Ocean City Today

A mild, not wild, weekend

College event turned out to be typical three days at beach for visitors and police
By Katie Tabeling | Jul 27, 2017

(July 28, 2017) College Beach Weekend came and went quietly this year, as few serious incidents were reported for what had been a highly hyped event.

“It went well overall, and people clearly noticed the police presence on the Boardwalk,” Ocean City Police Public Affairs Specialist Lindsay Richard said. “It sent a message that in Ocean City, as with every weekend, our officers have little tolerance for disorderly behavior and public consumption (of alcohol).”

The College Beach Weekend, held on July 21-23, was advertised on social media and included three parties at undisclosed locations. Over the course of those three days, 81 arrests were made as compared to the average of 45 arrests made on the two previous Friday-to-Sunday weekends.

Forty-one suspects charged were between ages 18 and 25 this weekend, although there is no way to determine if they were in town for the event.

In the weeks leading up to College Beach Weekend, Ocean City Police investigated advertised parties and called for reinforcements from the Maryland State Police and the Worcester County Sheriff’s. Richard said police were able to uncover large gatherings at local businesses well in advance.

“We didn’t shut down parties, because it’s not illegal to have one. But we did make our presence known and that helped diminish any criminal activity at those locations,” she said. “We’re extremely grateful to the business community and to our allied agencies for assisting us and making this a safe weekend.”

Other businesses took it upon themselves to do a little digging of their own, and some found they were included in the College Beach Weekend’s itinerary. Some like the Fenwick Inn on 138th Street canceled the event, the #ProjectOC party on Friday night, as a preemptive strike.

“They had a private party booked like a birthday party, but we saw the [College Beach Weekend] social media advertising for a rooftop party. We’re the only rooftop bar in Ocean City,” said Fenwick Inn administrative assistant Tracie Conklin.

She added that the Fenwick Inn didn’t hurt for business by turning away College Beach Weekend participants.

“We used the space for a wedding, and we were all booked because of the sports tournaments in town,” Conklin said. “It all worked out in the end.”

Hammerheads Bar & Grill on the Boardwalk near Ninth Street was another advertised College Beach Weekend location, but owner Danny Robinson decided to organize an informal event of his own.

“We decided to put on Country Boardwalk Weekend because what we’ve seen when a country song comes on the radio here – the bar fills up,” Robinson said. “Originally, we were added as a [College Beach Weekend] meet-up spot, but it’s not our kind of event and we asked the organizers to take us off it. It wouldn’t have worked out because on a Friday night, it’s a two hour wait for a table.”

From his bar’s location, Robinson had a front row seat to the foot traffic on the boards this weekend. He said there was a definite change from last year.

“The good thing about Ocean City is when we have giant events like this, the police blend in pretty well. But there was the typical July crowd out – families with ice cream cones,” he said. “But I got to admit, I saw a lot of college-aged kids out there with ice creams and prizes too.

“Maybe they know now they have to behave if they want to be invited back to Ocean City,” Robinson added.

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