Ocean City Today

Association brings back Christmas

Annual meeting swears in board members, celebrates fundraising efforts for lights
By Kara Hallissey | Nov 16, 2017
Photo by: Kara Hallissey During the annual membership dinner and installation of officers for the Ocean City Downtown Association last week, board of directors, from left, Amy Rothermel, Nancy Howard, Joe Manganello and Kevin Gibbs are sworn in at Captains Table on 15th Street inside the Marriott Hotel.

(Nov. 17, 2017) Dozens of community members attended the annual membership and installation of officers dinner at Captains Table inside the Marriott Hotel on 15th Street last, Thursday.

“As I look around this room, everyone has done something for this organization,” Mary Ann Manganello, executive director of the Downtown Association, said. “Whether it was working in the information cottage, freezing on the Boardwalk pouring hot chocolate, or serving crab soup. Thank you very much. We appreciate you.”

Attendees enjoyed a cocktail hour before dining on a chicken picatta, ribeye steak, pork chop, salmon or vegetarian options for dinner.

Mary Knight, Ocean City Council Secretary, read a proclamation before acknowledging and swearing in the 2018 officers and board members.

They are: Joe Manganello, president; Brooks Trimper, vice president; Kevin Gibbs, second vice president; Nancy Howard, secretary; and Amy Rothermel, treasurer.

The board members include Lauren Taylor, Nick Ruggieri, Nancy Bradford, Vicki Barrett, Vi Candeloro, Ray Robinson, Steve Taylor, Vince Sapia, Frank Knight and Melody Cedarstrom.

The chief purpose of the Downtown Association is to raise money for holiday light displays. By investing in these colorful displays, the organization aims to attract visitors during the offseason and give downtown businesses a reason to keep their doors open.

“We wanted to bring the lights back to the downtown area and the tradition of when you drive into Ocean City and see a real Christmas,” Joe Manganello, president of the Downtown Association, said.

The Harrison Group has donated thousands of dollars to the downtown light display initiative, he added.

“We appreciate the help from all businesses and the fact they appreciate we want to bring Christmas lights downtown,” Manganello said.

This holiday season, visitors can expect a piggy bank display on Dorchester Street, soldiers in the Third Street baseball field, a white marlin and waving snowman display when coming off the Route 50 bridge, and elves near the welcome sign. Trimper’s Rides has light displays as well. The Dough Roller on South Division Street is also putting up a display, Lisa Aydelotte, event coordinator for the Downtown Association, said.

“We want to bring back the arches you drive through at the inlet and the city agreed to give us 90 Christmas wreaths,” Manganello said. “We are always looking for volunteers. When the cottage opens back up, volunteer, it’s a lot of fun.”

The Ocean City Downtown Association presents the Light Up Downtown Winter Festival annually, which will take place this Saturday from 2-6 p.m.

The free event includes crafts and games for children with prizes, vendors, a tree lighting, gift drawings, a visit from Santa, complimentary hot chocolate and musical entertainment by One Night Stand, all on the Boardwalk, downtown.

In addition to the light-up downtown initiative, the Ocean City Downtown Association also runs the information cottage on the Boardwalk and hosts a Halloween golf tournament and car parade each year. The Granville Trimper Pancake Breakfast at Ocean View American Grill, the James Sapia Spaghetti Dinner at Shenanigan’s and the popular Crab Soup Cookoff are also annual events the organization coordinates.

For more information on the Ocean City Downtown Association, visit www.downtownassociation.net.

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