It seemed that way Sunday as temperatures soared into the 60s, brilliant sunshine dominated, and thousands upon thousands of residents and visitors took advantage and flocked to America’s Greatest Family Resort.
It was almost as if people had to venture outside, either to see if what they saw from their window was real, or because they knew it was unreal enough they had better take advantage.
“Never in my 27 years here, have I seen a February day like this,” said Earl Paul, who should know. The self-proclaimed “World’s Number One Beach Bum” who has parked himself at Plymouth Place beach –regardless of rain, snow, ice or sunshine—for more than two decades, took in the scene with wonder and awe.
Earl, who normally has most of the beach to himself, this time of year, happily chatted with new friends and old fans alike, on a day when the only thing missing were tag checkers and ice cream vendors. Several food deliveries were spotted, however, and dozens of surfers ventured into the frosty Atlantic.
Meanwhile, the Boardwalk, which recently saw the unveiling of its renovated section, was packed with strollers, joggers, bikers. Hundreds of other folks took in the people show from the benches.
Many boardwalk businesses were open and reaped the rewards with jingling cash registers. A line snaked outside Tony P’s House of Pizza, for example.
“In 40 years we have never seen a day this beautiful and the town packed with this many people in February,” raved Al Caruso, who enjoyed the spring preview with wife Freda.
Numerous families strolled the boards and hung on the beaches with sand castles, kites and bubble blowing in full effect.
The crowds were due in part to favorable weather forecasts, which called the warm-up days in advance, and the President’s Day weekend which allowed visitors ample time to travel from Philly, North Jersey, Delaware and Western Pennsylvania.
“A beautiful day in Ocean City will bring the people out, no matter what month it is,” summed up Irene Dickey, a resident of the Gardens Plaza. “On a day like this there is no better place to be. It should be a crime to be indoors today.”