Ocean City Today
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Corvette owners and enthusiasts to converge in OC

By Kara Hallissey | Oct 12, 2017

(Oct. 13, 2017) Car shows, rallyes and a parade down the Boardwalk are a few of the activities planned during the 31st annual Free State Corvette Club’s event, which takes place at the inlet lot and Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel on 101st Street this weekend.

Hundreds of Corvette owners and enthusiasts will converge in Ocean City for events today and Saturday. The public is invited to attend the free activities and there will be festivities for paying participants.

“It’s a celebration of ‘America’s Sports Car’ and for many owners, it marks the end of the driving season and a long winters nap for their cars,” said Jerry Apicella, public relations chair. “Most of us grew up vacationing in Ocean City and like myself, lived and worked summers here fresh out of high school. There are many happy and future memories being made.”

Events kick off today at the Clarion Hotel, where Corvette Weekend headquarters has a number of vendors selling a range of items from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Tonight, a welcome dance party will take place in the Clarion Crystal Ballroom with live music from Different Sisters and a cash bar from 7-11 p.m. There will be door prizes and raffles. An all-you-can-eat buffet is available from 7-9 p.m. at an additional cost, though diners must sign up for the dinner in advance during registration and wear their wristbands to the event.

Corvette weekend continues in the inlet parking lot Saturday morning, where hundreds of cars will be on display, a number of vendors will be selling items, three car shows will take place and four car rallyes will be going on simultaneously before an afternoon Corvette Boardwalk parade launches.

“It’s a relaxing fun-filled weekend event for young and old,” Apicella said. “Registrants get to participate in the Boardwalk parade and show their Corvettes while helping our deserving charities.”

The competitive car shows begin at 7:30 a.m., when Corvette owners prepare their cars to be judged in three competitions: participants vote for favorite cars in all classes including their own in the Fun Show, Spina Bifida guests will select a favorite Corvette in the second show and a representative from the Free State Corvette Club will select Governor’s Choice award winners.

Participants in the shows are eligible for the Sponsor’s Choice award presented by Kelly Chevrolet and General Motor’s Best in Show award. There will also be a Spectator Choice award this year.

Trophies will be awarded for each show. Registration is limited to the first 300 paid Corvettes.

At 9:45 a.m., four rallyes will launch from the inlet simultaneously Saturday morning, taking drivers and their navigators on a scavenger hunt journey while collecting poker run cards and scrabble titles for various contests.

“Drivers are encouraged to take their time and enjoy the carefully mapped out set of roads less traveled in and around Ocean City,” Apicella said. “Each year the committee spends many hours driving and selecting a new route. You may wind up at the entrance to Assateague Island, through downtown Berlin, Bishopville, or Laurel, Delaware, while doing what we love to do best – drive our cars along the open road.”

The event is limited to the first 150 registered and paid Corvettes. Participants can register for poker, scrabble or gimmick portions separately or concurrently, he said.

“Drivers and navigators are given a set of directions to find checkpoints along the way,” Apicella said. “Once found, they select a playing card and/or a scrabble piece, and then follow instructions to the next checkpoint. In between checkpoints, drivers and navigators get to enjoy scenic country roads and towns that neighbor Ocean City.”

Before the rallye starts, all driver’s licenses are placed in a sealed envelope and participants are disqualified if they receive a traffic violation during the event.

“The beauty of the rallye is the beauty that surrounds us,” Apicella said. “They also scan for clues for the gimmick portion of the rallye (scavenger hunt) which could include, landmarks, unique structures, signage, or specially designed markers along the way.”

The highlight of Corvette Weekend is a parade with about 800 vehicles traveling north up the Boardwalk from the inlet starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

An awards presentation and wrap-up party will be held Saturday evening at the Clarion Resort for the car shows and rallyes.

Another all-you-can-eat dinner will be served for an additional fee with a cash bar before the awards ceremony begins at 8 p.m. Diners must sign up for the buffet in advance during registration and wear their wristbands to the event.

Corvette Weekend benefits several charities, including the Spina Bifida Association of Maryland. Over the last 31 years, the Ocean City show has helped organizers donate more than $1 million to local nonprofits. Last year, $42,000 was raised for the Spina Bifida Association of Maryland.

“This event is all about having fun and raising money for Spina Bifida of Maryland and other charities,” Apicella said. “We host 10 Spina Bifida families during the event. These children participate as well and chose their favorite car.”

Last year, more than 800 Corvettes were registered and organizers estimate 2,000 Corvettes were in Ocean City for the weekend.

Those who have not pre-registered for Corvette Weekend can visit the late registration table in the Clarion today from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. to sign up for the parade, shows and rallyes.

Late registration costs $40 for adults and $8 for children under 12. Additional costs apply for the car shows, rallyes and buffet dinners. The Boardwalk parade is included with registration.

Participants do not need to be members of the FSCC or another club to take part in Corvette Weekend.

“It is very difficult to pull this event off and countless man hours volunteered from our membership all year long leading up to, and during Corvette Weekend,” Apicella said.

For more information and costs, visit www.corvetteweekend.com.

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