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What's Happening in Ocean City, NJ

INDIAN SUMMER WEEKEND EVENTS: What eventually evolved into Ocean City's Indian Summer Weekend block party, was started 32 years ago, in an effort to extend business in the spring and fall season.

City Public Relations Director, Mark Soifer, noticed a neighborhood block party on Haven Avenue and thought that maybe a downtown block party might be a good event for the community. Jean Mimnaugh, who was working with Soifer at the time, agreed. She said: "And I know lots of crafters who would like to be part of it."

The first block party was held in the spring of 1983. It was two blocks long. It became so successful that four years later Norman Bock, who was then president of the Retail Merchants Assn., urged the City to schedule a second one in the fall.

Over the years the City and Retail Merchants Assn. have run the block parties. The person who brought the events to a new level of organization and effectiveness was the late Carolyn Murphy, owner of Boyd's TV with her husband Charles. Carolyn ran the programs for over 15 years. The Chamber of Commerce staff now coordinates the events with the merchants and a volunteer committee.

The BLOCK PARTY became the centerpiece of a Fall Festival, the Indian Summer Weekend. It is always scheduled for the Saturday of the Columbus Day Weekend-this year set for Oct. 8. Over 400 crafters will participate. Show hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be entertainment, plenty of food, free pony rides for the children and First Night Admission buttons for our New Year's Eve gala will be on sale.

The Boardwalk Merchants have latched on to the event and helped to extend the celebration through the weekend. They will present a huge FIREWORKS DISPLAY scheduled for 9:30 p.m. Saturday. The show will be fired from a barge off the 9th Street Beach. They will also have entertainment on the Boardwalk prior to the fireworks.

There will be a SEAFOOD CENTER at the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace, Oct. 8-10.Boardwalk and Downtown Merchants will hold TABLE SALES on these days.

There's more! The Ocean City Tabernacle, 5th and Wesley Ave., will present a Block Party Concert at 7 p.m., Sat., Oct. 8 featuring the Atlantic Brass, a 30 piece British style group, winners of the North American BRASS BAND competition. Tickets are $15 at the door, $13 in advance, call (609)399-1915.

NEW THIS YEAR is a three day FREE Music Festival, produced by Bubba Mac, the Blues Band icon assisted by J.T. Williams of JT Productions, Oct. 7-9 inside the Music Pier and on the Boardwalk. The concerts will be held Friday evening at the Pier, Saturday evening at the Pier and at 6th and 9th Sts. on the Boardwalk and Sunday afternoon at the Pier. The program will feature a variety of music including blues, rock, classic rock, reggae, gospel and Christian rock. For a complete schedule access www.bubbamac.com or OCEAN CITY PATCH or call the Public Relations Office, (609) 525-9300.

Parking is Free on City Lots all weekend.

(Oct.8) Also on Indian Summer Weekend Stephen Serwatka will present his NEW JERSEY NATURE Program at the Bayside Center 5th and Bay Ave. at 1 p.m. This is a fun, educational session display with wild and tame animals. Admission is free. Sponsor is the Ocean City Gardens Civic Assn.

(Oct. 9) Another highlight of the Indian Summer Weekend will be the OPERAFEST, brought to Ocean City by talented soprano, Nancy Fox, who operates Fox Vocal Arts. The opera LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD will be performed on Sunday, 4 p.m. at St. Peters United Methodist Church, 8th and Central Ave.

The Opera will feature German students from the Westerland area and their American counterparts who worked together last May in Germany under the direction of Fox and their German teachers. Admission is by donation. For up front seating, call Fox Vocal Arts, (609) 399-7291.

REMINDER (Oct. 7): Ocean City will continue its support of BREAST CANCER AWARENESS by painting pink ribbon emblems in the end zones and at yard markers on the grounds of Carey Stadium for the Ocean City-Millville football game starting 7 p.m. Ocean City employees are making donations through their union and part of the gate receipts will be given to the Carolyn M. Ochs Memorial Fund that helps Breast Cancer patients pay their everyday bills while going through treatment. The unique promotion was the idea of Mike Lenhardt, the City's Supervisor of Recreation Maintenance, whose first wife died of Breast Cancer.

WHAT'S HAPPENING AT THE LIBRARY, 17th and Simpson Ave. The Ocean City Free Public Library has many events scheduled for October. Here is just a sample: (Every Wed in October plus Nov. 2, 9 at 7 p.m.) The JAZZ HISTORY Appreciation and Analysis Lecture Series. Free programs presented by Michael Pedicin of the Somers Point Jazz Society, in the Main Lecture Room, N110 Listen to and learn about Jazz, "America's True Art Form." For information, call (609)399-2434, Ext.5233. Everything You've Always Wanted to Know About Music, a monthly lecture, 6:30 p.m. Tues., Oct.11, it's all about MAHLER, with Paul Mack Somers of the Bay-Atlantic Symphony; Jonathon MAYBERRY, New York Times Best Selling and Multiple Bram Stoker Award Winning Author, Sat., Oct. 15 at 11 a.m., will talk about Zombie and Horror novels, Main Lecture Room. There will free movies, Halloween Magic and Puppet Shows for the children and much more. Call the Library (609) 399-2434 ext. 5231 or access This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for a complete listing of its free events.

(Oct.9): The DOWN BUDDY WALK for Downs Syndrome: Registration and pre-walk party 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Sports and Civic Center, 6th St. off Boardwalk. One mile fun walk on boards, 1-2 p.m. Free rides at Gillian's Wonderland Pier, 2-4 p.m. for each child who raises $30 in sponsors. Pre-Walk Party includes food, fun activities for children and live music by Garry and the Kid. Walk benefits Downs Syndrome Awareness and family support group, call 609-390-5645 or visit www.21down.org.

(Month of October) The Ocean City ARTS CENTER presents the work of Egg Harbor Twp. resident Lois Adam, who is an active member in the O.C. Fine Arts League. A free Meet the Artist Reception is set for Fri., Oct. 14 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The artist specializes in collage paintings. Her work has been widely exhibited throughout the Tri-State area including at the Limmer Gallery in New York. For information on the many classes offered by the Arts Center, call (609) 399-7628.

COMING EVENTS: The Junior Miss Ocean City Pageant, 7 p.m., Oct. 15 at the Music Pier, call (609) 525-9300; the Ocean City Halloween Parade, Oct. 27 at 7:15 p.m. on Asbury Ave.; The Annual Fright Night Costume Party, sponsored the Community Arts Project, Oct. 28 at the Flanders Hotel from 7 to 11 p.m. Call 609-425-2687; The crowning of Dog of the Year, noon, Sun., Oct. 30 at the Port O' Call. More information about these events next week.