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The Memorial Day Weekend has become a joyous recognition that the sunny season is returning. But more importantly, it is also a somber time, as we pause to recognize those who have given their lives in defense of our country. Ocean City’s annual Memorial Day Service will be held 11 a.m. on Mon., May 26 at Veterans Memorial Park, 5th and Wesley Ave. In the event of inclement weather, the service will be moved across the street to the Tabernacle Auditorium. Also on May 26 at 9:15 a.m., Ocean City Lifeguards will row out in the waters opposite the Music Pier off the Moorlyn Terrace Beach and place a wreath to honor and remember the men and women who sacrificed their lives so that we can live free.

Weekend activities begin on May 23, at noon, when the Mayor, City Officials and Lifeguards meet to turn a large wooden key in the sand that officially opens the Ocean. The ceremony is emceed by Fred Miller, a former lifeguard and Ocean City Historian.

 

The Business Persons Plunge follows the key turning. Excitement builds as the Ocean City High School Band plays Pomp and Circumstance. It rises to a fever pitch when John Walton, Plunge Organizer, leads over one hundred enthusiasts across the sands and into the Ocean. These include mascots, folks dressed in business attire toting briefcases and others in an array of goofy costumes.  The excitement subsides as the soaked marchers trudge slowly back to the Boardwalk. It is a unique spectacle.

The Cumberland Regional High School Chorus, directed by Ed Sayre, will serenade plungers and spectators before and after the ceremony. Selections include “Under the Sea,” “Under the Boardwalk” and “Here Comes the Sun.”

(May 17)The Somers Point Jazz Society will provide a prelude to the Big Weekend by presenting a concert featuring Grammy winning Jazz Great, Arturo O’ Farrill and his Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra  at the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace.

O’Farrill is the pianist, composer and director of the group that includes 18 of the world’s most accomplished jazz musicians. The Orchestra’s “Song for Chico,” won a Grammy for Best Jazz Album of the year in 2008. It has received many Grammy nominations over the years.

Show time is 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 for Somers Point Jazz Society members, $25 for non members until May 15. Purchase online at www.spjazz.org/shop, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. or call (609) 927-6677. Tickets will be available at the door, Society members $25, non members $30.

(May 24) Pianist-performer Linda Gentille will star in a patriotic program with the Jersey Shore Pops Orchestra at 7 p.m. in the Music Pier Auditorium, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace. This Memorial Day Weekend Concert, “America,” is a tribute to “the great American heroes who inspired millions.” Enjoy the music of John Philip Sousa, Glenn Miller, Lee Greenwood, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and George M. Cohan.

Tickets are $25-$40, Children $20. Call (609) 628-4544, 1-800-838-3006 or access www.JerseyShorePops.org.

(May 24) Another patriotic event, the 2014 “Standup4SEALS “Get in the Fight” Beach Challenge on the 8th Street Beach is a race that includes three simultaneous events for either teams or individuals. These are: The Stand Up and Paddle Ocean City Challenge, a Seal Team approved Obstacle Course Challenge and a Kids Fun run. There will also be a Patriot’s ceremony to honor our veterans and fallen warriors. All proceeds benefit One Team One Fight, an official charity of the Navy Seals Foundation and the Travis Manion Foundation.  All activities start on the 8th Street Beach at 7:30 a.m. Interested teams and individuals should access registration information at www.StandUP4SEALS.com or call (609) 228-5770.

(May 24) The Bucks County Singers present a free concert in front of the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace, at 3:30 p.m. This 35 group ensemble, who have been performing in Ocean City for over 25 years, will sing selections from The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, South Pacific, The King and I, patriotic selections plus standard and pop songs.

COMING SOON: (May 30-June 1) The Ocean City Flower Show: This year’s theme “O’ for a Book and a Shady Nook” features colorful amateur and commercial displays at the Music Pier. Show times Fri. 2 p.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sun., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a trade show in the Pavilion area of the Pier, Fri. and Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Call (609) 525-9300. Admission is free, donations accepted.

EVENTS FOR A CAUSE: (May 17) The 5th Annual Miles for Melanoma Ocean City 5K-34th St. Beach, 9 a.m. registration. Raises critical funding for new treatments, education and advocacy for Melanoma. Register online by May 15 for $25, Day of Event, $30. Awards follow race. Call 717-538-4359 or visit http//:events.melanoma.org/2014mfmoceancity.

(May 17) American Heart Assn. Walk: Registration begins 9 a.m. at Sports and Civic Center,  6th and Boardwalk, walk begins at 10:30 a.m.

(May 18) Walk to End Lupus Now: This 2k or 4k community walk on Boardwalk helps raise money for Lupus Research and educational programs while increasing awareness of Lupus, and gains public support for those living with it. Registration 9 a.m. at 6th St. Practice Field, 6th St. and Boardwalk. Call (866) 717-5070 or visit www.walktoendlupusnowsj.org.

NOVELTY EVENT: (May 17-18) “Cinco en Mayo” Treasure Hunt- The ECRDA’s fifth annual beach hunt starts at Music Pier. Compete in a series of metal detector hunts for great prizes. Special kid hunt on Saturday and Gold and Silver Hunt on Sunday. No experience needed. Loaner detectors available for kid’s hunt only $5. All are welcome. Access website for more information and to register, www.ecrda.org. Registration available at Music Pier on Saturday.  Sat. hours 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call (732) 276-8251.

WHERE ANGELS PLAY: A new playground will be constructed in Ocean City to commemorate the life and personality of Benjamin Wheeler, a student who tragically lost his life at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, 2012. It will be constructed at 2901 West Ave. next to the Ocean City Fire House.

A ground breaking ceremony is set for May 15 at 10 a.m. The “Where Angels Play Foundation” has already built 21of these play grounds and is in need of volunteers on May 15 to help assist its crew with the construction. They ask that you consider your gift of time to help build this commemorative facility.

The playgrounds are designed to reflect the personality and interest of the child or teacher for whom it is named. For information on the Ocean City project call (609) 525-9285 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. A ribbon cutting ceremony is set for May 18 at 11 a.m. to open the playground. Public is invited. For information or to donate to the Sandy Ground Project please visit www.thesandygroundproject.org.

REMINDER: The Ocean City Free Public Library, 17th and Simpson Ave. offers an array of free educational and entertainment programs. Call (609) 399-2434-Ext. 5231 for information.

IMPORTANT The following Bay Avenue Businesses are open during road and drainage improvements: BONGO CAFÉ, MALLON’S STICKY BUNS, BERGER REALTY, MARIO’S PIZZERIA, ISLAND BEACH GEAR.

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