their Halloween-decorated pumpkin racecar to slide down a racing hill. 

Prizes will be awarded for speed and creativity. Pre-registration is free and highly encouraged. 

Finally, those seeking a Halloween scare can experience the 300-foot Halloween Beach Maze, available Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The maze is open for all ages. 

“It’s terrific family fun,” Rothermel said. “We see 5,000-plus people through that maze on any given day.” 

To accommodate for social distancing, Rothermel said groups will be staggered in the maze and that there will be no costumed characters this year. 

Everyone is required to wear a face covering for all O.C.Toberfest events. Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the area. 

“I’m looking forward to having great weather and welcoming lots of people in a very safe, socially-distanced manner,” Rothermel said. 

He added that O.C.Toberfest is growing every year. 

“Given that some of the activities around us in other communities are being limited, we’re going to try and make sure that this is a safe opportunity for everyone so that they can enjoy the festivities as they normally would do,” Rothermel said. 

The entire weekend is free because of sponsorships by the Ocean City Mayor and City Council, Department of Tourism, Tourism Advisory Board and Pit & Pub. 

For more information about all of the activities, visit octoberfestmd.com or call 410-798-6304.

For Pumpkin Race rules and applications for the race and Pet Parade, go to specialeventpro.com/oc-toberfest.

Email completed applications for the Pet Parade and Pumpkin Race to infoevent@specialeventpro.com

To register for the Drive in Disguise parade, visit ococean.com/events/drive-in-disguise-and-trunk-or-treat2020.

Elizabeth covers Worcester County issues for Ocean City Today. In 2018, she graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa with a bachelor of arts. After graduation, Elizabeth spent a year with Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Wilmington, Delaware.

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