Ocean City Today

Annual Christmas parade in Ocean City this Saturday

By Kara Hallissey | Nov 30, 2017
Ocean City Deputy Fire Marshal Ryan Whittington rollerblades along Coastal Highway last year during Ocean City’s 34th annual Christmas parade, reminding spectators to change the batteries in their smoke detectors. As children received candy from parade participants, he encouraged them to brush their teeth after the event.

(Dec. 1, 2017) More than 60 units will march down Coastal Highway on Saturday, Dec. 2, during the 35th annual Ocean City Christmas parade, beginning at 11 a.m.

The popular holiday parade will start on Old Landing Road near 100th Street and continue north in the southbound lanes to 120th Street where high school bands, horses, antique cars, local businesses and holiday floats, car clubs and service vehicles including police, fire and the Coast Guard will be greeted by the judges.

“For 35 years, this parade has been an iconic event for Ocean City and we are happy to continue a custom that is loved by so many,” Frank Miller, special events director for the Town of Ocean City stated in a release.

The Town of Ocean City has been coordinating the annual Christmas parade for the last three years.

Three professional judges from the National Judges Association will be reviewing the units in the following categories: school bands, marching units, parade floats and motorized vehicles or groups.

Trophies will be awarded at the Carousel Hotel on 118th Street following the parade for first, second and third place in each category.

In addition, two special trophies will be awarded. The Coca-Cola Award will go to the parade entry who displays the most energy and fun. The Carousel Group will award the best Ocean City vacation-themed unit.

WBOC television anchors Nicole Edenedo and Timothy Parker will be the masters of ceremony and provide a play-by-play of the parade in the parking lot on 120th Street.

The event will last approximately two hours and seating will be located in the Food Lion parking lot for spectators along with the judges’ stand.

Hundreds of people participate in the parade annually and thousands of spectators are expected to be at the event this year, lining Coastal Highway to watch the spectacle.

Santa, one of his elves and Mrs. Claus will conclude the parade in a horse drawn carriage and are also included in Winterfest of Lights activities at Northside Park on 125th Street, until Christmas Eve.

After the parade, festivities will continue at the Carousel Hotel on 118th Street with half-price ice skating, complementary winter refreshments including coffee and hot chocolate, a deejay playing holiday music, discounted food items and free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

“It’s a fun, post-parade celebration for the whole family and the 35th anniversary of a community holiday celebration,” said Brenda Moore, special events coordinator for the Town of Ocean City.

The parade will feature three local high school bands—Snow Hill, Pocomoke and Stephen Decatur. In addition, the Stephen Decatur Middle School Marching Band will also participate.

Many local businesses and nonprofits will join Trimper’s Rides and Harrison Group’s commercial floats, which have participated since the parade’s inception, including OC Tri-Running Sports, Atlantic General Hospital and the Bearded Men’s Society.

“We are really excited to continue the holiday celebrations and long-lived tradition of the Ocean City Christmas parade,” Miller said. “An extra special thanks goes out to our parade sponsors at Carousel Oceanfront Hotel and Condominiums, Coca-Cola, Dunkin Donuts and Food Lion, for helping us to continue this family tradition in Ocean City.”

Traffic pattern changes will begin around 8 a.m. on Saturday. There is no fee to participate in the parade. To register, contact the Ocean City Special Events Department at 410-250-0125.

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