Extreme Summer In Ocean City, Maryland

Posted on July 28, 2010

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This is the week Ocean City, Maryland, businesses have been waiting for . . . for the last three summers.It's the ice cream season. Same as in 1939. (No money paid for this plug.)

A banner weekend, probably more people than July 4 weekend. Saturday was the hottest day of the summer (I hope we don’t get any more 110-degree heat index days), and the moon was full in a cloudless sky. Naturally, we couldn’t get through that kind of a day without calling the EMTs at least once. They arrived within five minutes (on a Saturday night!) and provided professional, efficient, compassionate service, as always. That’s the emergency service we expect here in Ocean City, and the EMTs and police deliver. (The medical issue was not life threatening, only very painful. The young patient was transported to Atlantic General ER on Saturday night, and then for repair surgery in Wilmington, Del., Sunday morning. She will be fine.)

St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church, built in 1877, is probably the oldest building in Ocean City.

Now we’re in the early part of an old-fashioned full-out family vacation week, going on right now. Seven-day-a-week sunshine. Last week of July. The restaurants are very busy, but not quite as crowded and the lines not as long as in the good old days. My explanation: There are more good restaurants now competing for the lunch and dinner crowd.

The Boardwalk on Monday evening did not seem quite the shoulder-to-shoulder intensity of the 1970s and 1980s, but then again, the Boardwalk is wider now. I had visiting friends I’d hardly seen since college, and they wanted to see Trimper’s Rides, which they had read about. We took a spin on the historic, restored carousel. The most striking difference this July, to me, is that you don’t see the hundreds and hundreds of people walking on the beache along High-rise Row in the north, late at night, as you did two or three decades ago. I suppose more folks are inside in the AC, checking their e-mail or playing computer games, or watching movies on TV.

For those of us who are interested in the state of the Mid-Atlantic coast resort economies, here’s an interesting story from the Jersey Shore. Sounds like they have similar public relations issues to ours here in Ocean City, MD.

St. Paul's By The Sea is the second oldest church. When families spend the week in Ocean City, they still want to go to church on Sunday.

— John Hayden

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