• directions

LeVar Burton to Highlight OC-Con, Girls Weekend Returns to Ocean City

What's Happening in Ocean City, NJ 4/3/19

Two major events take center stage in Ocean City this weekend. “Star Trek,” “Roots” and “Reading Rainbow” icon LeVar Burton will be special guest at the OC-Con Comic Book and Memorabilia Festival on Saturday and Sunday (April 6 and 7) at the Ocean City Music Pier. Girls Weekend will showcase all that Ocean City’s downtown retail district has to offer and provide a great reason to escape to the shore Friday through Sunday (April 5 to 7).

Now in its fourth year, the OC-CON FESTIVAL returns to early spring after being held in June last year. Burton, a star in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” will be a special guest for both days. Tickets are on sale now for exclusive photo and autograph sessions. Visit oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice, call 609-399-6111, or stop by the City Hall Welcome Center (Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue), the Roy Gillian Welcome Center on the Route 52 causeway or the 46th Street Welcome Center.

OC-Con features meet-the-artist sessions, discussion panels, costume contests, and the display and sale of comic books and memorabilia. Show hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday (April 5), and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday (April 7). Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children with two-day passes available for $15 ($8 for children).

Burton launched his acting career while still a student at the University of Southern California. At age 19, he was cast in the groundbreaking role of Kunta Kinte in the landmark television series “Roots.” In recent years, he achieved further acclaim as Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge in the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” television series and films. But he says he is most proud of his role as host and executive producer of the beloved PBS children’s series “Reading Rainbow,” which aired from 1983 to 2009 and became one of the longest-running children’s television shows in history.

He will be part of a Q&A session (free with regular admission) at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 7. Exclusive meet-and-greet sessions ($20 for selfie photos, $25 for autographs on picture provided at show, $50 for autographs on any specialty items not provided by show) will be held 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 6, 10:30 a.m. to noon April 7 and again 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. April 7.

One highlight is the annual 1-mile “superhero” run on the boardwalk (10 a.m. Saturday) and “superhero” obstacle course race (11 a.m. Saturday). Sign up for either or both events at the Ocean City Civic Center (Sixth Street and Boardwalk). The weekend also features performances by the Galactic Empire Band on Saturday afternoon and the Cosplay Contest on Sunday afternoon.

Visit www.ocnjcon.com for complete information on all artists, discussion panels and scheduled events for OC-Con.

The fourth annual GIRLS WEEKEND kicks off with a fashion show at 7 p.m. Friday (April 5) at Glazed Over Studios (704 Asbury Avenue). It features clothes and accessories for sale in Ocean City’s retail shops and modeled by local men and women, including members of City Council. The lighthearted event will be catered by local restaurants. Advance tickets ($20) are required and on sale now at City Hall, the Route 52 Welcome Center, Ta-Dah (1040 Asbury Ave.), the 7th Street Surf Shop (720 Asbury Ave.), the Sneaker Shop (704 Asbury Ave.) and Making Waves (836 Asbury Ave.). Tickets also can be purchased online this year (click on the “Buy Now” button on the event blog).

Girls Weekend features hotel and bed-and-breakfast packages, dining offers, shopping discounts, prizes, yoga and wellness classes, craft projects and demonstrations at various locations throughout Ocean City. Accommodations package deals are being offered by the Flanders, Port-o-Call, Biscayne Suites, Wild Dunes Inn, Impala Island Inn, Ebb Tide Suites and the Ocean City Mansion bed-and-breakfast, among others.

For a detailed schedule of Girls Weekend events, accommodations and participating businesses, call 609-399-1412, visit the Girls Weekend blog or the Facebook event page.

TICKETS FOR ‘BALLROOM WITH A TWIST’ GO ON SALE THURSDAY

What happens when you put “Dancing With The Stars,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and “American Idol” together on one stage? You get “Ballroom With A Twist.”

Watching the cha-cha rattle on the television screen is one thing, but getting up close and live beneath the fringe, sequins, and booming sounds of rumba bass is another ballgame. “Ballroom With A Twist” brings a frenzy of sizzling dance moves by professional international dancers spanning the hot moves of samba, waltz, foxtrot, quickstep and jive. If the dancers are not enough to keep you in awe, several of your favorite “American Idol” finalists will be joining the bill with their hit songs.

“Ballroom With a Twist” comes to the Ocean City Music Pier at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11. Tickets for the show ($25 to $40) go on sale Thursday (April 4). Visit oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice, call 609-399-6111, or stop by the City Hall Welcome Center (Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue), the Roy Gillian Welcome Center on the Route 52 causeway or the 46th Street Welcome Center.

TICKETS FOR COUNTRY MUSIC SHOW GO ON SALE THURSDAY

A summer concert featuring the Swon Brothers and Josh Gracin is set for 7:30 p.m. August 30 on the Ocean City Music Pier.

In 2013, the Swon Brothers became the first duo to make it to a season finale of “The Voice” with the help of their coach, Blake Shelton.The Swon Brothers released their self-titled album and received a nomination for CMA Vocal Duo of the Year in 2014. They have toured with Carrie Underwood and are now busy preparing new music, including the newly released single “What Ever Happened" from their new EP.

Josh Gracin fans fell in love with the Michigan native and former Marine upon his ascension onto the country charts in 2004 with “I Want To Live.” The hits came in short order for Gracin – the chart-topper “Nothin’ To Lose,” “Stay With Me (Brass Bed)” and “We Weren’t Crazy” all hit high on the Billboard charts. With the release of his new single, “Good For You,” Gracin is back on country radio. The release is a partnership between Reviver (David Lee Murphy, Michael Tyler, Tenille Arts) and his own Revel Road label. With the new single, Josh Gracin is armed with the best music of his career.

Tickets for the show ($25 to $30) go on sale Thursday (April 4). Visit oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice, call 609-399-6111, or stop by the City Hall Welcome Center (Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue), the Roy Gillian Welcome Center on the Route 52 causeway or the 46th Street Welcome Center.

COMING UP SOON

POETRY READING AND OPEN MIC (April 3): Celebrate National Poetry Month at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 3 at the Ocean City Free Public Library. Readings at 6:30 p.m. will feature poets Echezonachukwu Nduka and Nancy Reddy. Following a short intermission there will be an open mic for performances of two minutes or less. Sign-ups begin at 6 p.m.

WILD WILD WEST EVENT (April 11): A Wild Wild West-themed cocktail party will be held at the Atlantic City Country Club on Thursday, April 11 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets are $35. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Ocean City Arts Center.  he $35 donation includes light fare, live demonstrations of painting, music, dance and more; artwork and jewelry for sale; a 50/50 raffle; and cash bar.  Themed- attire is welcome. Prize for Best Costume for Cowboy and Cowgirl.  To reserve your tickets, call (609) 399-7628 or visit the Ocean City Arts Center at 1735 Simpson Avenue. 

AUTHOR'S HIGH TEA TICKET SALE (April 12-13): The Friends and Volunteers of the Ocean City Free Public Library proudly present the annual Author's High Tea at 2 p.m. Thursday, May at the Flanders Hotel in Ocean City.  Guest speaker will be Nancy A. Hughes, mystery writer and author of “The Dying Hour” and the trilogy of “A Matter of Trust,” “Redeeming Trust” and “Vanished.” Tickets can be purchased 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, April 12 and 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 13 in the atrium outside the library (1735 Simpson Avenue). Cost per ticket is $30. For more information, visit www.friendsvolunteersocfpl.com.

DOO DAH PARADE (April 13): “I Dream of Jeannie” star Barbara Eden will lead this year’s parade as grand marshal. The Doo Dah Parade was first held in Ocean City in 1986 as an event to herald the end of income tax season. It featured unusual entries like beach chair drill teams and fan clubs of legendary comedians. The free parade begins at noon on Asbury Avenue at Sixth Street, proceeds to 12th Street and turns east to the boardwalk, finishing at Sixth Street. For more than a decade, the parade has been anchored by a legion of dogs from the Basset Hound Rescue League.

MR. MATURE AMERICA PAGEANT (April 13): The pageant is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, April 13 on the Ocean City Music Pier. The event is the first and only pageant of its kind in the United States. Barbara Eden, who captured the hearts of millions of fans worldwide in her run on “I Dream of Jeannie," will be host of this year’s show. The historic Flanders Hotel and Dietz and Watson return as sponsors this year. The madcap pageant celebrates men 55 years and older with competitions in talent, poise and interview categories. Tickets for the show are on sale now and available at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice.

THE GREAT EGG HUNT (April 13 and April 20): Two massive egg hunts on the beach for children up to 7 years old. The free events start at 2:30 p.m. and feature areas divided by age group and for children with special needs.

EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE (April 21): A traditional non-denominational service by the sea. All are welcome. The service starts at 6:30 a.m. at the Ocean City Music Pier.

DUELING PIANOS SHOW (April 21): The Philly Keys will perform their hit dueling pianos show starting at noon. The performers will take a break for the annual Easter Fashion Promenade.

EASTER FASHION PROMENADE (April 21): Families are invited to come dressed in their Easter’s best to stroll in the Fashion Promenade and meet the Easter Bunny. Judging begins at 1 p.m. on the boardwalk at the Ocean City Music Pier. Prizes awarded for Best Dressed Children, Teen, Adults and Family.

COLONY CLUB FASHION SHOW (April 27): The local Colony Club’s annual Fashion Show Scholarship Fundraiser will be held 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 27 at Ocean City Senior Center (1735 Simpson Ave.). The Fashion Show will feature fashions from Ta Dah and a delicious luncheon buffet. You can shop at Ta Dah and the Colony Club Jewelry Boutiques, along with Tricky Trays. Tickets are $35. Contact Judi Levy for tickets at 609-247-1332 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Proceeds benefit the Colony Club of Ocean City Scholarship Fund.

HISTORICAL MUSEUM SUNDAY BRUNCH (April 28): An Ocean City Historical Museum fundraiser will feature a presentation by John Loeper on “Snow, Ice and Sand.” The event will include brunch at Clancy's by the Bay in Somers Point. Ticket prices: $32 general public, $28 members. Tickets may be purchased at the museum within the Ocean City Community Center (1735 Simpson Ave.) or by calling 609-399-1801. Reservations are required.