Memorial Day Weekend Kicks Off the Season

Memorial Day Weekend Kicks Off the Season

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Big crowds and beautiful weather blessed last years unlocking of the beach.

In a long-standing Ocean City tradition, city officials will turn a ceremonial wooden key to officially “unlock the ocean” for the season at noon Friday, May 25. The free public event provides an early start to Memorial Day Weekend and welcomes a long-awaited summer.

The Ocean City Beach Patrol will begin providing guarded beaches on Saturday, and boardwalk and downtown businesses will be open and ready for the holiday weekend. After a cool and wet spring, the early forecast looks sunny and warm.

The “Unlocking of the Ocean” includes a newer tradition: The march of fully clothed business persons into the chilly Atlantic Ocean for the first swim of the summer (to the strains of the Ocean City High School marching band playing “Pomp and Circumstance”). Everybody is invited to participate in the Business Persons Plunge. It’s a chance to get some exposure for your business or organization or just to start Memorial Day Weekend with a splash. Groups and individuals can sign up in advance at www.ocnj.us/bizplunge.

The Unlocking of the Ocean and the Business Persons Plunge take place on the beach adjacent to the Music Pier. Participants are encouraged to muster at 11:30 a.m. Call 609-399-6111 for more information.

Saturday morning (May 26) brings the Memorial Beach Challenge, a spectacle to behold as athletes complete a 2.5-mile obstacle course that covers much of the beach between Fifth Street and 15th Street. Proceeds from the event benefit The 31 Heroes Project, an organization that specializes in creating programs, financial support systems and future opportunities for service members, veterans and their families. The race begins at 8 a.m. near the Ocean City Music Pier and is followed by a kids fun run. Call 856-905-0583 or visit memorialbeachchallenge.com for more information on the races and for registration.

The 35-member Bucks County Singers of Newtown (Bucks County), Pa. will perform a free concert on the loggia of the Ocean City Music Pier at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 26. The mixed-voice choral group of men and women will present a program of show tunes and patriotic favorites.

Ocean City’s Memorial Day Service starts at 11 a.m. May 28 at Veterans Memorial Park on Wesley Avenue between Fifth Street and Sixth Street. All are encouraged to attend. The keynote speaker will be Lt. Col. Eric J. Duckworth. In the event of inclement weather, the service will move across the street to the Ocean City Tabernacle.
The National Moment of Remembrance is also set for May 28. Established by Congress, the event asks Americans, wherever they are at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, to pause in an act of national unity for one minute. The moment of remembrance will take place on the Boardwalk as Greg Murphy of Buglers Across America sounds Taps to commemorate the moment.

GUARDED BEACHES OPEN FOR THE SEASON

The Ocean City Beach Patrol will guard the following beaches starting Memorial Day Weekend (May 26): St. Charles Place, Brighton Place, 8th Street, 9th Street, 10th Street, 11th Street, 12th Street, 26th Street, 34th Street and 58th Street. OCBP strongly urges bathers to swim only at guarded beaches. Beaches are guarded from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. weekends and holidays and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on weekdays. More beaches will be added throughout the following weeks.

Also a reminder: Seasonal beach tags will be on sale for a discounted $20 only through May 31 (the price goes up to $25 on June 1). Tags are available online at www.ocnj.us/beachtags and at eight locations in Ocean City. Follow the same link for details.

COMING UP IN JUNE

OCEAN CITY FLOWER SHOW (June 1 to 3): See beautiful commercial, amateur and kids displays at the Ocean City Music Pier. Show times are 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 609-399-6111.

CAPE SHORE CHORALE CONCERT (June 3): Cape Shore Chorale, directed by Scott J. Breiner, will perform music from around the world. Refreshments after the free concert.  Showtime is 3 p.m. at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 2998 Bay Avenue. For more information, visit capeshorechorale.org or call 609-861-2311.

WONDER’S BIRTHDAY BASH AT WONDERLAND PIER (June 7): Free fireworks show following an evening of discounted rides at Wonderland Pier, Sixth Street and Boardwalk. The company is celebrating 89 years of rides on the Ocean City Boardwalk.

ARTISANS FAMILY WEEKEND (June 8 to 10): The Artisans Order of Mutual Protection will hold their 73rd annual Family Weekend in Ocean City. The highlight of the weekend will be the Miss Artisan Pageant and a show by the Original Hobo Band to be held at the Music Pier on June 9. The Hobo Band will perform at 7 p.m. followed by the Miss Artisan Pageant at 8 p.m. Admission is free.

RESTAURANT WEEK (June 8 to 15): Fixed-price specials at participating Ocean City restaurants. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and special treats for the whole family. Visit www.eatinocnj.com for list of participating restaurants and specialty shops.

SKATO WITH KATO (June 8): Event runs 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the skateboard park in Ocean City (Fifth Street and Asbury Avenue). All-skate warm-up with music by the Sheckies starts at 4 p.m. All-ages skate competition starts at 5:30 p.m. Kato, everyone’s favorite white German shepherd rescue dog, presides over the fun. Sponsored by the Humane Society of Ocean City. For more information, call 609-398-9500 ext. 4 or visit www.hsocnj.org.

BARKS ON THE BAY (June 9): Dress up your pirate pooch and join all your mates for a fun day of music (Cosmic Charlie of Dead Reckoning), games, contests, prizes, costumes, food and more 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the grounds of the Humane Society of Ocean City, 1 Shelter Road. For more information, call 609-398-9500 ext. 4 or visit www.hsocnj.org.

COP CHASE (June 9): Five-kilometer race and 2-mile fitness walk on the Ocean City Boardwalk. Proceeds benefit Ocean City Po¬lice Benevolent Association scholarships for high school seniors, the Christmas toy drive, and distribution of free bike helmets. For more information, call 609-525-9108 or visit www.ocpba.com.

MISS NEW JERSEY PAGEANT (June 13 to 16): The Miss New Jersey Pageant includes a Boardwalk Parade (June 13), preliminary competitions, and the finals (June 16) at the Music Pier, Moorlyn Terrace & Boardwalk. For more information, visit missnewjersey.net.