Written and submitted by Mark Soifer, Ocean City Public Relations
Ocean City’s “Mile-Long” Spring Block Party offers fun, food, entertainment, over 350 talented crafters, plus shopping specialties from 100 Asbury Avenue stores.
The popular festival is set for Saturday, May 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It extends from 5th to 14th Streets in the downtown and is produced by the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The event began over 30 years ago. It first covered only two city blocks. It quickly gained notoriety and soon extended through the entire, downtown commercial area.
One of its first features was a Greek Food Festival that will be back for the 30th time this year. It is located at the corner of 9th and Asbury Avenue and features gyros, spinach pie, sweets and other specialties. It raises funds for the Holy Trinity Church of Egg Harbor Township.
Entertainment is varied and spread throughout the Block Party area from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free pony rides and the balloon magic of Chad Juros will be available at the Tabernacle Grounds, 6th and Asbury Avenue.
The Big Daddy Band will be at 6th Street and the Robert Boney Band at 7th Street. Singer Tony De Luca will be at 9th Street and the Tidal Wave Band at 10th Street. The Bubba Mac Blues Band will perform at 13 Street, and singer Keith Hickman will perform at 14th Street.
Free parking will be available on West and Central avenues. After the Block Party, stroll the Boardwalk, where merchants on the Boardwalk and Asbury Avenue will feature table sales during the weekend.
Gillian’s Wonderland Pier will be open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Block Party Weekend, and Playland amusements will be available from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
This is an ideal opportunity to enjoy the pleasures of both the downtown and boardwalk. For information, call 1-800-Beach-NJ or 609-391-1240.
ROCK FEST AT MUSIC PIER: Here’s your opportunity to enjoy some great original rock music by local bands. Ocean City’s Eddie Shiffler will bring “Green Language,” the group he fronts, to the Music Pier for a rock festival on May 9 from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
The Band will perform its new album “Of the Birds” and Shiffler will sing select songs from his 18 year solo career. Bands from Philadelphia and New York will also be featured in the program.
The new album will be available in the form of download cards and limited issue CDs. Local artists will show their work. Admission is $10 at the door. Call 347-813-5090 or access www.reverbnation.com/greenlanguage.
The Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides Walk is scheduled for May 3 at 11 a.m., and will leave from the Sixth Street Practice Field. Registration begins at 10 a.m. Call 610-325-6011 or visit www.cff.org.
Ocean City’s Got Talent, May 3: See talented performers from throughout the region compete in talent competitions including vocals, dance, instrumental, drama, comedy, etc. Contestants of all ages will be vying for honors. The event is open to the public starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace. Tickets are $10 with proceeds benefitting the Greater Ocean City Theatre Company. For tickets call 609-525-9300 or visit www.ocnj.us/boxoffice.
The Ocean City High School Instrumental Department will present its annual Spring Concert, Wednesday May 6 at 7 p.m. at the Bill and Nancy Hughes Performing Arts Center. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students. The Concert Band, Wind Ensemble and Strings programs will perform. Senior Band members will be recognized. Tickets will be sold at the door.
The Cape May County Coastal Food Drive: Letter carriers from Ocean City will be collecting non-perishable food items for the Ocean City Community Food Cupboard on May 10. Please leave donations by your mailbox. You can also drop off food at the Ocean City Post Office, 859 Ocean Ave., M-F 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or the Ocean City Community Food Cupboard, 501 E. 8th St., M-F 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
The American Heart Association Heart Walk, May 17: Registration begins 9 a.m. at the Sports and Civic Center, 6 and Boardwalk, walk starts 10:30 a.m.
Arturo O’Farill Latin Jazz Big Band, the Grammy award winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra led by pianist, composer, director Arturo O’Farill, brings together the drama of big band jazz, the culture of Latin American Music, and 18 of the world’s most accomplished jazz musicians on May 17.
The Band’s “Song for Chico” won the Grammy for best Jazz Album of the Year in 2008 and the group has received many Grammy nominations.
Show time is 7 p.m. at the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace. Ticket Prices are $20 for Somers Point Jazz Society members, $25 for non-members until May 15. Purchase online at www.spjazz.org/shop or by mail from the Somers Point Jazz Society, P.O. Box 329, Somers Point, N.J. 08244.
Tickets will be available at the door, Tickets for society members, are $25, and $30 for non-members. The event is sponsored by Cape Bank. Call 609-927-6677 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
OCNJ Triathlon/Duathlon: The event May 18 features a ¼ mile Pool Swim, 2M Run/16M Bike/2M Run. Plus a Kid’s Course 1/8 mile swim, 1m run/8m bike/1m run. Pool swim is from 6 a.m.-8 a.m. Run/Bike/Run starts at 9 a.m. Cost is $50 for the Triathlon/Duathlon, and $25 for the kids course. For information, call 609-525-9317 or access www.ocnj.us/Race-Events.
BUSINESS PERSON’S PLUNGE unlocks the Ocean for the Season on May 23. Business persons, mascots, various groups march into the ocean to the Ocean City High School’s rendition of Pomp and Circumstance.
Many plunge into the waves in full dress attire, others in their company’s uniforms. Ringmaster/Realtor John Walton leads the contingents into the Ocean presenting the Stars and Stripes.
All are welcome to participate or watch. Be there. The march starts at noon. Participants arrive by 11:30 a.m. The plunge starts at the Moorlyn Terrace Beach by the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace. Call 609-338-7667 for information.
The Miss New Jersey Pageant invites organizations, bands and individuals to participate in the Miss New Jersey Parade that precedes the Pageant, on Wednesday, June 11 at 7 p.m. on the Ocean City Boardwalk.
High school marching bands, cheerleaders, pep squads, dance groups, scout troops, entertainers and business and civic organizations with floats are invited to participate. They should call Karen Mahar at 609-626-1176 or email her at email@example.com. There is no entry fee. All entry forms must be completed by Friday, May 23.