Gary Sakas, 2015 Mr. Mature America, performs during the 2016 pageant in Ocean City.
Ocean City recently announced that Regis Philbin will be master of ceremonies for Ocean City’s Mr. Mature America Pageant on April 8.
A veteran of more than five decades of talk shows, game shows and singing performances, Philbin is one of the most likable personalities in the history of television. His quick wit will be a perfect fit for Ocean City’s pageant, which mixes self-deprecating humor with nostalgia and talent in a tribute to men ages 55 and older. Philbin will host the fourth annual event and conduct on-stage interviews with contestants.
Earlier in the day, Philbin will serve as grand marshal in the Doo Dah Parade, Ocean City’s season-opening celebration of all things humorous.
Still a force at 85, Philbin is a model for the successful Mr. Mature candidate. The pageant includes competition in talent, judge’s interview, poise and appearance, and on-stage question. The pageant is accepting applications for contestants. If you are or know a male 55 or older who would like to join the good-natured competition, complete the online application at ocnj.us/mrmature or call Michael Hartman at (609) 525-9284 for more information.
The pageant is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, April 8 on the Ocean City Music Pier. The event is the first and only pageant of its kind in the United States. The historic Flanders Hotel returns as a founding sponsor this year. The Flanders will cater meals for contestants and will offer special rates for attendees during the pageant weekend.
Tickets for the show cost $25-$35 and will go on sale at a date to be announced in early March. They will be available at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice, by calling (609) 399-6111, or in-person at the City Hall Welcome Center or the Roy Gillian Welcome Center on the Route 52 causeway.
The Doo Dah Parade was first held in Ocean City in 1986 as an event to herald the end of income tax season. It featured unusual entries like beach chair drill teams and fan clubs of legendary comedians. The route has always been the same. The parade begins on Asbury Avenue at Sixth Street, proceeds to 12th Street and turns east to the Boardwalk. It concludes in front of the Music Pier at Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace. For more than a decade, the parade has been anchored by more than 500 dogs from the Basset Hound Rescue League.
Registration is open to any individuals or groups who would like to participate in the parade. Sign up online at ocnj.us/Doo-Dah-Parade. The parade starts at noon on Saturday, April 8. Dietz and Watson returns as a sponsor for the event.