The sounds of roaring engines and large humming tires cruising into Ocean City this week were just a simple sign of what’s to come: the invasion of Jeep Week.
While some people try to capture every last ray of sun they can before summer comes to an end, others are preparing their Jeeps for the event, which will feature activities such as off-road courses, a beach crawl, and a trade show.
“You have, really, the ultimate Jeep vacation and a 4x4 expo merging together,” Live Wire Events Media CEO Brad Hoffman said on Wednesday as he was setting up for the event.
This year, Hoffman said, there are close to 1,500 Jeeps registered for the event – which is open to the public – as well as a couple thousand that are not.
The hub of Jeep Week will be at the convention center at 40th Street, and it will feature vendors and sponsors such as Kicker, CC Customs, Trick Trucks, The Metal Shop, and more.
Attendees will be able to meet representatives at the convention center in what Hoffman described as a large-scale off-road event with products and services on sale, on site.
The convention center will also feature Show & Shines, which are some of the nicest Jeeps in the country.
To keep participants engaged, the event consists of three main components, including the beach crawl.
Each morning at approximately 7 a.m., Jeeps will stage at Jolly Roger at 30th Street before driving on the beach.
“That’s what I call the ‘Sandy Carpet Ride’ of Jeep Week,” said Hoffman, explaining that Jeeps will drive on the sand from 30th Street down to the inlet parking lot. “There’s nothing like it. People are waiving from the Boardwalk and their hotel. People are cruising down the beach in their Jeep with their flags waving. It’s really one of the signature components of Jeep Week.”
The newest addition to the event is the Kicker Sand Course, located on the beach at Somerset Street.
The course features several mounds of sand for people to drive over in their Jeeps and experience something almost like a rollercoaster ride.
“We’re blessed that the town allowed us to build a sand course on the beach,” Hoffman said. “It’s a great photo opportunity. You’re right in the shadows of the Jolly Roger Ferris wheel.”
Another component of Jeep Week called Jeep Jam will take place at the Mid-Atlantic Youth Sportsplex, or MAYS, on Morris Road in Pittsville.
An obstacle course featuring trails, rocks, staircases, mud, logs, and more will be setup at the sportsplex for enthusiasts to test their Jeeps in some of the most extreme conditions.
“The three components are really so the enthusiasts get to have a good time while they’re here, not just sitting in parking lots,” Hoffman said. “Jeeps are meant to be driven.”
The Ocean City Jeep Club, a Facebook group of Jeep enthusiasts that participate in fundraisers, charities, parades, and off-road gatherings, while also working with each other to make repairs and modifications to their four-wheel-drive beasts will be volunteering at the event this weekend, according to Hoffman.
Registration for the event starts at $75 – which includes a trip on the Jeep Jam obstacle course, entry to the Show & Shine Competition and access to all Jeep Week events – and goes up to $195.
At the top tier, participants get two days of the beach crawl, two shifts at the beach sand course, one round at the Jeep Jam obstacle course, entry into the Show & Shine Competition, and two badges that allow access to every Jeep Week event.
Wristbands can also be purchased at the convention center and MAYS for $15. The wristbands provide access to spectating areas in Pittsville and the convention center.
For more information about the event, visit www.OCJeepWeek.com.