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(Nov. 20, 2020) The following took place at the Ocean City Tourism Commission meeting on Monday:

Special events

Special Events Director Frank Miller said O.C.Toberfest had been a success with record crowds. 

Winterfest of Lights opened on Thursday, with a half-mile path along the lagoon, Miller said. Santa Clause will be inside, as will the gift shop. 

New Year’s Eve fireworks remains on schedule, Miller said, and masks will be required. 

Chamber

Ocean City Chamber of Commerce interim-Executive Director Nancy Schwendeman said the chamber had joined Wor-Wic Community College, the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association and the county to use leftover grant money for a Wor-Wic essential skills training program. 

Schwendeman said two sessions had been filled already, and produced great responses from the participants.. 

The chamber is a sponsor for the Southern Delmarva Financial Forecast, which remains on schedule for Dec. 4 at the Ocean City convention center on 40th Street, Schwendeman said. 

The 2021 trip planner is being developed, which Schwendeman said has been a challenge. 

Schwendeman also announced the new Executive Director Lachelle Scarlato would begin her new role on Nov. 23. 

Stephanie Meehan, operator of Funcade on the Boardwalk, said the annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast event would likely be moved to the convention center, as the Clarion Hotel had closed its dining facilities for the winter. 

Meehan said the annual award celebration would remain at the Clarion, but rescheduled for March 19. Applications will go out shortly. 

OCDC 

Ocean City Development Corporation President Kevin Gibbs said this year’s golf tournament had been the biggest ever.

He mentioned the Shorecraft Beer Festival that took place on Oct. 24 and how, despite capacity limits, it proved to be a success. Data collected from the event showed 93 percent of the people at the affair had traveled at least an hour to attend.

The annual corporation board retreat will occur soon, and board members will discuss the model block, downtown and the potential merger with the Ocean City Downtown Association. 

Lastly, Gibbs said new grant funding should be on its way for the corporation. 

HMRA

Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association Executive Director Susan Jones said Tuesday would be the annual Tourism Coalition meeting. 

The association canceled a dinner meeting after Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement last Thursday, but Jones said she’s working on a way to collect toys for children for the Noel Project. 

The association is collecting hotel deals for the month of January and February, and that will be a part of the Winter Wellness promotion the association is working on with its partners. 

The annual trade show is on schedule for March 7-8, but Jones said she is still working out the details. 

Convention center

The convention center had to cancel the OC Gift Show, slated for Nov. 15-17, but the first live performance since March will take place. On schedule this Saturday is the sold-out Christmas with the Rat Pack music and comedy show. 

The Holiday Shopping Fair will take place on Thanksgiving weekend. 

Construction is progressing faster than anticipated because of covid-19-related cancelations and restrictions. 

Tourism 

Worcester County Tourism Director Melanie Pursel said the county had developed a grant program for restaurants. 

Worcester County Economic Development and an independent review board will award funds based on the number of full-time employees — Up to 10 equals $5,000; 11-25 equals $7,500; and 26 or more equals $10,000. 

To learn more or to apply visit http://www.choosemarylandscoast.org/

Pursel said the county recently chose to merge its tourism and economic development departments, which she will now oversee. 

The Maryland’s Coast 2021 Visionary meeting was canceled, Pursel said, and the rescheduled meeting likely will be held online.

Pursel said the county also is using leftover grant funding to update its familiarization tour video showcasing all of the region’s assets.

Josh covers everything Ocean City government and crime. He graduated from the University of Richmond in 2019 with a B.A. in French and Journalism.

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