(April 12, 2019) A homemade Italian meal awaits attendees of the 19th annual James Sapia spaghetti dinner at Shenanigan’s Irish Pub on Fourth Street and the Boardwalk, Sunday, April 14, from 4-7:30 p.m.

“It’s going to taste delicious,” said Ocean City Downtown Association Executive Director Mary Ann Manganello. “Most of our board is there. Even if someone doesn’t often come to the Boardwalk or is not a part of the organization, there’s plenty of people to talk to and it’s just a friendly, nice atmosphere.”


Nicholas Ruggieri provides a primer on pasta production during the 18th annual James Sapia spaghetti dinner at Shenanigan’s Irish Pub on Fourth Street and the Boardwalk, last year.

During the event, guests can dine on all-you-can-eat linguine, sausage, salad, bread, soft drinks and desserts. Alcoholic beverages will also be available through a cash bar.

The Ocean City Downtown Association hosts the dinner in honor of Sapia, who was the organization’s founding president and the brainchild behind hosting a spaghetti dinner to raise funds.

When Sapia died in 2000, the spaghetti dinner was named after him. His family continues to run two restaurants in Ocean City on the Boardwalk – DaVinci’s by the Sea on 15th Street and Ocean View American Grill & Surfin’ Betty’s Beach Bar on 16th Street – Manganello said.

The event will feature a silent auction with items such as golf packages, a fishing trip, gift baskets and a boat rental.

Back for the third year, Nick Ruggieri, a Downtown Association board member who has extensive culinary experience, will feature pasta-making demonstrations and samplings throughout the event.

“We have a couple people who will make different types of pastas and different kinds of sauces,” Manganello said. “That’s a free tasting to get four-ounce cups of sauces and taste different pastas.”

Last year, 175 people attended the annual Italian dinner, Manganello said. 

The Downtown Association was created to serve businesses, residents and visitors in the downtown area of Ocean City. The organization raises money, hosts events and promotes programs to “enhance and improve the quality of life” for vacationers and residents.

Money raised during the James Sapia dinner goes toward events such as the Light Up Downtown Festival in the winter, to operate the Boardwalk Information Cottage for visitors during the summer and other various projects to assist downtown businesses, Manganello said.

The cost is $15 for adult, $5 for children ages 5-10. Children 5 and younger are free. For more, call 410-289-1413 or visit www.downtownassociation.net.

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