Doing It All: Summer '94 Preview

April 03, 1994|By JoAnne C. Broadwater | JoAnne C. Broadwater,Special to The Sun

The town of Ocean City has filled its calendar this year with an assortment of events to warm up winter-weary vacation planners as they look forward to the summer months ahead.

Summer in Ocean City officially gets under way May 5 with a four-day Springfest celebration on the beach, which features sky diving, stunt kite flying, boat, car and truck shows, food and entertainment under big-top tents at the inlet.

The season winds down in the fall with Sunfest, scheduled from Sept. 22-25. In between, the months will be filled with parades, ethnic festivals, Fourth of July celebrations, fishing tournaments and a lifeguard skills competition.

New at the beach this year will be the Ocean City Classic, a $100,000 celebrity golf tournament held at the Eagle's Landing Golf Course off of Route 611 in West Ocean City.

"People are going to be seeing some good golf and some fun celebrities," said Tom Tawney, assistant golf pro at Eagle's Landing. Entertainers like actor/recording artist Jack Wagner from daytime TV's "General Hospital," and sports figures including football player Al Del Greco -- kicker for the Houston Oilers -- will compete in the second of six Celebrity Golf Association tournaments.

"I would quit football tomorrow if I could make a living playing golf," says Mr. Del Greco, who will be joining the tour for the fourth year. "That's how much I love golf. And I'm looking forward to coming to Ocean City and Maryland."

Admission to watch the tournament -- held May 13-15 with practice rounds May 12 -- is $5 per day. For information call (800) 283-3846.

On May 14, middle and high school marching bands from Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania will file down the boardwalk from 14th Street to the inlet at 1 p.m., competing for trophies in the White Marlin Parade & Festival.

"It really is a great parade," says Martha Clements, director of public relations for the town of Ocean City. "The kids are so enthusiastic. It's a big, exciting event and it's one of the only parades held right on the boardwalk."

Among the events returning to Ocean City are two popular ethnic festivals that will bring traditional food, music and dancing to the Convention Center. The Irish Festival will be held June 17-19 and the Greek Festival is scheduled for Aug. 19-21.

Fireworks will light up the sky over the ocean and the bay at separate celebrations on the Fourth of July. The downtown beaches will provide the perfect spot from which to view the traditional display from the Ocean City pier.

"It's beautiful to see those fireworks exploding against the water and sky," Ms. Clements says.

A Fourth of July Jamboree in the Park, with music, arts and crafts, food and fireworks will be held from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Northside Park, 125th Street and the bay.

"It's so family-oriented," Ms. Clements says. "It's kind of a well-kept secret."

A variety of events will be held right on the beach throughout the summer, offering a change of pace from long days of sunning, swimming and strolling.

Still not sure what you want to do in Ocean City? Try your hand at beach art at the Castle in the Sand motel's annual Sand Sculpture Contest on June 21 at 37th Street. Cheer for your favorite lifeguard as teams from Ocean City and other Atlantic beaches compete in swimming, running, rescue, ironman and other skills in the mid-Atlantic regional lifeguard championships on July 14.

Catch the excitement of professional beach volleyball when players from all over the world compete in the East Coast Championships June 25 and 26. Or call (410) 250-5219 to sign up for a monthly Friday night amateur volleyball clinic and to compete in a weekend tournament.

Amateur anglers may enjoy entering the town's weekly fishing contests for largest catches of bluefish, sea bass, trout and flounder throughout the summer. Be sure to stop by the Harbour Island Marina at 14th Street on the bay any evening Aug. 1-5. Crews competing in the 21st annual White Marlin Open for a purse that may reach $200,000 will be bringing in their catches of marlin, tuna and shark for weighing.

On Labor Day weekend, visitors can watch crews on board some of the finest powerboats in the world as they race for a purse of $200,000 in the Ocean City Offshore Invitational -- the first in a new series of races sponsored by American Offshore Championships of Banner Elk, N.C.

The beach will become a grandstand between 80th Street and the inlet on Sunday, Sept. 4. Just 100 yards offshore, 20 to 25 boats powered by 2,000-4,000 horsepower engines will race past at speeds up to 130 mph. The 150-mile race will last about an hour.

The 40- to 50-foot boats, valued between $250,000 and $1,500,000, will be on display at the Convention Center throughout the weekend. The public is invited.

HIGHLIGHTS THIS SUMMER IN OCEAN CITY

May 5-8 Springfest

May 12-15 Celebrity Golf Association's Ocean City Classic

May 14 White Marlin Parade & Festival

May 21-Aug. 7 Volleyball Summer Series for amateurs

June-Sept. 5 Amateur Angler's Fishing Contest

June 17-19 Irish Festival

June 21 Sand Sculpture Contest

June 25-26 Beach Volleyball Pro Tour Championships

July 4 Jamboree in the Park; holiday fireworks downtown

July 14 Mid-Atlantic Lifeguard Championships

Aug. 1-5 White Marlin Open

Aug. 19-21 Greek Festival

Sept. 3-5 Offshore powerboat racing, exhibition and parade

Sept. 22-25 Sunfest

For more information about these and other activities, call the Ocean City Visitor Center, (800) OC-OCEAN.

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