July Fourth weekend brings songs, salutes, plain old fun

PATRIOT GAMES (AND MORE)

June 27, 1993|By Audrey Haar | Audrey Haar,Staff Writer

Memorial Day may be the unofficial start to the summer season, but the Fourth of July is perhaps its biggest weekend. In the holiday spirit, beach resorts will be offering plenty to do over the three-day weekend.

Up With People's young singers and dancers will be performing in Ocean City, and the Independence Day festivities will culminate Sunday evening with a double fireworks display that promises to fill the skies with dazzling color.

Sunday afternoon, the annual "Jamboree in the Park" at the 125th Street Northside Park will feature games, demonstrations, crafts, food and additional shows by the Up With People performers.

And anyone yearning for an old-fashioned, small-town July Fourth parade will be able to find one the next day at Bethany Beach, Del., about seven miles north of Ocean City.

Up With People will present its family-oriented "World in Motion" variety show throughout the weekend. Free concerts will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on the beach in Ocean City at North Division Street. The performers also will take their talents uptown for two shorter shows at the Northside Park festival at 2 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. Sunday.

"It's a musical review in a broadcast news format," says Susan Shultz, who helps promote Up With People. Group members, portraying a news anchor team, will lead the audience through a review of international songs and dances from Africa, Spain, Mexico and Russia, in addition to mountain clogging.

After Up With People's Sunday evening performance in Ocean City, a 20-minute fireworks display by Vitale Fireworks Co. of New Castle, Pa., will begin at 9:30 p.m. Fireworks will be set off simultaneously from the pier downtown and a barge on the bay near Northside Park at 125th

Street.

New this year will be fireworks that burst into distinct figures such as a red heart with a ring around it, a five-point star and an hourglass with gold sand inside it, according to fireworks coordinator Gary Reiber.

As a good viewing spot in the downtown area, he suggested the beach between 14th and 20th streets. Anyone intending to watch the display from Northside Park should bring folding chairs and a flashlight (the park isn't lighted at night).

And after the Ocean City show ends, Northside Park fireworks viewers will get an added bonus: A 15-minute fireworks display from Ocean Pines is to begin at 9:55 p.m.

Northside Park's annual Jamboree in the Park kicks off at noon Sunday. "We expect about 15,000 people this year," says Susan Petito, assistant director of Recreation and Parks for Ocean City.

There is limited parking at the park, so fairgoers are being urged to arrive early or take city buses to the park.

Organized activities will be everywhere. In the northwest field, two colts will be available for petting, and there will be horse-and-carriage rides, pony rides, a train ride for children that will circle the field, carnival games and food vendors.

Softball tournaments will take place on one ballfield, and the other will serve as the site of children's games: sack, wheelbarrow and three-legged races, and watermelon and pie-eating contests. There will also be a dunking booth and a speed-pitch setup for the athletically well-armed.

Seventy arts and crafts vendors will display their wares on the park's south field. Taking place on the patio will be country-western line dancing, talent performances by local senior citizen groups and martial arts displays, among other activities. Early evening will bring performances by Spectrum, a musical group whose styles range from oldies to contemporary sounds.

Also on the patio will be more performances by Up With People.

Up With People's summer stint is a first for Ocean City, although the Convention Center director, Robert Rothermel, said he has long been trying to arrange a performance by the group.

"It's family-oriented, uplifting and has a positive message," he says.

At Bethany Beach, where the atmosphere is quiet and unhurried, holiday festivities will be held July 5. The parade, with its theme "The Past is Present at Bethany Beach," will start at noon and last about an hour. And for folks who are used to standing on the sidelines -- this is a parade where anyone can march along.

Most of the day's activities originate at the Christian Church on Garfield Parkway. Children who wish to ride their bikes in the parade can attend a free bike-decorating clinic that starts at 9 a.m. on the day of the parade.

At 10:30 a.m., the decorations will be judged and prizes will be awarded.

, Local bands will play during

the parade, and Nanticoke Indians will perform tribal dances.

Parade organizers expect 35,000 to 40,000 people for the event. "We have a good time and focus on the kids to give them something to remember," says the parade chairman, David Flickinger.

"It's a very traditional parade. Last year, the parade was so long that the first of it was returning before the last of it left the church," he said.

After the parade, there will be games for all ages on the church grounds until 5 p.m.

Those who want to compete in the kite derby can pick up a free paper kite at the Bethany Beach Kite Loft shop on Garfield Parkway. starting at noon Sunday. On Monday at 5 p.m. the decorated kites will be judged at the kite derby at the Bethany Beach bandstand.

In the evening from 7:30 to 9 p.m., local bands will be in concert at the bandstand on the Bethany Beach boardwalk.

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