Hot rods and 'The Fonz' coming to Ocean City this weekend

20th annual Cruisin' Ocean City Car Show continues through Sunday

May 21, 2010|By Donna M. Owens, Special to The Baltimore Sun

Are you hot for hot rods, crazy about classic cars and totally into tricked-out trucks? Then you might want to hop into your ride and head to Ocean City this weekend for the 20th annual Cruisin' Ocean City Car Show.

The event began Thursday and runs through Sunday. Expect some pageantry when a parade of colorful cars make their way down the Ocean City boardwalk, and a bit of muscle (figuratively, that is) at a hot rod and muscle car auction.

For nostalgia fans, there'll be an appearance from actor Henry Winkler, best known as "The Fonz" from the 1970s TV series "Happy Days." Legendary crooners the Four Tops will also perform at the Ocean City Convention Center.

"We'll have cars, music, contests and lots of fun," said Bob Rothermel, a car show spokesman. "It's like 1954 all over again."

Along with the festivities, another thing visitors should expect, according to Ocean City officials: fairly hefty crowds.

"This show brings a ton of people to Ocean City — over 3,000 cars are registered, plus all the others who come to watch," said tourism spokeswoman Donna Abbott.

The event, she adds, is a big boon for area businesses, who welcome the pre-Memorial Day crowds, and the official kickoff to the summer season.

Indeed, Rothermel adds that for decades, the show has drawn car enthusiasts from near and far. Many of them are regulars, year after year.

"We have folks who have been coming since the beginning and those who're seeing it all for the first time," he said. "This weekend rivals July 4th in terms of all the people who come to town."

Car show highlights include:

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines: A chance to check out thousands of vehicles: hot rods, customs, classics, street machines, trick trucks and then some. Various car shows and vendors will be set up on the Ocean City Convention Center parking lot and the inlet lot. Additionally, car shows and contests will be held at various business locations ( Phillips Seafood; Ocean City Factory Outlets) in Ocean City and West Ocean City, and the neighboring town of Berlin.

Sold to the Highest Bidder: The Express Auctioneer's Hot Rod and Muscle Car Auction is slated today at the Convention Center.

Pimp Your Ride: Top manufacturers from around the country will have items ranging from car wax to monster tires for sale/display at the Manufacturer Midway (located at the inlet).

Croonin' after the Cruisin: The Four Tops will be in concert at the Convention Center tonight. For tickets, call the Ocean City Box Office at 410-723-8620 or Ticketmaster at 800-551-7328.

Let's Roll, Baby: Boardwalk car parades are scheduled at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings. Show hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. General admission is $10, children under 14 are admitted free.

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