Getting your beach property ready for the summer season will be easy work for those who take advantage of the eighth annual Ocean City Home, Condominium and Garden Show, being held the weekend of March 27-29.
For this one weekend, businesses handling home and garden needs in the Ocean City area will exhibit their products under one roof at the Ocean City Convention Center, saving buyers the time and hassle of running all over town to find the best bargains.
About 175 exhibitors will be selling "everything and anything someone could want for the interior or exterior of their home, condominium or garden," said Mike Wicklein, organizer of the event.
Services range from condo sales to putting in a hot tub to buying carpet. Visitors can talk to utility companies, price new kitchen cabinets, plan a home security system, buy curtains and furniture or walk out with a new kitchen appliance.
"If someone is thinking of building a house, they can go there and talk to 12 builders," Mr. Wicklein said. "The show makes it easy to see a lot of business people."
It's also an entertaining way to spend the afternoon, even for visitors not planning to buy anything. The $3 ticket admits visitors to two shows: the Home, Condo and Garden Show on the second level of the Convention Center and an Arts and Crafts Fair on the bottom floor.
There will be 125 exhibitors in the arts and crafts show, including artists and craftsmen in leather, ceramic, stained glass and wood, selling their hand-crafted items to the public.
"About 95 percent are true art and craft items," said Mr. Wicklein, who limits manufactured crafts to about 5 percent of the show.
The Ocean City Art League will also have an exhibit of local art, for both viewing and for sale.
While browsing and buying, visitors can also learn how to cook healthier foods. Professional chefs will be giving continuous demonstrations on healthy cooking methods in the Health Craft Cook Show, set up in the main hall on the second floor.
Hours for the two shows at the Convention Center, which attracted more than 17,000 visitors last year, are 1 to 8 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or visitors can bring a
newspaper coupon (available in local newspapers and this paper) and get 50 percent off the admission price.
But visitors don't have to wait till the end of March to find something to do at the ocean. They can spend a weekend antique shopping or celebrating St. Patrick's Day.
The 17th annual Quota Club Antique Show will feature quality antiques for sale at the Ocean City Convention Center March 20-22.
About 40 antique dealers will be selling furniture, jewelry, silver, glass and collectibles. The show runs 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Admission is by a $3 donation or $2 with a coupon available at area businesses.
The Quota Club, a professional women's club, donates proceeds from this and other fund-raisers to charities in Worcester County. Its primary goal is to raise several thousand dollars to purchase hearing aides for needy children and the elderly, said Cathy Drew, an organizer of the show.
Worcester County's Irish-Americans plan to throw their biggest party ever Saturday, March 14, in celebration of St. Patrick's Day.
The 12th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and Irish Festival, expected to draw more than 10,000 visitors, is sponsored by the Delmarva Irish-American Club. About 115 entries, including six high school bands, two equestrian units and several antique car clubs, are expected to participate in the parade, which starts at noon at 65th Street.
The Chesapeake Caldonia Pipe and Drum Unit will lead the huge parade along Coastal Highway to the 45th Street Village Shopping Center parking lot, where a huge Irish party will be underway until 4 p.m.
Visitors can learn Irish step-dancing from professional dance schools, children can have their faces painted and everyone can enjoy Irish food and drink.
Irish troubadour Paul Martin will play Irish ballads on the guitar throughout the afternoon.
The Delmarva Irish-American Club was founded 13 years ago by 10 local Irish-Americans as a social and charity club. In 1980, it held its first event, a one convertible parade. Today, it has more than 165 members, many of whom will spend March 12 singing Irish tunes to the elderly at five area nursing homes.