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Get Ready for Easter, Girls Weekend and Mr. Mature

What’s Happening in Ocean City, NJ 2/28/18

Events feature shows with Kelli Rabke and Erik Estrada

Ocean City’s non-stop 2018 special events schedule kicks into high gear at the end of the month, starting with Easter Weekend events (March 31-April 1), Girls Weekend (April 6 to 8) and the annual Doo Dah Parade and Mr. Mature America Pageant (April 14). Start planning now to visit Ocean City for these three great spring events.

Tickets go on sale Thursday (March 1) for a Girls Weekend show (on April 7) titled “Defying Gravity” that features Broadway star Kelli Rabke. Ticket sales also open March 1 for the Mr. Mature America Pageant (on April 14) with celebrity host Erik Estrada. Visit oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice, call 609-399-6111, or stop by the City Hall Welcome Center or the Roy Gillian Welcome Center on the Route 52 causeway.

Easter events start with the first of two massive Great Egg Hunts on the beach at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 24. Children ages 7 and under are invited to search for eggs on the beach between 11th Street and 14th Street in this free event. A second Great Egg Hunt takes place at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 31.

In a longstanding tradition, families are invited to dress their best for the annual Easter Fashion Promenade. The Philly Keys will return to Ocean City with their hit dueling piano show to start the festivities at noon Sunday, April 1 in front of the Music Pier. Judging for the Promenade starts at 1 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for various categories, and the Easter Bunny will be on hand to visit with children.

Rabke’s “Defying Gravity” show is part of the third annual Girls Weekend, which is scheduled for April 6 to 8 this year. The event features hotel and bed-and-breakfast packages, dining offers, shopping discounts, a popular fashion show, prizes, yoga and wellness classes, craft projects and demonstrations at various locations throughout Ocean City. It provides a great reason to escape to the shore early in the season and to see what Ocean City’s downtown retail district has to offer.

The show stars Kelli Rabke, a Broadway star and Bergen County mom of two young children. Rabke will weave tales of motherhood, music, and the misadventures of life and love. She performs 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 7 on the Ocean City Music Pier.

For a detailed schedule of Girls Weekend events, accommodations and participating businesses, call 609-399-1412, visit http://www.oceancityvacation.com/blog/girls-weekend-2018-in-downtown-ocean-city-nj/ and “Downtown OCNJ” or “OceanCityNJVacation” on Facebook. Tickets ($20) for a Fashion Show Kickoff at Glazed Over Studios (704 Asbury Avenue) at 7 p.m. April 6 are on sale now at City Hall, the Route 52 Welcome Center, Ta-Dah (1040 Asbury Ave.) and the 7th Street Surf Shop (720 Asbury Ave.).

Erik Estrada will be grand marshal for the 2018 Doo Dah Parade in Ocean City on April 14 and return that night to emcee the Mr. Mature America Pageant.

Estrada first captured the hearts of millions of fans worldwide in his six-year run as highway patrol officer Frank Poncherello in the TV series “CHiPs.” He has also appeared in numerous other television and motion picture roles, including the new “Armed and Famous” reality series on CBS. His talent and charm 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. Estrada will host the fifth annual event and conduct on-stage interviews with contestants.

The pageant is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, April 14 on the Ocean City Music Pier. The event is the first and only pageant of its kind in the United States. The pageant includes competition in talent, judge’s interview, poise and appearance, and on-stage question.

Registration is now open for any contestant 55 or older who would like to participate. Visit www.ocnj.us/mrmature for more information and to sign up as a contestant.

Earlier in the day, Estrada will serve as grand marshal in the Doo Dah Parade, Ocean City’s season-opening celebration of all things humorous. The parade is now open to all entries. See more information and register to participate in the parade at www.ocnj.us/Doo-Dah-Parade.


A new exhibit – “The Seasons of Life: The African American Community in Ocean City” – is now open at the Ocean City Historical Museum.

The display uses photographs, text and artifacts to explore the legacy of Ocean City’s black community through the four seasons. The museum and Juneteenth Organization founders Brittany Battle, Takiya Wilson and Joshua Baker are also encouraging members of the community to share their own material to help expand the collection.

The museum (at 1735 Simpson Ave.) is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The museum also invites the community to a Sunday Brunch Buffet at Clancy’s by the Bay in Somers Point at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, April 15, 2018. Guests will enjoy a short presentation on the Historic Houses of Ocean City presented by Ken Cooper. Tickets ($27) must be purchased in advance. Call 609-399-1801 or stop by the museum.


The new Grass Roots Ukulele Meet-Up Group is seeking members from Ocean City and the region. The group meets on the first Thursday of every month at the GrassRoots Music Store (1045 Asbury Ave.) from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The group will meet for the first time on Thursday, March 1. Prior to each meeting, a song book will be published for members to download or print and bring to the jam session. If you want to join in, register on the website (search “Grass Roots Ukulele Meet-Up”). There is no cost. Bring your uke and a music stand to Grass Roots Music and you’re set to go.

“Our primary mission is to have fun playing with other lovers of the ukulele. We’ll make no judgments, welcome all that are interested and support each other’s effort to improve,” says organizer Bob Gross.

For more information, contact Gross at robgross3@gmail.com or 610-993-8584.


‘ALL OVER THE PLACE’ EXHIBIT AT ARTS CENTER (through March): South Jersey artist Lolly Grilli brings her exhibit “All Over the Place” to the Ocean City Arts Center March 2 through March 31. A “Meet the Artist Reception,” free and open to the public, will be held Friday, March 9, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Her work will be for sale and ranges in price from $95 to $300. “My subject matter can be ‘all over the place,’ but are images that I’m attracted to and inspire me,” Grilli says. “My hope is that my paintings are easily relatable, speak to the viewer in some way, and if they should adorn your home, are like the background music to your life.”

FISHING SALE AND FLEA MARKET (March 3): 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ocean City Intermediate School Gymnasium, 1801 Bay Ave. Benefits the school’s Fishing Club. New, used, Collectible fresh/saltwater tackle on sale. Free parking, refreshments and door prizes. Adults: $4, Children (6 – 13) $1, Children under 6 free with paying adult.

MAKERS DAY AT THE LIBRARY (March 9): The maker movement in the United States isn’t just a hobby – it’s having a significant impact on school curriculum development and growing local economies. To celebrate making and maker culture, residents throughout New Jersey will come together on Friday, March 9 and Saturday, March 10, 2018 in libraries, schools, museums, colleges, makerspaces, businesses and other community locations. NJ Makers Day is designed to be a statewide event that celebrates, promotes, and in many cases may introduce maker culture, as well as the values associated with making, tinkering and STEM-based learning.

The Ocean City Free Public Library will be a participating site for New Jersey Makers Day 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, March 9. Community members of all ages are invited to join in for an exciting day filled with activities focusing on maker culture. Come and try Strawbees, Bloxels, Makey Makey, Google Cardboard VR and more. For more information, call Julie Brown at 609-399-2434 ext.5222 or visit www.oceancitylibrary.org.

BOOK SALE AT OCEAN CITY FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY (March 10): 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the atrium outside the library at 1735 Simpson Avenue. Hosted by Friends and Volunteers of the Ocean City Free Public Library. Info at friendsvolunteersocfpl.com. Shop specially-priced books, audio items and more.

THE GREAT EGG HUNT (March 24): The first of two massive egg hunts on the beach between 11th and 14th streets. For children ages 7 and under. Starts at 2:30 p.m. For more information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ.

THE GREAT EGG HUNT (March 31): The second of two massive egg hunts on the beach between 11th and 14th streets. For children ages 7 and under. Starts at 2:30 p.m. For more information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ.

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