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What's Happening in Ocean City, NJ 5/18/16

The colorful BUSINESS PERSONS PLUNGE will be held on Friday, May 27, at noon. It will be preceded by lifeguards and city officials gathering on the Ninth Street Beach by the Ocean City Music Pier. Their mission? To officially unlock the ocean for the summer season. This is accomplished by turning a large wooden key in the sand, the reverberations of which destroy any barriers that would keep either fish or bathers from Ocean City waters.

Ocean City is not unique in relying on this ceremony. Atlantic City and other shore communities have also “turned the key” to free their waters. What’s unique is the celebration that follows the key-turning, the colorful Business Persons Plunge.

Picture several hundred enthusiasts, some dressed in formal attire toting briefcases, and others in costumes that personify their work, strutting into the water to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” performed by the Ocean City High School Band. They are led by flag-toting Realtor John Walton, who leads the event in a spiffy business suit.

In an exclusive interview with this columnist, Walton stated that this year’s plunge will be bigger than last year’s, which was bigger than the one before that.


Walton declared the response has been excellent. First-time participants include  Coastal Christian Church, Aloha Soft Serve, Hearth and Soul, Rojo’s Mexican Food and Shore Shuttle. New also will be the Ocean City Fire Department, Tom Heist Insurance and the Ocean Exchange Club. Aimee Schultz and daughter Shannon Wallace, Miss Ocean City, will represent JASM Consulting. Registration is still open. Contact John Walton at (609) 338-7667.

Some of the many repeaters include Wonder Bear, Mr. Taffy, Fry Guy, the Air Circus Pirate Doug Jewell, and Nor’easters mascot Bobby. “This has become a multi-generational plunge,” says Walton. “Many business owners are now bringing their families to experience the challenge and fun.”

Prior to the turning and strutting, the Cumberland Regional Chorus, led by Ed Sayre, will perform from the loggia of the Music Pier starting at 11:45 a.m. They will also sing a few numbers at the end of the OCEAN PLUNGE!  REMEMBER,  ALWAYS SWIM AT OCEAN CITY’S GUARDED BEACHES, RATED “THE BEST BEACH IN AMERICA” BY COASTAL LIVING MAGAZINE READERS!  

(May 21) YOUTH EMPOWERMENT LEADERSHIP EXPLOSION: Event is designed to empower our youth and give them the tools they need to thrive. It will be held on Saturday at noon at the Peck’s Beach Village Family Courtyard, 204 4th Street in Ocean City. It will include food vendors, prizes, and appearances by David Klemic, former member of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs and Michael Braxton, who will talk about Overcoming Life’s Challenges. Music by Paul Watson and Company. All proceeds benefit the Maliha Chowdhury Scholarship Fund, Ocean City High School. For more information, contact Alesia Watson, executive director of the Ocean City Housing Authority at (609) 399-1062. 

(May 21) AMERICAN HEART ASSN. HEART WALK: Registration begins 9 a.m. at the Sports and Civic Center, 6th and Boardwalk. Walk begins at 10:30 a.m. For more information call (609) 399-6111.

(May 21) MILES FOR MELANOMA Ocean City5K/Walk: Registration begins 8:30 a.m. at the 34th St. Beach. Race begins at 10 a.m. Help raise funding for new treatments, education and advocacy for Melanoma. $30 timing services will be provided. (Untimed runners and walkers FREE) Awards follow race. For information call 717-538-4359 or http://join.melanoma.org/2016mfmoceancity.

(May 21-22) THE MAGNIFICENT TREASURE HUNT: The ECRDA’s seventh annual open beach hunt at the Ocean City Music Pier. Compete in a series of metal detector hunts for great prizes. Special kids hunt on Saturday and gold and silver hunt on Sunday. No experience needed.  Detectors are available for kids who hunt for only $5. All are welcome. Register at www.ecrda.org. or at Music Pier on Saturday. For more information, call (732) 276-8251 or visit www.ecrda.org.                                                        

(May 25) “SALAM NEIGHBOR”: Seven miles from war, 85,000 Syrians struggle to restart their lives inside a Jordan refugee camp. Two filmmakers fully embed themselves in the camp, providing an intimate look at the world’s most dire humanitarian crisis. Meet those who struggle to rebuild their lives in the camp. Free film shown 6:30 p.m. in the Chris Maloney Lecture Hall of the Ocean City Free Public Library, 17th and Simpson Ave. Contact Julie (609) 399-2434 x 5222 for more information.                           

(May 28) 4th Annual MEMORIAL BEACH CHALLENGE: The event consists of team and individual entrants in three separate races - A SEAL-team inspired Obstacle Course Challenge, an Ocean Paddle Challenge and a Kids Fun Run as well as a Patriot Ceremony to honor our veterans and fallen warriors. Race begins 7:30 a.m. at 9th St. Beach. Visit www.memorialbeachchallenge.com for more information. 

(May 28) SINATRA AT THE SHORE with Jersey Shore Pops, 7 p.m. at Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace. A tribute to the life and times of the great Frank Sinatra. Concert features one of the country’s leading Sinatra tribute artists, Peter Oprisko. The Chicago based entertainer is often described as “The next Sinatra.” This will mark his Ocean City debut with the popular orchestra under the direction of conductor-pianist Linda Gentille. Tickets are $22-$40 available by credit card, call 1-800-838-3006 or beginning May 21st at the Music Pier Box Office by cash or check only. For more information call 1-800-838-3006 or visit www.jerseyshorepops.org.

(May 30) MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE: 11 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park, 5th and Wesley Ave. For more information, call (609) 399-6111.

(May 31) WETLANDS CELEBRATION NIGHT, 6-7 p.m. at Ocean City Free Public Library, 17th and Simpson Ave. This event will showcase student artifacts from Wetland’s Classes and Field Trips in the Chris Maloney Lecture Hall. Funded by the Library in partnership with the Wetlands.                                                                                                                

Following are the results of the sixth annual ESTHER WEIL OCEAN CITY POPS STUDENT MUSIC COMPETITION held at the Music Pier on May 4. It was the largest ever with 26 students from ten different high schools and 2 home-school students.

Instrumental Division: 1st  Aidan Seals, saxophone, Mainland HS, $1,000; 2nd Beth Anne Costellano, violin, Egg Harbor Twp. HS, $500; 3rd Ryan Gattini, Guitar, Holy Spirit HS, $250, 4th Roberto Steele, piano, Home School, $100.

Vocal Division: 1st, Fred Spiewak, Wildwood Catholic HS, $1,000; 2nd Stella Schwartz, Ocean City HS, $500; 3rd. Amanda D. Chiaro, Lower Cape May Regional HS, $250.