Thousands are expected for Ocean City’s Spring Block Party on Saturday, one of the biggest events in the city each year.
Bill Barlow, The Press of Atlantic City
The event is set to take place rain or shine, and rain is a possibility, with showers projected to be “hit or miss” by The Press of Atlantic City meteorologist Joe Martucci, who is calling for gray skies and some warmer weather after a week of northeast winds.
Plans call for more than 350 crafters, food vendors, and entertainers to fill Asbury Avenue from Fifth Street to 14th Street, bringing crowds to the city’s downtown in advance of the unofficial start of summer on Memorial Day weekend.
Entertainers and bands will perform along Asbury Avenue between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., including Chad Juros (creating balloon animals at Fifth Street), Big Daddy (at Sixth Street), and the Robert Boney Band (Seventh Street), and Keith Hickman (at 14th Street). Pony rides for children will be available on the grounds of the Ocean City Tabernacle (at Sixth Street and Asbury Avenue) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Vendors including Asbury Avenue restaurants will offer food in many varieties.
Street parking will be free at all metered spots and downtown parking lots in Ocean City, including at the Transportation Center lot (Ninth Street and Haven Avenue) and at the municipal lots on the 700 and 800 blocks of Central Avenue.
The weekend celebration also includes table sales by downtown and Boardwalk merchants with discounted merchandise set up between Sixth Street and 14th Street on the Boardwalk and Asbury Avenue throughout the weekend.
The event comes as Ocean City and other shore communities rev up for the summer of 2022, with hopes of a return to normal after two seasons overshadowed by the pandemic.
On Thursday, John Walton invited members of the City Council and everyone else to the annual Business Persons Plunge, planned for 11:30 a.m. on the beach next to the Music Pier at Moorlyn Terrace and the Boardwalk.
The event is now in its 19th year, Walton said. Members of the local business community, many in suits and ties that are otherwise rarely seen in the beach town, and others in costume, march into the ocean to begin the tourism season.
“After a long winter, that brought two blizzards and a pesky Mother’s day storm, it’s that time of year again,” Walton said. “Spread the word, bring the kids.”