Commentary

printed 05/13/2022

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote about 286 years before last weekend’s Springfest, give or take a few months.

Yet, the verse may be the most apt description of the ups and downs of resort business, whose success is dependent on so many things beyond its control, with the weather being the most capricious of them of all.

No one knows that better than Ocean City’s Springfest organizers, who saw months of planning ruined, despite the expectation that it would outshine many of its predecessors because of its fresh layout and pent-up demand by a public desperate to celebrate outside.

Food vendors, artisans, and nonprofit organizations just knew this year’s Springfest would be a full-fledged return to the opportunities they had been denied by other uncontrollable circumstances.

And then this — a lumbering, howling nor’easter just blew it all away like loose pages from a notebook.

Oh well, one might say, that’s life at the beach, where more or less everyone knows that nature plays no favorites.

It’s a shame that Ocean City officials had to make the call to shut down one of May’s most celebrated and enjoyable events, but they did the right thing.

Maybe having done all that planning and organizing helped with that decision by allowing them to recognize just how futile and even dangerous it would have been to attempt to push on through. Knowing their event and its requirements certainly didn’t hurt.

But now, as the festival’s organizers have said, they will take the lessons learned this past weekend and fold them into their planning manual for the next time.

In the meantime, optimists that we all are, there’s always next year, which, as everyone likes to say around here, will be bigger and better than ever. Weather permitting. 

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