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 28. The free public event provides an early start to Memorial Day Weekend and welcomes a long-awaited summer.
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 an Ocean City High School 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.
The daily boardwalk flag-raising ceremony – a beloved tradition in Ocean City – will continue in a new location at the Ocean City Music Pier starting on Saturday, May 29.
A dedication ceremony is planned for 8:50 a.m. on May 29 and the flag-raising will take place at that time every day through Sept. 11. The event includes the playing of the national anthem and “God Bless the U.S.A.”
A newly installed flagpole in front of the Music Pier will be dedicated to the memory of three veterans from Ocean City: Joe Caserta, James “JR” Robinson and Bill Cruice. Family members of these men will be on hand for the ceremony.
Saturday morning (May 29) also 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 14th 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. Visit memorialbeachchallenge.com for more information on the races and for registration.
Ocean City’s Memorial Day Service starts at 11 a.m. May 31 at Veterans Memorial Park (500 block of Wesley Avenue). All are encouraged to attend. The keynote speakers will local VFW Post Commander Mike Morrissey and American Legion Commander Bob Marzulli.
The National Moment of Remembrance is also set for May 31. 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. Greg Murphy of Buglers Across America will sounds Taps from the Ocean City Music Pier to commemorate the moment. The performance will be broadcast on the boardwalk public address system.
GUARDED BEACHES OPEN FOR THE SEASON
The Ocean City Beach Patrol will guard the following beaches starting Memorial Day Weekend (May 29): 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 locations throughout Ocean City. Follow the same link for details.
OCEAN CITY POPS GRAND REOPENING
The musicians of the Ocean City Pops are excited to welcome everybody back to the Music Pier. Tickets for a grand reopening concert will go on sale Friday (May 28) at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice. Because capacity at the Music Pier will be limited, there will be two 45-minute shows at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 11. Tickets will also be on sale for two “Hollywood Hits” performances by the Pops on July 18.
The reopening concert will feature a variety of celebratory favorites and classics under the direction of the new Music Director and Maestro Vince Lee. The “Hollywood Hits” show will include decades of favorites from the silver screen performed live.
OCTC SUMMER CHILDREN’S THEATER SERIES IS BACK
Tickets are on sale now for the five fully staged family musicals in the 2021 Ocean City Theatre Company Summer Children’s Series at the Ocean City Music Pier. The shows will be on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. from July 6 to August 3. All tickets are $10 in advance and $12 on the day of the show. Seating is limited, so advance ticket purchases are encouraged. Call 609-399-6111 or visit oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice.
The series will feature the following shows:
· THE RAINBOW FISH: “AN UNDERSEA MUSICAL ADVENTURE” (July 6) — Adapted from the international bestseller and award-winning book “The Rainbow Fish” by Marcus Pfister, the play tells the story of a vain creature who learns that it’s far better to be admired for being kind than for being beautiful.
· THE THREE LITTLE BEARS: THE FAMILY MUSICAL (July 13) — Everybody knows the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears—but nobody has ever heard the story from the bears’ point of view!
· JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (July 20) — Take a musical trip up the beanstalk with Jack and discover the town’s unexpected solution to the Giant’s grumpy attitude.
· AWESOME ALLIE: FIRST KID ASTRONAUT (July 27) — Eight-year-old Allie sets out in her dance-powered spaceship on a journey through the stars, soaring from Earth to Pluto with only a trusty, talking dog named Captain Chaos by her side. Along the way, she’ll meet unlikely challenges and unlikelier friends. Allie’s about to discover that friendship just might be the most important thing in the whole universe—but only the audience can help her figure it out.
· ALEXANDER, WHO’S NOT NOT NOT NOT GOING TO MOVE (August 3) — Based on a Judith Viorst book, this musical tells the story of a young boy who learns to understand that home is “where your family is, where you’re with the people who love you best of all.”