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Ocean City Spring Block Party Packs in Fun

Ocean City Spring Block Party Packs in Fun


There was something for everyone Saturday during one of Ocean City’s signature events – the Spring Block Party.

Downtown Asbury Avenue was transformed into a mega-shopping extravaganza where 350 crafters offered everything from household items to clothing to jewelry. Anyone hungry who attended the blockbuster event likely left full. Barbecue wafted in the air from one vendor while caramel corn was popping in another.

The Spring Block Party, like its counterpart in the fall, offers an abundance of choices for shoppers, foodies and browsers, not to mention an array of entertainment ranging from solo crooners to live bands performing on street corners along Asbury Avenue. The mile-long event showcases all that the city has to offer in a pre-season kickoff to the tourism season.

Thousands of shoppers filled the avenue throughout the day for the block party, which is sponsored by the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce each year. Gray skies and some rain didn’t deter visitors from coming to the event.

Mary Frasier, left, and her mother, Tina Frasier, enjoy some shopping.

Mary Frasier and her mother, Tina Frasier, of Nazareth, Pa., have been coming to Ocean City for many years. To be precise, Mary is 25 and has visited since she was nine months old. Her mother, who is in her 60s, has been coming since she was five.

But Saturday was the first time they went to the Spring Block Party.

“We always come for the Fall Block Party to celebrate my birthday,” Mary Frasier said.

“We’re having a lot of fun today,” Tina Frasier noted. “There is so much to choose from.”

The mother-daughter duo purchased a phone case, clothing, a garden sign and even some chips and guacamole all in about an hour.

Throughout the afternoon Big Daddy Duo, a popular band that performs hits from country to pop to rock-n-roll favorites, entertained from Mark Soifer Park where some families gathered to listen on benches.

Members of the Ocean City Pops orchestra performed inside City Hall, while Maestro Vince Lee played the keyboards on the top of the City Hall steps, due to the threat of rain showers in the afternoon.

Visitors also lined up at City Hall to purchase pre-season beach tags at a discounted rate.

In addition to food and merchandise, entertainment included pony rides for children on the Ocean City Tabernacle grounds.

Shannon Reardon, of Blackwood, N.J., brought her 1-year-old son, Henry Moore, and 4-year-old daughter, Kit Kat, for a day of fun.

Shannon Reardon and her children, Kit Kat and Henry take a break in between shopping.

Like the Frasiers, it was the family’s first time at the Spring Block Party, and they were enjoying the day.

“We’ve been here about an hour. We got popcorn. We hit everything. We got soup all the way down Asbury Avenue,” Shannon Reardon said with a laugh. “The children are having fun. They’ve enjoyed half a bag of popcorn at this point. We’re definitely having a good time.”

Denise Gropp, of Bear, Del., and her sister-in-law, Kim Gropp, of Wilmington, Del., did plenty of shopping in less than two hours.

They were focused.

“We come every year. We love it,” Denise Gropp said. “We did some shopping, but we’re not done yet.”

They stopped for a quick bite of a hamburger and a gyro in between purchases.

The two used a wagon to cart their purchases.

“We have flowers and plants and a Mother’s Day present, which is a secret,” Kim Gropp noted. “We got dog treats, too.”

Denise Gropp, left, and her sister-in-law, Kim nibble on some treats.

Like other visitors to the Spring Block Party, the Gropps have been visiting Ocean City for years.

“We grew up here in Ocean City and come back year after year,” Kim Gropp said.

“We do the spring and fall block parties every year,” Denise Gropp said. “We’ve been to at least 20.”

When asked what separates Ocean City’s block parties from other block parties, Kim Gropp said it is simple, “It’s Ocean City. It’s a special place.”

Denise Gropp added, “Yes, and we love supporting the local vendors.”

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Ocean City Police Lt. Josh Clark and his K9 partner Briar Rose.

Visitors line up at City Hall to purchase pre-season beach tags at a discounted price.

Barbecue sizzles on the grill.