Friday marks the official start of summer. While beachgoers pack their coolers, dust off their beach chairs and flock to the shore, the Press of Atlantic City is there to share in the fun.
Reporters Claire Lowe, Lauren Carroll join weatherman Joe Martucci for the #ACPressShoreTour. They are staking out three local beach towns to talk with locals and visitors enjoying the sites, smells and sounds.
To start their tour, they traveled over the 9th Street Bridge into their first stop: Ocean City, where local leaders officially “unlocked” the beach at noon.
With the ocean opened, local business people marched side-by-side to the waterfront, many in full suit-and-tie.
Ocean City holds the Business Persons Plunge at the start of every Memorial Day weekend, which encourages hundreds of business persons and organizations to dress in their office attire and jump into the ocean to signify the start of the summer season.
Joe spoke with some mermaids there, who took time out of their seafaring lives to answer some questions.
What’s life like with a scaly tail?
“It’s much smoother in the water,” one said. “On land, worse … We understand why Ariel wanted her feet so badly.”
Before hitting the beach for the ceremony and the annual Business Persons Plunge, they stopped inside one of the many boardwalk arcades. Claire challenged Joe to a friendly game of air hockey, which was immediately followed by a rematch on the skee ball machines.
Joe talked to Michele Gillian and special events coordinator Michael Hartman at the city’s Music Pier, and its name didn’t disappoint as the Ocean City high school marching band performed for the crowds walking the boards.
There, the two city officials shared details about how the city has worked to prepare for the start of the summer season.
“We’re sort of like the roller coaster’s beginning: we have a little bit of chill time and then it just goes crazy right until the shoulder season,” Hartman said.