By MADDY VITALE, OCNJDaily
Holidays are quickly approaching, and the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce created a new two-day outdoor shopping event to safely bring shop local and get into the community spirit.
The first-ever Winterfest by the Sea will be held Friday, Nov. 13 from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Ocean City High School field located at 6th and the Boardwalk.
All CDC regulations will be strictly adhered to amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are excited to bring a new event to Ocean City that encourages people to shop our Ocean City businesses in a fun atmosphere,” explained Michele Gillian, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce. “We included local crafters as well to provide a greater variety of items.”
Ocean City Winterfest will be an upscale shopping extravaganza. Customers can enjoy the magic of the season outside and will feature favorite local businesses and restaurants along with many local crafters in the one-stop shopping event.
Gillian explained that Winterfest was in the works for a couple of years, but that the pandemic had the Chamber quickly shift how it would be put on.
“The Chamber wanted to help boost our shop-local initiative and encourage people to see Ocean City as a one-stop location for all their holiday needs,” Gillian pointed out. “Originally, it was planned as an indoor event, but given the circumstances, it was changed to an outdoor event which we feel lends to the festivity of the holidays.”
Gillian noted that the Chamber is currently in the process of registering the vendors.
By creating another way to showcase all that the local merchants have to offer, gives visitors and residents a large venue to do some gift-giving and celebrate what makes the community spirit that makes living or vacationing on the island so special, she added.
During Winterfest children and adults alike will be treated to some favorite holiday characters, who will be strolling the market to add to the festivities.
“Ocean City shines year round. During the holidays, the island takes on a whole new light,” Gillian added. “We have a beautifully decorated downtown and Boardwalk and there is a wintery sense of excitement everywhere you look.”
This year, she emphasized, perhaps more than years past, it was paramount to deliver a new event to celebrate Ocean City and all who live, work and vacation in the resort.
“2020 has been a difficult year and we wanted to bring something new to Ocean City to help get people in the holiday spirit and promote shopping local,” Gillian said. “Winterfest will provide a safe, outdoor environment with a festive atmosphere, all while supporting the local businesses.”
For information, contact the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-BeachNJ or visit online at www.OceanCityVacation.com.