Memorial Day Weekend Kicks Off the Season in Ocean City

In a long-standing Ocean City tradition, city officials will turn a ceremonial wooden key to officially “unlock the ocean” for the season at noon Friday, May 25. The free public event provides an early start to Memorial Day Weekend and welcomes a long-awaited summer.

The Ocean City Beach Patrol will begin providing guarded beaches on Saturday, and boardwalk and downtown businesses will be open and ready for the holiday weekend. After a cool and wet spring, the early forecast looks sunny and warm.

The “Unlocking of the Ocean” includes a newer tradition: The march of fully clothed business persons into the chilly Atlantic Ocean for the first swim of the summer (to the strains of the Ocean City High School marching band playing “Pomp and Circumstance”). Everybody is invited to participate in the Business Persons Plunge. It’s a chance to get some exposure for your business or organization or just to start Memorial Day Weekend with a splash. Groups and individuals can sign up in advance at

The Unlocking of the Ocean and the Business Persons Plunge take place on the beach adjacent to the Music Pier. Participants are encouraged to muster at 11:30 a.m. Call (609) 399-6111 for more information.

Saturday morning, May 26 brings the Memorial Beach Challenge, a spectacle to behold as athletes complete a 2.5-mile obstacle course that covers much of the beach between Fifth Street and 15th Street. Proceeds from the event benefit The 31 Heroes Project, an organization that specializes in creating programs, financial support systems and future opportunities for service members, veterans and their families. The race begins at 8 a.m. near the Ocean City Music Pier and is followed by a kids fun run. Call (856) 905-0583 or visit for more information on the races and for registration.

The 35-member Bucks County Singers of Newtown (Bucks County), Pa. will perform a free concert on the loggia of the Ocean City Music Pier at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 26. The mixed-voice choral group of men and women will present a program of show tunes and patriotic favorites.

Ocean City’s Memorial Day Service starts at 11 a.m. May 28 at Veterans Memorial Park on Wesley Avenue between Fifth Street and Sixth Street. All are encouraged to attend. The keynote speaker will be Lt. Col. Eric J. Duckworth. In the event of inclement weather, the service will move across the street to the Ocean City Tabernacle.

The National Moment of Remembrance is also set for May 28. Established by Congress, the event asks Americans, wherever they are at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, to pause in an act of national unity for one minute. The moment of remembrance will take place on the Boardwalk as Greg Murphy of Buglers Across America sounds Taps to commemorate the moment.