Ocean City will celebrate Thanksgiving early this year by treating residents and visitors to an evening of entertainment capped by a gigantic fireworks display at 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24.
The event is a way for the city to thank everybody for supporting the community in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, which caused record flooding and widespread damage to Ocean City in October 2012.
The celebration starts at 7:30 p.m. in front of Ocean City Music Pier at Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace with a program of nondenominational “prayer and song” by local clergy and area choirs. At 8 p.m., entertainment on the Boardwalk will feature bands, strolling entertainers and costumed characters. A fireworks display visible from the entire length of Ocean City's Boardwalk will begin at 10 p.m.
Rain date is Sunday, Aug. 25.
“We have a lot to be thankful for,” said Michele Gillian, executive director of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“First we were able to bounce back quickly from Hurricane Sandy, thanks to immediate and decisive action by the city and the efforts of an army of volunteers headed by OCNJ CARE. Assistance Centers were set up immediately in order to feed and clothe those in need. By New Year’s Eve, we were able to host 10,000 visitors during our popular First Night celebration.
“We are fortunate to have very loyal residents, vacationers and summer residents who enjoy living and vacationing in a family-oriented town," Gillian said. "We were blessed by the completion of a new $400 million causeway that has become a major attraction in itself. It provides an immensely popular recreational facility including biking and walking paths overlooking the scenic Great Egg Harbor Bay and Ocean City landscape plus fishing and boating docks."
Sponsors making the celebration possible include: the Pepsi Cola Company, the Wagman Corp., a major contractor for the new causeway construction, Shamrock Towing, the Ocean City Tourism Commission and the Boardwalk Merchants Assn. with special assistance from Chuck Bangle of Manco and Manco.
For information, contact the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-BEACH-NJ.
Earlier in the day, the first International Martin Z. Mollusk Clam Drain (Shell) Pitching Championships will be held on the beach between Fifth and Sixth streets. Sign-ups are noon to 2 p.m., and games start at 3 p.m. Clam Drains are durable, manufactured shells that level the playing field for all competitors. Clam Drains will be loaned free to those who don’t have them.
Entry fee is $10 with proceeds benefitting the Ocean City Theatre Company’s educational programs for youngsters.
For more information, visit www.clamdrain.com or email email@example.com.