Monthly Archives: February 2014

Woman Locates Missing Locks After City Staff View Her Plea on Facebook

burrphotolocks(February 18, 2014) – On Sunday, February 16, Lauren Burr of North Carolina posted a story on the Ocean City, MD Facebook page begging for information about two locks located on Dorchester Street and the Boardwalk.  Along with a picture, Burr’s message included an account of how the rusty locks became a significant piece of the love story between her and her husband.

According to the Facebook post by Burr, the first lock was hung on Valentine’s Day in 2008, when she and her husband visited the Boardwalk.  After carving their initials in the lock, they hung the lock on a Boardwalk column, which Burr visited on several occasions throughout their marriage, including times during her husband’s service as a Marine.  After finding out they were expecting a baby, Burr and her husband added a baby lock to the Boardwalk column, carving a “C” into the metal lock in honor of their daughter, Claire.

Burr said she learned that the locks, along with the Boardwalk column, were gone from friends who visited Ocean City and sent her a photo of a blank space. “The Boardwalk has so many memories for me and my family,” Burr stated in her social media post.  “I know this is probably a long shot, but I thought maybe if I posted this, I could find out if these street posts and benches are being held somewhere or if they’re even being brought back.  I know they are just two pieces of metal, but they hold my heart.”

Burr’s story was shared over 160 times on Facebook, with more than 150 likes and dozens of comments. Luckily for Burr, the post grabbed the attention of Ocean City councilmember, Doug Cymek.  After making a few calls to the Ocean City staff members, Cymek was able to locate the locks, which were being stored by the Public Works Department.

“I spoke to our City Engineer and Public Works Director, who knew the exact whereabouts of the Boardwalk columns and the locks,” Cymek stated.  “We know our visitors have a special place in their heart for Ocean City and something that we might think is so small, is clearly a huge part of someone else’s memories of the beach.  With a little bit of help from our staff, we are hoping to restore the locks and hang them back on Dorchester Street for the Burr family to enjoy for many years to come.”

According to Burr, she never dreamed the story would touch so many people.  “I never imagined so many caring people could be in one community,” Burr stated.  “Ocean City has always been a special place for my husband and me, but now when we visit it will mean so much more to us. They aren’t our locks anymore, they are everyone’s locks. Everyone has put so much effort and love into finding them and now we want to share them with everyone.”

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(left to right:) Cathy Donovan, Matt Brown, Colleen Donovan Brown

(left to right:) Cathy Donovan, Matt Brown, Colleen Donovan Brown

(February 17, 2014) – Ocean City will be glowing with green at the 33rd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival, which marches down Coastal Highway on Saturday, March 15. Sponsored by the Delmarva Irish-American Club, this Ocean City tradition has grown to become the second largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the state, in addition to a seasonal kick-off for many local businesses.

Leading the parade will be the Donovan family, this year’s grand marshals and long-time members of the DIAC. With pipe and drum bands, including the Chesapeake Caledonia Pipe and Drum Band and the Ocean City Pipe Band, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade brings the sounds of Ireland to the streets of Ocean City. Also participating are several area high school marching bands including the Stephen Decatur High School Marching Band and numerous festively decorated St. Patty’s Day floats.

The procession begins at noon at 58th Street and marches south on Coastal Highway to the 45th Street Shopping Center, where the reviewing and judges stand will be located.  Trophies will be awarded for best marching band, best commercial float, best non-commercial float, best motorized unit, best adult marching unit, best youth marching unit, special committee award, judges’ choice award and best overall entry in the parade.

In addition to the celebration on the street, the 45th Street Shopping Center will once again be transformed into a lively Irish festival complete with live Irish entertainment, dancers, face painting, Irish apparel and plenty of food and drink.  With music provided by Pat O’Brennan and dancing by the Footsteps Irish Dancers, spectators can enjoy the free-admission festival beginning at 11 a.m. running until 3 p.m.  To avoid traffic delays, viewers are urged to arrive before 10:30 a.m. and to view the parade from 58th Street south to 45th Street.

The Delmarva Irish-American Club was founded in 1980. The first membership drive resulted in 75 members; today the membership totals more than 300 and is open to anyone who is Irish, of Irish descent or just likes things Irish. The club has awarded over $250,000 for scholarships to local students from the proceeds of previous parades.  For more information, visit www.delmarvairish.org or contact Buck Mann at 410-289-6156.

Ocean City St. Patrick’s Parade 2014 Grand Marshals Biography:

In 1978, Mike and Cathy Donovan moved to Ocean City from the Baltimore area. They opened up a gift shop in the 45th Street Village, and Mike started a screen printing company, New Wave, in the attic. Their business blossomed and they quickly outgrew their space in the 45th Street Village, so they moved their operations to Sunset Avenue in West Ocean City.

Mike and Cathy are original members of the Delmarva Irish-American Club. They had a daughter in 1983, Colleen, who has attended every St. Patrick’s Parade in Ocean City since birth!

New Wave has been making the St. Patrick’s Parade T-shirts every year, selling them on parade day in the 45th Street Village where it all started. Profits from the T-shirt sales are donated to the Delmarva Irish-American Club for scholarships that are awarded every year to local high school students.

Mike Donovan passed away in 1990. Cathy and Colleen, along with Mike’s children from a previous marriage, Andrew Donovan and Kyla Porter, are all proud members of the DIAC. Now there are five Donovan grandchildren!

New Wave is an active member in the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce and the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association. Cathy has been a volunteer for Coastal Hospice and Believe in Tomorrow, and she is currently president of the Ocean City Marlin Club Auxiliary.

In 2010, Colleen married Matt Brown, and they are now the owners of New Wave. Matt’s most important role in this year’s St. Patrick’s Parade is to continue the tradition of selling the official apparel in the 45th Street Village, thus allowing other members of the Donovan family to enjoy the parade as grand marshals!

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