Ocean City to ‘Unlock the Ocean’ and Take a Plunge

Ocean City to ‘Unlock the Ocean’ and Take a Plunge

What’s Happening in Ocean City, NJ 5/23/22

Tickets for Sept. 1 Lee Greenwood and Pops Concert Go on Sale Thursday

In a long-standing Ocean City tradition, city officials will turn a ceremonial wooden key to officially “unlock the ocean” for the season at noon Friday, May 27. The free public event provides an early start to Memorial Day Weekend and welcomes a long-awaited summer. Reigning Miss New Jersey Alyssa Sullivan will sing the national anthem.

The “Unlocking of the Ocean” includes a newer tradition: The march of fully clothed business persons into the chilly Atlantic Ocean for the first swim of the summer (to the strains of an Ocean City High School band playing “Pomp and Circumstance”). Everybody is invited to participate in the Business Persons Plunge. It’s a chance to get some exposure for your business or organization or just to start Memorial Day Weekend with a splash. Groups and individuals can sign up in advance at www.ocnj.us/bizplunge.

The Unlocking of the Ocean and the Business Persons Plunge take place on the beach adjacent to the Music Pier. Participants are encouraged to muster at 11:30 a.m. Call 609-399-6111 for more information.

The daily boardwalk flag-raising ceremony – a beloved tradition in Ocean City – will begin for the 2022 season at the Ocean City Music Pier starting on Friday, May 27. The event includes the playing of the national anthem and Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” The Ocean City mayor and veterans will meet this week to set an exact start time for the daily event – but it will be near 9 a.m. Check back for updates this week.
Saturday morning (May 28) brings the Memorial Beach Challenge, a spectacle to behold as athletes complete a two-mile obstacle course that covers much of the beach between Fifth Street and 15th Street. Proceeds from the event benefit The 31 Heroes Project, an organization that specializes in creating programs, financial support systems and future opportunities for service members, veterans and their families. The race begins at 8 a.m. near the Ocean City Music Pier. It also includes a Kids Fun Run and Memorial Paddle Out. Visit memorialbeachchallenge.com for more information on the races and for registration.

Ocean City’s Memorial Day Service starts at 11 a.m. Monday, May 30 at Veterans Memorial Park (500 block of Wesley Avenue). All are encouraged to attend. The keynote speakers will be local VFW Post Commander Mike Morrissey and American Legion Commander Bob Marzulli.

The National Moment of Remembrance is also set for May 30. Established by Congress, the event asks Americans, wherever they are at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, to pause in an act of national unity for one minute. Greg Murphy of Buglers Across America will sounds Taps from the Ocean City Music Pier to commemorate the moment. The performance will be broadcast on the boardwalk public address system.


Country music singer-songwriter Lee Greenwood will join the Ocean City Pops for a special concert at the Ocean City Music Pier on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022.

Greenwood holds a special place in the hearts of Ocean City residents and visitors, because his 1984 hit “God Bless the U.S.A.” has been a part of the daily boardwalk flag-raising ceremony every summer since Sept. 11, 2001. He will make his debut with the Ocean City Pops and perform hits such as “IOU” and “Ring On Her Finger, Time On Her Hands”, along with a few surprises.

Ticket sales open at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 26. Visit oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice, call 609-399-6111 or stop by the welcome centers at City Hall, the Route 52 causeway or the Music Pier Box Office.


Moody Blues vocalist, guitarist and songwriter John Lodge will perform at the Ocean City Music Pier as part of the 2022 Summer Concert Series on Monday, July 25.

Lodge’s hits include “Ride My See-Saw,” “I’m Just A Singer (In A Rock and Roll Band),” “Isn’t Life Strange?” He just released a new live album, “The Royal Affair and After.”

A special pre-sale for tickets (use code BRE) will be held 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday, May 24 through Ticketmaster. Regular ticket sales open at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 25.

The announcement of the show completes the 12-concert series at the Music Pier. For the entire lineup, visit ocnj.us/SummerConcertSeries.


The annual Cop Chase 5K is set for Saturday, June 4, and online registration is now open.

The scenic 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) race will start at 8 a.m. at Sixth Street and Boardwalk, travel down the Boardwalk and on the streets at the northern end of Ocean City, then finish on the Ocean City High School track.

Online registration will be at https://runsignup.com/ocnjcopchase5k. Pre-registration fee is $30 until May 31. After that date and on race day, registration is $35. The registration fee for students 18 and under is $10. Race-day registration and packet pickup is at the Ocean City High School track with parking accessible from the beach block of Fifth Street.

All proceeds benefit the Ocean City Police Benevolent Association, which supports scholarships for high school seniors, a Christmas toy drive, free bike helmets and other community projects. During and after the race, the OCPBA will host a series of fitness events (non-competitive) for kids ages 5 to 12. There is no charge for the kids events and all children who participate will receive a ribbon and a chance to win a bicycle from the Tuckahoe Bike Shop.

Doug Bergen
Public Information Officer

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