Less than a week after a platoon of craft beer vendors were slinging the suds to patrons in the sand at North Division Street, Ocean City’s annual Wine on the Beach festival is returning to the nearby inlet parking lot.

The event, which right now will feature pours from 12 wineries and five breweries throughout Maryland, is returning for its 26th year at the resort after a covid-induced break in 2020. It is set from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $30 in advance, with a $3.46 service charge to purchase them online, and $35 at the gate.

“While we are thrilled to be back and offer a wonderful experience, we are mindful that health concerns are at the forefront of everyone’s minds,” festival organizer Chris Nokes said this week in an emailed statement.

“We do not require masks for our outdoor celebration, but we offer numerous stations and supplies for regular hand sanitizing. And we are making far more space available for enjoying food and [wine] along with music on the beach.”

Along with the wineries and breweries, food, art, and merchandise vendors will set up shop at the festival and area band Bird Dog and the Road Kings will entertain the crowds with live music both days. This year’s event will also include a new vendor, Berlin-based Buzz Meadery, which produces homemade mead made from honey and locally sourced herbs.

“I’ve spoken with several wineries who participated in recent festivals. They tell me the same thing — people are very enthusiastic to be back and sample new wines,” Nokes said. “However, they are also eager to buy bottles, select food and spread out on a blanket with friends. Fortunately, we offer plenty of sand and picnic tables to accommodate them.”

For more information about Wine on the Beach, and to buy tickets, visit winefest.com.

This story appears in the print version of the Ocean City Today on Sept. 10.

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