Monthly Archives: November 2013

Holiday Shopper’s Fair returns to Roland E. Powell Convention Center

The whole family will enjoy a visit to the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, November 29-December 1, for the 31st Annual Holiday Shopper’s Fair.  The Holiday Shopper’s Fair, which was started in 1983 as  part of the effort to bring visitors to the resort in the shoulder season, attracted 2,000 people with 66 vendors its first year in Ocean City. This year, the shopping extravaganza will feature more than 200 vendors with an estimated 10,000 people visiting the three-day tradition, which is sure to put everyone in the holiday spirit.shopping

This year’s fair features unique gifts for everyone on your shopping list, including art and craft items, hand painted furniture, quilted handbags, ornaments, candles, jewelry, florals and other specialty gift items. You’ll also find toys, pet items and sports related memorabilia, nautical items, stained glass, country woodcrafts, lighted baskets and ceramics.  Vendors will also offer honey-roasted almonds,  dip mixes, assorted cakes and cookies for gift giving.

Non-profit organizations will also be on hand including Delmarva Cat Connection with cat/kitten adoptions and art and craft items, and Town Cats with adoptions, puzzles and other gift items for sale.  The Marine Corps League will be on hand for Wounded Warriors and Toys for Tots.

Face painting and games will be offered this year for children and these activities are included in the price of admission to the show.   Santa will be making a daily appearance from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. Be sure to stop by and leave your Christmas wish list and have your child’s photo taken with Santa.

Door prize drawings will be held every hour on the half hour (must be present to win) and for the non-shopper, a television room will be open showing football games. Show hours are Friday, November 29, and Saturday, November 30, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, December 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $3 for the weekend. Children 13 and under are admitted free.  For more information about the 31st Annual Holiday Shopper’s Fair, call 1-800-OC-OCEAN, 410-289-2800 or e-mail mcollins@oceancitymd.gov.

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Ocean City Dew Tour Wins Maryland ‘Economic Engine’ Tourism Award

It looks as though Maryland skateboard pro Bucky Lasek and his Dew Tour Beach Championship competitors aren’t the only ones walking away from Ocean City with a big win.  The Maryland Office of Tourism Development (OTD) recently announced their annual awards at the Maryland Tourism & Travel Summit, naming the Ocean City Dew Tour as an Economic Engine winner.

The 2013 Ocean City Dew Tour was held June 20-23, marking the third year in a row the international action sports competition showcased the beauty and appeal of Ocean City and the State of Maryland to the world.  It is estimated the Dew Tour has brought in approximately $11.5 million in economic impact to Ocean City and the State, drawing an estimated 103,000 attendees this year alone.

“I am thrilled that the Maryland Office of Tourism Development has awarded the Ocean City Dew Tour as an Economic Engine winner,” said Donna Abbott, Ocean City Tourism Director.  “The Ocean City Department of Tourism works closely with Alli Sports to promote the event. Not only does Ocean City’s event have the highest attendance in the Dew Tour’s history, but the event is also nationally broadcast, which adds to the exposure. Last year alone, Ocean City and the State of Maryland were showcased to nearly 4 million national broadcast viewers and distributed to 99 million homes internationally.”

The OTD judged nominees on job creation, positive economic impact to the region and state, exemplary contributions to Maryland’s tourism industry and other unique qualities.  “We are proud to be a part of Dew Tour history and thankful to Alli Sports for bringing the event to Ocean City as well as to the Maryland Office of Tourism Development for recognizing these efforts in making the event a success,” Abbott stated.  “We  look forward to hosting the event in 2014 and once again showcasing the spectacular backdrop of Ocean City’s beach and Boardwalk to the nation and the incredibly talented athletes who compete here.”

 

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Ocean City Fire Department Graduates Seven New Firefighters at Inaugural Academy Graduation

 

On Thursday, November 14, 2013, the Ocean City Fire Department proudly graduated seven new firefighters from the department’s inaugural full-time academy.   The graduation ceremony, which is a first for the department, was held at the Ocean City Convention Center with Ocean City Mayor Meehan administering the Oath of Office.

The academy training was a combination of fire, rescue and medical courses in addition to specialized training needed for departmental operations. The subject matter included rescue techniques, pump apparatus drills and aerial apparatus exercises, among other things.  After six weeks of intense training, six of the graduates were formally recognized as full-time firefighter/paramedics and one as a firefighter/EMT

“This is not just a job, this is a calling” said Ocean City Fire Chief Chris Larmore.  “The business of firefighting is filled with numerous risks and tasks, and you have proven over the last several weeks that you are committed to those challenges.”

Graduating from the inaugural academy are Firefighter/Paramedic Jeff Aperance, Firefighter/Paramedic Christopher Gee, Firefighter/Paramedic Nicholas Kinhart, Firefighter/EMT Eric Olson, Firefighter/Paramedic Yvette Rode, Firefighter/Paramedic Jason Williams and Firefighter/Paramedic Ryan Womer.  Each of the graduates had been employed as a part-time member of the department before being hired full-time.
“I could not be more proud of what you have accomplished this far and what I know you will accomplish in the future,” continued Larmore. “You will keep my family and everyone in this city safe, and we are all very thankful for your hard work.”

Ocean City Fire Department Reminds Citizens to Take Precautions to Avoid Frozen Pipes

pipesWhen temperatures drop, the Ocean City Fire Department responds to numerous calls for frozen pipes, not only in residential properties but in commercial properties as well. This year, the Ocean City Fire Department is reminding citizens and property owners to follow simple maintenance tips to ensure that fire sprinklers and domestic pipes do not freeze and break due to recent dip in temperatures.

“Frozen pipes can cause thousands of dollars in water damage as well as rendering fire sprinkler systems inoperable,” said Ocean City Fire Marshal David Hartley.  “Maintaining wet pipes above freezing are a key concern. Domestic water pipes can be insulated or wrapped with an approved UL listed heat tape.  In the event that a unit is unoccupied for the winter season, domestic water pipes can also be drained.”

Wet sprinkler systems, however, usually cannot be wrapped with a heat tape.  All sprinklered areas of a building should be checked to make sure they are above freezing.  Setting a unit thermostat to keep pipes around 40 degrees fahrenheit will help prevent these pipes from freezing.  With regard to dry sprinkler systems, auxiliary condensate drains should be drained by a licensed sprinkler company or person knowledgeable about sprinkler systems.

Finally, emergency contact numbers should be posted on the outside of the building, which can help the fire department contact responsible parties in the event of a pipe break.  Also, key lock boxes, which can be purchased from the fire department headquarters at 15th Street, can allow access into a building in the event of an emergency to allow firefighters to turn off water mains and minimize damage within units.

For more information on precautionary measures to take to prevent pipe breaks, contact the Ocean City Fire Department, Office of the Fire Marshal at 410-289-8780.

21st Annual Winterfest of Lights Opening November 21

winterfestThe Town of Ocean City will be a bit brighter beginning November 21, when the Winterfest of Lights celebrates its 21st year illuminating Northside Park.  Named a prestigious Top 100 Event for 2013 by American Bus Association and voted “Maryland’s Finest Holiday Tradition” by Maryland Life Magazine, Winterfest of Lights is a winter paradise for the whole family to enjoy.

The Winterfest Express takes guests on a ride through a mile-long animated wonderland of dazzling lights and spectacular displays, including the Twelve Days of Christmas and additional fairytale favorites.  Christmas carols float through the air and throughout the Winterfest Village, which is located inside a festive and heated pavilion.   To celebrate the spirit of the season, visitors can sip hot chocolate from The OC Recreation Boosters Café or browse the Yukon Cornelius Gift Shop for that special stocking stuffer or OC souvenir.  Even Santa attends, taking photos with families every night until December 23.

The special opening ceremony, which kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 21, at Northside Park’s Winterfest Village at 127th Street and the bay, is open to the public.  The ceremony features Ocean City Elementary School’s “OC Stars” performing holiday songs and dance.  In addition, Mayor Rick Meehan will “flip the switch” to light the Christmas tree and officially open the Winterfest of Lights.  Even Santa will make a surprise appearance for the opening ceremony, which will feature free rides on the Winterfest Express train for the remainder of the evening.

Adding to the excitement of Winterfest of Lights, the Jingle Bell Run and the New Year’s Eve Fireworks show will both be returning for a second year. The Winterfest of Lights Jingle Bell Run, which will take place on Sunday, December 8, is sponsored by the Town of Ocean City’s Recreation and Parks Department and OC TriRunning.  The race takes runners through an animated course of dazzling lights and spectacular displays.  The New Year’s Eve Fireworks show at Northside Park will celebrate the beginning of 2014 with live entertainment, warm hot chocolate, and the opportunity to ride the Winterfest of Lights.

Winterfest of Lights is located at Northside Park, 125th Street & The Bay.  Beginning November 21, the hours of operation will be Sunday-Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.  Winterfest tickets are available and can be purchased in advance at the Ocean City Community Center and the Convention Center.  Admission is $5.00 for those 12 years & older and FREE for those 11 years and younger.

With more than one million holiday lights sparkling throughout the town, Ocean City’s Winterfest of Lights will create a long lasting holiday memory for you and your family.   For more information, visit http://oceancitymd.gov/recreation_and_parks/specialevents.html or call 410-250-0125.