(June 26, 2020) After some setbacks caused by covid-19, Ocean City free summer events are back on schedule.
Ocean City Special Events Superintendent Frank Miller said he and his staff have been closely working with the Worcester County Health Department to ensure all safety and health guidelines are met at each event.
The activities kick off on Sundays with Sundaes in the Park and fireworks at Northside Park on 125th Street.
The event begins at 7 p.m., and features live music, various kid-friendly activities and of course, ice cream for purchase.
Typically, ice cream has been hand-scooped and a toppings table is available for flavor customization, but because of covid-19 this year’s frozen treat will be a variety of pre-packaged ice cream sundaes.
Miller said, however, attendees could rest assure that the ice cream was more than up to par with the hand-scooped variety, joking that his post-ice cream flavor trial weight gain a strong testament.
Attendees may enjoy their ice cream and watch the live music and entertainment in one of many large, socially-distanced circles marked in the grass.
The first Sundaes in the Park and fireworks began last Sunday.
“It [attendance] was smaller, but I expect it to grow,” Miller said. “This coming Sunday is an Elvis impersonator, and we get a pretty large crowd for that.”
Born out of the pandemic are the new drive-in movies at the Ocean City convention center on 40th Street every Monday and Tuesday, beginning at 8 p.m.
“It [last Monday, the first night] went very well,” Miller said. “We were expecting roughly 80 to 90 cars, we ended up with about 125.”
Mondays feature kid-oriented films, while Tuesdays are geared for an older audience, although all movies are family friendly.
Miller said he was grateful to Bob Rothermel, owner of T.E.A.M. Productions, for aiding in the more technical aspects of the event.
Family Beach Games are also back on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the former at the 27th Street beach area, the latter at the Carousel Hotel beach on 118th Street, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Families may enjoy sand sculpture contests, big group social distanced games to music and classic relays, such as bunny hops and crab walks, without equipment said Anna Patterson, Ocean City Recreation and Parks recreation supervisor.
Also on Thursdays are OC Beach Dance Parties at the Caroline Street beach downtown, beginning July 2, at 8:30 p.m. Sunset Park Party Nights at Sunset Park on 700 S. Philadelphia Ave., kick off on Thursday, July 2, from 7-9 p.m.
The first Downtown Fireworks at the Beach on Talbot Street took place June 18. A fireworks display will be showcased every Thursday starting at 10:30 p.m.
The first night of downtown fireworks saw lower-than-usual participation, but Miller said the event has room to grow as the summer progresses.
“That particular event, the gatherings are micro-gatherings of family units, and the family units tend to stay in their separate areas,” Miller said. “They span from the amusement pier all the way up to North Division Street along the edge of the Boardwalk and the sand. It’s sort of naturally social distanced for the most part.”
The city’s special events department often partners with other organizations to develop activities, as it did for the Sunset Park Party Nights.
“The Sunset Park Party Nights music series is a partnership between the Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC), Town of Ocean City Special Events Department, and the Ocean City Recreation Boosters,” OCDC Executive Director Glenn Irwin said. “These free music events are held every Thursday in July and August, and first started in 2008. The Ocean City Recreation Booster volunteers will be selling beverages, including beer and wine, with proceeds going to youth programs in Ocean City.
On July 2 and Aug. 27, the popular food truck, The Street Kitchen, will be at Sunset Park selling food to attendees.
Guests are requested to bring their own chairs and practice proper physical distancing, Irwin said.
Finally, Wednesdays and Fridays will feature an Ocean City classic — Movies on the Beach at the Carousel Hotel on 118th Street and the 27th Street beach areas, respectively, starting at 8:30 p.m.
“Given what 2020 has been for many, and as frustrated as people have been over the past several months of having to stay home and have so many things taken away from them, we have been trying to fine-tune the events to try to bring the same, if not a very similar, experience, while working with the local health department and making sure we are in the guidelines set by the state,” Miller said. “We want them [participants] to walk away saying that it was still a great experience, they had a great time and thank you Ocean City.”
For more information about all of the activities, visit https://ococean.com/events.
Movie and band schedules:
Sundaes in the Park:
June 28 – Bob Lougheed & the Memphis Mafia (Tribute to Elvis)
July 5 – Mike Hines & the Look (high energy dance music)
July 12 – The Josh Christina Band (piano driven Rock n’ Roll)
July 19 – Jaded Love (American Rock Tribute Band)
July 26 – Groovalicious (Ultimate 70s dance party)
Aug. 2 – Sapphire (The 80s)
Aug. 9 – Vertigo Red (party rock cover band)
Aug. 16 – Front Page News (rock)
Aug. 23 – Among the Stars (tribute band)
Aug. 30 – Vinyl Rhino (high energy cover band)
Sept. 6 – Guys in Thin Ties (GITT Your 80s On)
* Subject to change
Movies on the Beach:
June 26 – “The Little Mermaid” - 27th Street
July 1 – “Secret Life of Pets 2” – Carousel Hotel - 118th Street
July 3 – “Frozen 2” - 27th Street
July 8 – “The Lion King (Live Action)” – Carousel Hotel - 118th Street
July 10 – “Incredibles 2” - 27th Street
July 15 – “Aladdin (Live Action)” – Carousel Hotel - 118th Street
July 17 – “Cars” - 27th Street
July 22 – “Toy Story 4” – Carousel Hotel - 118th Street
July 24 – “Wall-E” - 27th Street
July 29 – “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” – Carousel Hotel - 118th Street
July 31 – “Monsters University” - 27th Street
Aug. 5 – “Frozen 2” – Carousel Hotel - 118th Street
Aug. 7 – “CoCo” - 27th Street
Aug. 12 – “Jumanji: The Next Level” – Carousel Hotel - 118th Street
Aug. 14 – “Ratatouille” - 27th Street
Aug. 19 – “Spider-Man: Far from Home” – Carousel Hotel - 118th Street
Aug. 26 – “Mulan (Live Action)” – Carousel Hotel - 118th Street
* All titles subject to change
Monday, June 29 – “Zootopia” [108 minutes]
Tuesday, June 30 – “The Guardian” [139 minutes]
Monday, July 6 – “Christopher Robin [104 minutes]
Tuesday, July 7 - OC Film Fest July Drive-In!
Best Animation: “Selfish” by PoChien Chen
Best Aquatic: “Bella Blue” by Guillaume Quere
Best Documentary: “Crisis on the Halfshell” by Michael Watts and Louise Schiavone
Best Dramatic: “Insomnia Nights” by Richie Wenzler
Best Funny Short: “Table by the Window” by Rob Waters
Best Horror Short: “The Hobbyist” by George Vatistas
Best Social Commentary: “Far from Ordinary” by Paul Bugarin
Best Short Film That Makes You Feel Good: “Go-Go Boy” by Oriana Oppice
Best Youth Short: Strange Fruit: “Taking a Stand Through Song” by Sam Seliger
Monday, July 13 - “Toy Story 4” [100 minutes]
Tuesday, July 14 – “Violets are Blue” [86 minutes]
Monday, July 20 – “Dolittle” [101 minutes]
Tuesday, July 21 – “Field of Dreams” [107 minutes]
Monday, July 27 – “Playing With Fire (PG)” [96 minutes]
Tuesday, July 28 – “Forrest Gump” [142 minutes]
Monday, Aug. 3 – “Moana” [107 minutes]
Tuesday, Aug. 4 – OC Film Fest August Drive-In!
In collaboration with the Ocean City Film Festival - (Movie lineup to be announced)
Monday, Aug. 10 – “Finding Dory” [97 minutes]
Tuesday, Aug. 11 – “Now You See Me” [115 minutes]
Monday, Aug. 17 – “SMALLFOOT” [96 minutes]
Tuesday, Aug. 18 – “A League of Their Own” [128 minutes]
Monday, Aug. 24 – “Sonic the Hedgehog” [99 minutes]
Tuesday, Aug. 25 – “Grease” [110 minutes]
Monday, Aug. 31 – “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” [102 minutes]
Tuesday, Sept. 1 – “1936 Ash Wednesday Storm, Ocean City” [41 Minutes]
In collaboration with the Ocean City Life-Saving Museum
*All movies subject to
Sunset Park Party Nights:
July 2 - Tranzfusion (Classic Rock)
July 9 - Randy Lee Ashcraft & the Saltwater Cowboys (Beach Country Music)
July 16 - Eclipse (Journey Tribute Band)
July 23 - 8 Track Mind (70’s Dance Party Band)
July 30 - Kittyback (Country/Classic Rock)
Aug. 6 - Saved By Zero (80s dance party)
Aug. 13 -Zydeco-a-Go-Go (Creole, Zydeco & Cajun Dance Band)
Aug. 20 - Full Circle (Classic and Modern Rock)
Aug. 27 - The Dunehounds (Funky Jams)
* Subject to change