Ocean City Today

James Sapia 18th annual spaghetti dinner this Sunday

By Kara Hallissey | Apr 12, 2018
Caroline Ruggieri and her father, Nicholas, perform a pasta-making demonstration during the Downtown Association of Ocean City’s James Sapia spaghetti dinner at Shenanigan’s Irish Pub, Fourth Street and the Boardwalk, last year.

(April 13, 2018) A homemade Italian meal awaits attendees of the 18th annual James Sapia spaghetti dinner at Shenanigan’s Irish Pub on Fourth Street and the Boardwalk, Sunday, April 15, from 4-8 p.m.

“It is an inexpensive way to get the whole family together for a dinner and auction,” said Downtown Association Executive Director Mary Ann Manganello.

During the event, guests will dine on all-you-can-eat spaghetti and meatballs, salad, bread and soft drinks. Alcoholic beverages and desserts will also be available.

The Ocean City Downtown Association hosts the dinner in honor of Sapia, who was the organization’s founding president and the brainchild behind presenting a spaghetti dinner to raise funds.

When Sapia died in 2000, the spaghetti dinner was renamed after him.

His family continues to run two restaurants in Ocean City on the Boardwalk, DaVinci’s by the Sea on 15th Street and Ocean View American Grill & Surfin’ Betty’s Beach Bar on 16th Street, Manganello said.

The event will feature a silent auction with items such as an American Girl Doll, golf packages, a fishing trip, gift baskets and a boat rental.

There will also be a Chinese auction with restaurant, merchandise and amusement gift cards, casino dollars, pet and spa baskets, in addition to jewelry.

Back for the second year, Nick Ruggieri, a Downtown Association board member who has extensive culinary experience, will feature pasta-making demonstrations and samplings throughout the event.

“Pasta-making was once very common, especially in Italian families, but most kids today have no idea where spaghetti comes from,” Manganello said.

Last year, 185 people attended the annual Italian dinner with attendance varying from year to year depending on the weather, Manganello said.

“Good food in a beautiful setting,” Manganello said of the dinner.

The Downtown Association was created to serve businesses, residents and visitors in the downtown area of Ocean City. The organization raises money, hosts events and promotes programs to “enhance and improve the quality of life” for vacationers and residents.

Money raised during the James Sapia dinner goes toward events such as the Light Up Downtown Festival in the winter, helps to operate the Boardwalk Information Cottage for visitors during the summer and other various projects to assist downtown businesses, Manganello said.

Tickets can be purchased at the door. The cost is $8 for adult and $5 for children ages 5-10. Children 5 and younger eat for free.

For more information about the spaghetti dinner or the Downtown Association, call 410-289-1413 or visit www.downtownassociation.net.

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