Ocean City Today
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Sunfest features plethora of food, artwork and crafts

By Kara Hallissey | Sep 21, 2017
Owner Rachel Phillips, of Baltimore, will have made-to-order pork rinds for sale, which are hand popped and seasoned in a variety of flavors including her signature seasoning, cocoa cayenne, in addition to, salt and vinegar, and cracked pepper and sea salt.

(Sept. 22, 2017) Bonsai trees, crab cakes, handwoven baskets and children’s clothing are a few of the items vendors will showcase in inlet parking lot during the 43rd annual Sunfest this weekend.

“The Sunfest vendors are truly responsible for much of the event’s success,” said Jessica Waters, communications manager for the Town of Ocean City. “Do yourself a favor and spend a day walking through the tents, take a break and then grab some amazing food.”

Rachel Phillips, of Baltimore, will have made-to-order pork rinds for sale, which are hand popped and seasoned. They can be purchased minutes after being made while they are still hot and crackling or visitors can pick up sealed bags of pork rinds in a variety of flavors including her signature seasoning, cocoa cayenne, in addition to, salt and vinegar, and cracked pepper and sea salt.

“There is no one out there with a product like mine, that I know of, and what better to go with music, booze and outdoors than crunchy, sweet or salty pork rinds,” Phillips said. “Ray’s is brand new and taking off faster than I could’ve hoped and Sunfest is the perfect venue to get my product out there and keep up the momentum.”

Phillips decided to showcase Ray’s pork rinds at Sunfest after visiting the festival last year.

“I thought the food, beverages, music and just people watching was a great time,” Phillips said. “Sunfest invites people from all over and allows vendors like me to broaden their reach beyond the local population.”

More than 300 arts and crafts, food, local, commercial, regional and corporate vendors will fill the Sunfest tents selling an assortment of items from yard art and photography to pottery, bacon specialty foods, pit beef and LuLaRoe. There will be two tents filled with arts and crafts booths, said Frank Miller, special events director for the Town of Ocean City.

“We have a little over 300 vendors and about 75 percent are arts and crafts,” Miller said. “There will be a wide variety and you can’t go wrong. There is something here that will interest everyone in the family.”

Allison Carmack, of Ocean City, will be selling Hip Klips this weekend, which will mark her eighth year at Sunfest.

“We offer a Hip Klip and cell phone pocket accessory,” Carmack said. “I keep my cash, credit card, ID, lip balm, daily vitamins, business cards, hair ties, cell phone, keys and sunglasses all on my hip. It clips right to the top of your pants so there’s no need for belt loops.”

Growing up in Ocean City, Carmack saw a need for her product and likes how Sunfest brings in locals and visitors.

“Sunfest is very special,” Carmack said. “I think it’s a combination of factors. It’s like a big block party, which also keeps energy up. Music in the middle, shopping and food around the perimeter. Having the entire audience centralized enhances the energetic vibration.”

Location, time of year, great music and the products are additional reasons why Carmack thinks Sunfest is a special event.

“In the inlet, water all around, great vacation destination and people are starting to think about holiday shopping,” Carmack said. “The products presented at Sunfest are always unique, eclectic and ever changing as the establishment sees fit.”

Carmack is also showing support for victims of hurricanes Irma and Harvey by donating a portion of sales from her star and flip-flop klips to the Red Cross.

Check out http://hipklips.com and enter the coupon code “OCHK” at checkout to receive 15 percent off.

Heather Johnson, of Aynor, South Carolina, will attend Sunfest for the first time this weekend selling a variety of outfits for little girls, shoes, bows and jewelry for $20 or less through her Cutie Patooties business. She opened her shop several years ago to help impoverished children in her area and around the world.

“I never attended Sunfest so this will be a new experience for me,” Johnson said. “I continue to donate to orphanages, local children in need and support the Dominican Republic Project via Redemption Outreach.”

Guests can watch 12 artists create wares in the demonstration tent and purchase them on the spot including Fran VonCannon, of North Carolina, who will be creating handwoven baskets of all types and sizes including bread, laundry, casserole and wine with handprinted designs and matching glasses, among others.

“I have been weaving for over 30 years and am very excited about participating in Sunfest,” VonCannon said. “This is my first time at this show and I have heard many good things about this festival.”

For children, there will be hayrides on the beach, inflatables and sand art for a small fee. Lollipop the Clown will also be roaming the festival grounds all weekend.

“OC Painting Experience will provide a new experience for our guests,” Miller said. “For a small charge, visitors can paint a picture on site.”

Participants will be painting on canvas with the choice of a sunset silhouette or a beach scene with the water washing up on the sand for $15-20 per painter.

“It’s a fun and rewarding way to make and take your own souvenir, especially if you want to give someone a handmade piece of art,” said Alexandra Jacobs, who owns the studio along with her husband, Jamie, on 15th Street and Philadelphia Avenue. “Also, no artistic ability is required. Anyone can do it. We are excited to bring OC’s exclusive painting entertainment studio to Sunfest this year.”

In addition, Fiat Chrysler will have the Jeep Compass Experience course set up on the beach for visitors to try out for free.

“Guests will be able to ride along with a Jeep product specialist on Ocean City’s beach as they showcase its capabilities,” Miller said.

Visit http://ococean.com/sunfest or call 800-626-2326 for more information.

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