Ocean City Today

OCDA to host annual James Sapia spaghetti dinner, Sun.

By Kara Hallissey | Apr 06, 2017
Brooks Trimper, left, purchases tickets for the Chinese auction during the Ocean City Downtown Association’s James Sapia Spaghetti Dinner, last year at Shenanigan's. He is pictured with Lauren Taylor, owner of Captain’s Table, center, and Viola Candeloro, Downtown Association volunteer.

(April 7, 2017) Enjoy a homemade Italian meal during the 17th annual James Sapia spaghetti dinner at Shenanigan’s Irish Pub on Fourth Street and the Boardwalk, Sunday, April 9, from 4-8 p.m.

“It’s a tradition for many of the old Ocean City families,” said Downtown Association Executive Director Mary Ann Manganello. “Some have been going every year since it started.”

The Ocean City Downtown Association presented the spaghetti dinner 20 years ago to raise funds, which was the brainchild of Sapia, who was the organization’s founding president.

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

His wife and sons continue 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.

During the event, guests dine on all-you-can-eat spaghetti and meatballs, salad, bread and soft drinks.

Alcoholic beverages can be purchased and there will be a variety of desserts for a $1 donation.

A Chinese auction will feature items such as sports memorabilia, surf shop merchandise, discount coupons for Ocean City restaurants, food and wine baskets, Ocean City videos and books, tickets to the Baltimore Aquarium and Old Ship.

New this year, attendees can watch pasta-making demonstrations by Nick Ruggerie, a Downtown Association board member, who has extensive culinary experience.

“Pasta-making was once very common, especially in Italian families, but most kids today have no idea where spaghetti comes from,” Manganello said. “We thought it might be fun for them to see and try their hand at it. He will be bringing a pasta machine and doing the demonstration. His homemade pasta will be available for sale, but logistically it is not possible to make enough on site to supply the whole dinner.”

About 180 people attend the annual Italian dinner each year.

“Since Shenanigan’s is on the Boardwalk, attendance varies from year to year depending on the weather,” she said. “It is supposed to be sunny and 60 degrees, so we expect this to be a very good year.”

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 to enhance the downtown experience for residents and visitors. Currently, the organization is raising funds to bring holiday lights to the downtown area.

“Good food and friendly people at a great price,” Manganello said of the dinner.

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.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.