Monthly Archives: June 2013

Celebrate July Fourth in Ocean City, Free Fireworks and Concerts in Two Locations

jully4It’s time to celebrate the Fourth of July in Ocean City. For families who want to watch the fireworks sparkle over the beautiful water, the Town of Ocean City offers two great locations to enjoy the holiday, with free concerts and fireworks displays.

At Northside Park, 125th Street and the bay, the Reagle Beagles start the evening off at 8 p.m. The spectacular fireworks display will be shot from the west side of the park at 9:30 p.m. “You’ll hear the oohs and aahs throughout the park as families watch the colorful displays light up the evening sky,” said Mayor Rick Meehan. “We encourage spectators to get there early to claim the best location to view the fireworks.”

On the south end of town, you can head to Ocean City’s famous Boardwalk with its bright lights, assortment of food, family fun and more fantastic fireworks. OH Boy! A Tribute to America will perform a free concert on North Division Street at 8 p.m. with fireworks filling the sky beginning at 9:30 p.m. “The July 4th Celebration in Ocean City is a unique opportunity to watch fireworks sparkle over the ocean,” Meehan continued. “Bring your beach chair or blanket and claim a spot on the beach for a special and patriotic display.”

Parking is extremely limited at both locations. It is recommended that visitors take the bus. Bus service is $3 ride all day or $1 per boarding. The West Ocean City Park & Ride on Route 50 is just west of the Route 50 Bridge and offers free parking and $3 ride-all-day shuttle service to downtown.  Also, area boaters should note that on the evening of July 4th, the span of the Route 50 bridge will remain closed to marine traffic at the usually scheduled 9:55 p.m. and 10:25 p.m. opening times. The Rt. 50 bridge will open for boaters at 10:55 p.m. on the evening of July 4th.

For more information about July 4th activities, call the Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department at 410-250-0125, the Ocean City Department of Tourism at 1-800-626-2326, or visit www.ococean.com.

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Make Safety First on July Fourth

july 4The Ocean City Fire Department would like to remind the visitors and citizens of the danger involved with consumer fireworks as the July 4th holiday approaches. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that in 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 structure fires, 400 vehicle fires and 16,300 outside and other fires.  These fires resulted in an estimated 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.

“On Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for two out of five of all reported fires, which is more than any other cause of fire,” said Ocean City Fire Marshal David Hartley.  “In addition to causing damage, fireworks can cause injuries and we want people to be safe during their holiday stay in Ocean City. The safety and wellbeing of all residents and visitors of the Town of Ocean City is the primary goal of the Ocean City Fire Department.”

Although the State of Maryland has approved the use of ground-based sparkling devices such as cylindrical and cone fountains, these are not legal to use or possess in Ocean City. All other fireworks that may be sold in neighboring states are not legal for use by the general public anywhere in Maryland. 

Within the Town of Ocean City, products such as handheld Gold labeled sparklers, “Snap-N-Pops”, “Black Cobra Snakes”, and “Party Poppers” are allowed to be used and possessed without a license.  However, injuries and property damage may still occur from these types of products, so parental supervision is always encouraged. 

Maryland law prohibits the shipping or transportation of fireworks into the state if the fireworks are to be possessed, used, sold, or distributed by citizens of Maryland.  Illegal fireworks found are subject to seizure by law enforcement authorities, and persons found in possession of illegal fireworks with the intent to use them run the risk of both criminal charges and the confiscation of the fireworks.  Fines for possession of illegal fireworks may be as much as $250, and those found selling or distributing illegal fireworks may be fined as much as $1000. 

Anyone with questions pertaining to fireworks should contact the Ocean City Fire Department, Office of the Fire Marshal at 410-289-8780.

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$50 Flat Fee Parking All Day in Inlet Lot on July 4th

parkThe Town of Ocean City is making a change to parking operations in the Inlet Parking Lot on Thursday, July 4, by charging a $50 flat-fee for all day parking.  The fee, which is good for one-entry, will allow visitors to come as early as 5 a.m. and stay as late as midnight, without being charged an hourly parking rate.

“We hope the new flat fee parking will allow our visitors to be more flexible during their trip to Ocean City on July 4th,” said John VanFossen, Deputy Director of Public Works.  “We think this will not only allow visitors the opportunity to come to Ocean City early and stay late, but it will also smooth the amount of traffic exiting the downtown area after the fireworks.”

Visitors who utilize the flat-free option will be issued a window pass and directed to park by assisting parking attendants.  If the lot fills, visitors will be encouraged to use neighboring parking lots, including Worcester Street, Somerset Street, Dorchester Street, North Division Street, 4th Street and the West Ocean City Park & Ride. 

The normal “ticketed” parking operations will return at midnight on July 5.  For questions about parking in the Inlet Lot on July 4th or for more information, please contact Communications Manager, Jessica Waters at 410-289-8967.

 

 

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Town of Ocean City announces new Police Chief

picAfter conducting a national search, which resulted in dozens of qualified candidates, the Town of Ocean City is pleased to welcome Lieutenant Colonel Ross Buzzuro to the position of Chief of Police.  The position became vacant in January 2013, when 25-year Town of Ocean City employee, Chief Bernadette DiPino, retired.

As Chief of Police, Buzzuro will oversee the department, which consists of nearly 100 full time officers, 100 seasonal officers and approximately 20 civilian employees.  In addition, his responsibilities will include developing and implementing law enforcement initiatives and crime prevention strategies, creating organization and community partnerships, overseeing operational commands and managing a multi-million dollar budget.  

“On behalf of the City Council, I am very pleased to welcome Chief Buzzuro to Ocean City,” said Mayor Rick Meehan. “We had a number of very qualified candidates apply for the position and this was a very tough decision to make, however; Chief Buzzuro’s knowledge, experience and leadership stood out amongst the rest.  I am confident he will be a great asset to the citizens in the community, the members of the Ocean City Police Department, as well as the future of Ocean City.”

Chief Buzzuro began his career in law enforcement in 1985, as a police cadet in Baltimore City.  He worked his way through the ranks, serving as a sergeant, detective lieutenant, deputy major, major and eventually being named lieutenant colonel in 2007.  A graduate from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy and the University of Maryland’s Fire & Rescue Institute, Chief Buzzuro has been a commander within the Baltimore City’s Special Enforcement Section, Patrol Division, Criminal Investigation Division, and Internal Investigations Division.  He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Management from John Hopkins University and is known for improving operations, effectively managing resources and strengthening relationships.

Buzzuro is expected to begin his new position on July 2.  “I am honored to serve the residents and visitors of Ocean City as Chief of Police,” said Chief Buzzuro.  “As Chief, I understand a key component of public safety is partnering with the community and understanding the dynamic of Ocean City’s unique environment.  I look forward to accomplishing public safety through teamwork, professionalism, and discipline of the fine men and women who serve the Ocean City Police Department.”

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Local Book Wins History Award

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) has selected “102 Gentlemen & A Lady” written by Ocean City Museum Society board member Gordon Katz for a 2013 Award of Merit winner.  The award, which is selected by the leadership in history awards committee, will be presented during AASLH’s annual meeting in Birmingham, AL.102gentlemen

This book details the story of the Atlantic Hotel Company in Ocean City and includes brief biographies of the original members of the corporation.  Katz worked for many years researching and collecting data to present an accurate account of the founding of the hotel and the very early beginning of Ocean City history.

“My interest in Ocean City history was sparked initially by my wife’s postcard collection  but truly blossomed when Sue Hurley, the former museum curator, took the time to personally respond to a question that I had,” said Katz, who resides in Ellicott City, MD. “Sue’s admonition to dig deeper is what eventually led me to write the book.”

The book, which is available for sale in the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum’s gift shop and online at http://www.ocmuseum.org for $24.95, is a must have for anyone interested in Ocean City history.  The Ocean City Museum Society would like to acknowledge society member George Hurley for all of his diligent efforts in completing the tedious and time consuming nomination process for the award.

 

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