Embrace the Halloween Spirit with the 2020 Halloween House Decorating Contest in Ocean City

With most in-person, city-sponsored events cancelled this fall due to the coronavirus, you can still find a way to get in the Halloween spirit this year. The 2020 Ocean City Halloween House Decorating Contest presented by the city provides a way to show off your best Halloween decor in a socially-distanced manner.

From now until 4 p.m. on Friday, October 23, fill out the registration form on the Ocean City website and enter your decorated house or business in the competition. There will be first, second, and third place winners for homes in each of the four Ocean City wards (the prize will be a $50 gift certificate to Downtown OCNJ and an Ocean City/Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce gift pack) and a first, second, and third place winner for the business category (the first place winner will receive a prize of a free Chamber of Commerce membership or, if already a member, free email blasts). An overall best decorated house entry will be the grand prize winner and receive a $100 Downtown OCNJ gift certificate and prize pack from Ocean City and the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The judges will be looking at various decoration aspects including overall creativity, lighting, special effects, and more. The judging will take place on October 28 and 29, 6-9 p.m., so you have plenty of time to prepare for this fun Halloween contest. Winners will be announced by noon on October 30 via the Ocean City website and the city’s social media pages. All rules/regulations can be found on the Halloween page of the Ocean City website.

Fill out the registration form today and get ready to wow the judges with your creative decorations, and impress all Ocean City residents and visitors who pass by.

Ocean City Businesses Fill the Best of the Press Nominations List

The nominees have been chosen and are waiting for your vote on The Press of Atlantic City’s Best of the Press 2020 list!

From dining to shopping to services, many Ocean City businesses have been nominated by the public to vie for a chance to win the coveted Best of the Press award. Here’s a list of all Ocean City businesses that have made the cut:

Arts and Entertainment Category

Best Amusement Park

Gillian’s Wonderland Pier

Playland’s Castaway Cove

Best Beach

Ocean City

Best Family Fun Place

Ocean City Boardwalk

Best Fishing Charter 

Ocean City Fishing Center

Best Miniature Golf Course

Congo Falls

Haunted Golf

OC Adventure Golf

Pirates of the Golden Galleon Golf

Best Large Concert Venue

OC Music Pier

Best Live Theater

Greater Ocean City Theatre Company

Best Wedding Venue

The Flanders Hotel

Best Place to See a Show

Ocean City Music Pier

Automotive/Transportation Category

Best Pre-Owned Car Dealership

Ocean City Cars & Trucks

Best Tire Store

Millevoi’s Best Tire, Inc.

Best Auto or Boat Detailer

Car Caress

Food and Beverage Category

Best Barbeque

Pork Island Grill

Best Breakfast 

Hooked on Breakfast

Best Butcher Shop

Boyar’s Market

Best Candy Store

Shriver’s Salt Water Taffy and Fudge 

Rauhauser’s Own Make Candies

Best Cheesesteak 

Voltaco’s Italian Foods

Best Coffee Shop

Ocean City Coffee Company

Best Deli 

Boyar’s Market

Best Pizza

Manco & Manco Pizza

Health and Beauty Category

Best Beauty Supply Store

LEH Soap Company

Home and Garden Category

Best Appliance Store

Johnson’s Appliances & Bedding

Best Electrician 

DiMarco Electric

Best Flooring 

Avalon Flooring

Best Home Cleaning (Inside) 

Impeccable Cleaning Services

Best Kitchen Store

Asbury Kitchens and Baths Gallery

Best Roofing 

Action Creations Roofing and Siding

Best Siding

Action Creations Roofing and Siding

Best Windows

Action Creations Roofing and Siding

Best Carpet Cleaning

Island Carpet Cleaning

Medical Category

Best Adult Medicine

Dr. Charles Roche, Shore Physicians Group, Ocean City

Best Family Practice 

Dr. Gary Raab

Best Medical Group

Shore Physicians Group

Best Veterinarian

Humane Society of Ocean City

Retail and Shopping Category

Best Bait and Tackle

FIN-ATICS

Best Bridal Shop

Here Comes the Bride

Best Children’s Store

Bowfish Kids

Best Jewelry Shop

Henry’s Ocean City Landmark Jewelers

Best Sporting Goods 

Heritage Surf & Sport

Best Surf and Surf Supply

Heritage Surf & Sport

Surfers Supplies

7th Street Surf Shop

Best Women’s Boutique

Ta-Dah!

Seagrass Boutique

Best Souvenir Shop

Hoy’s 5&10

Best Thrift Shop

St. Damien Thrift Store

Best Gift Shop

August Heart

Services Category

Best Funeral Home 

Godfrey Funeral Home

Best Insurance Agency

Heist Insurance Agency

McMahon Insurance Agency

Best Branch Library

Ocean City Free Public Library

Best Pet Day Care

Doggie Haven Grooming Salon

Best Long Term Care Facility 

The Shores at Wesley Manor

Best Individualized Services Category

Best Insurance Agent

Zach Eberson at McMahon Insurance Agency

Ready to help your favorite Ocean City business win a Best of the Press award? Here’s how: From now until September 23, visit the Best of the Press site, register, and vote for your favorite businesses. You can vote once per day and place your vote in the categories of your choice.

Congratulations to all the nominees and good luck!

Ocean City 9/11 Ceremony Set for 6 p.m. on September 11

On September 11, 2020, the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Ocean City will host its annual memorial ceremony. The event will take place at 6 p.m. in front of the Ocean City Fire Department headquarters, located at 550 Asbury Avenue.

The day of remembrance ceremony will feature guest speakers and presentations by the following:

  • Ocean City Police Chief Jay Prettyman
  • Fire Chief Jim Smith
  • The Reverand John Jamieson and the Reverand Marcia Stanford
  • Vocalists Julia Mary Wilson and Sofia Farrell
  • Mayor Jay A. Gillian
  • Ocean City Boy Scout Troop 32
  • Local veterans groups and first responders

Additional portions of the day’s event will include music, prayer, and the Striking the Four Fives, a fire service custom that notes the death of a firefighter while in the line of duty.

Masks are strongly suggested and there will be seating with social distancing measures in place.

Join the community on this important day of reflection at the Ocean City Fire Department. Never forget.

Indoor Dining Now Available at Ocean City Restaurants

As of Friday, September 4, New Jersey restaurants are allowed to offer indoor dining. This includes Ocean City restaurants whose owners have been getting creative since March by offering outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery services. Now these wonderful local restaurants can open their doors to invite the dining crowd in and offer seating with 25% capacity and social distancing measures in place.

Here’s a list of some Ocean City restaurants that are now offering indoor dining or will be doing so in the next few days:

Many Ocean City restaurants are now offering indoor dining while some are waiting until the dining restrictions are eased a bit more, due to space restrictions within the individual restaurants and other important considerations. But, don’t worry, as these restaurants and the ones now offering indoor dining will continue to offer additional dining options, such as takeout, outdoor dining, and delivery.

Nominate Your Favorite Ocean City Business for a Best of the Press 2020 Award

The Press of Atlantic City holds its Best of the Press, Readers Choice Awards every year and South Jersey businesses are eager to get on this prestigious list. This highly coveted award is one that many local businesses strive to receive and, best of all, you can help your favorite Ocean City business win one!

Here’s how to do so:

  • Visit the Best of the Press, Readers Choice Awards webpage
  • Register on the site
  • Nominate your favorite Ocean City business from eight separate categories through Wednesday, September 2; One nomination per category for each registered user
  • When the nomination period ends, the top five businesses from each category will go to the voting round and you can vote for the winner

If you want to help one or more beloved Ocean City businesses secure the nomination and head to the final round, submit your nominations today!

Help the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6650 in Ocean City

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 6650 in Ocean City is always lending a helping hand to the local community. From bringing meals to the Ocean City Fire Department to help feed our local first responders during the COVID-19 crisis to ensuring local youth programs have the funding they need to operate, Ocean City’s VFW is always helping the local community. Now it’s our turn to return the favor!

The VFW Post 6650 has been closed during the pandemic and the building needs some urgent repairs. One repair that needs to be completed as soon as possible is putting a new roof on the building. This is where the community can help. A GoFundMe page has been set up to collect donations for these necessary repairs.

If you’re able to do so, please consider giving a donation to help the VFW obtain the repairs it needs to be back in full operation when able to do so. No amount is too small!

Read more about this in the latest Mayor’s Message from Mayor Gillian and help the local VFW continue to do its extraordinary work!

Two Ocean City Events Helping the Local Community

This year has been a difficult time for many individuals, whether as someone struggling with work issues amid the coronavirus pandemic or as a business owner facing difficulties as they try to make money amid statewide COVID-19 restrictions. Fortunately, in the midst of all of this, are local individuals, businesses, and organizations lending a hand to help others.

Here are two Ocean City events that provide assistance to the local community, including individuals and businesses:

Cape May County Coalition for a Safe Community Drive-Thru School Supply Giveaway

The Cape May County Coalition for a Safe Community will be hosting four school supply giveaway events throughout the county, one of which will take place in Ocean City. On Wednesday, August 26, from 4–6 p.m., the organization will be hosting a school supply giveaway at Pecks Beach Village, located on 4th Street between West and Simpson Avenues. Drive through or walk up (masks required for walk-up service) to get a free backpack and school supplies to help your kids get ready for the new school year. Supplies are limited so get there as soon as possible once the event begins.

Jon & Patty’s Magnet Sale to Benefit Local Businesses

Jon & Patty’s is lending a hand to Ocean City businesses by hosting the Magnets for Main Street fundraising event. When you donate $10 or more, you’ll receive a Jon & Patty’s magnet and help local businesses during these tough times. 100% of the donation proceeds will go directly to benefit Ocean City businesses. With every $100 raised, the Jon & Patty’s team will purchase gift certificates from local businesses to add to a gift basket that will be given away to a lucky winner. The winner is drawn from the list of individuals who have donated to the cause and will be contacted by email if their name is drawn. Magnets are now available on the Jon & Patty’s website.

And be sure to show support for Jon & Patty’s and stop by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The restaurant is open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining.

These are just two of the many ways that the Ocean City community and business owners are being supported by those around them.

5 Top Reasons to Order Lunch From Hooked on Breakfast Today

Hooked on Breakfast opened its doors this summer at 916 Asbury Avenue in Ocean City. With a name like Hooked on Breakfast, you better believe their breakfast menu is amazing, with decadent and unforgettable culinary dishes such as the peanut butter chocolate chip pancakes, Jersey omelet, and hot cinnamon apple Belgian waffle.

However, this Ocean City eatery is an excellent choice for lunch, too. With menu items for every taste for both meals, if you have yet to visit Hooked on Breakfast, you’re going to want to do so as soon as you can.

Here are five excellent reasons to order lunch from Hooked on Breakfast today:

1. Menu Options Galore

Hooked on Breakfast Deputy Chief DiMarco

When you peruse the Hooked on Breakfast lunch menu, you are sure to be impressed. From spicy fried chicken sandwiches to robust burgers to refreshing salads, the Hooked on Breakfast team has created a menu that’s sure to appeal to all cuisine seekers.

And it’s not just the variety of menu items that will draw you in. It’s also the ingredients included within each menu item that make any lunch choice extremely unique. Here are some examples:

  • Shore Points Burger: Fresh ground half-pound burger topped with jumbo fried shrimp and sauteed asparagus, smothered in house-made Old Bay mayo. Served with tomato and shredded lettuce.
  • The Deputy Chief DiMarco: Hand-breaded, deep-fried chicken breast topped with fresh mozzarella, spinach, and roasted red peppers, finished with a balsamic reduction.
  • Turkey Apple Melt: Slow-smoked turkey breast topped with sliced Granny Smith apples and melted brie cheese then finished with a pomegranate vinaigrette dressing. Served on grilled Texas toast.

2. The Tots

Hooked on Breakfast Clays High Heat Chicken Sandwich

At Hooked on Breakfast, you get your choice of fries or tots with many of the meals. The potato tots are amazing! Don’t get me wrong, the fries are delicious, too. However, if you are a potato tot aficionado or simply like these crispy side items on occasion, you must try the Hooked on Breakfast tots. These potato bites are perfectly prepared and crispy yet not overdone. These are true winners!

3. The Fresh Ingredients

Hooked on Breakfast Turkey Apple Melt

No matter where you dine, it’s always great to have a large menu with plenty of options but you also want all of those options to include fresh ingredients. And Hooked on Breakfast offers all this and more! From the freshly baked rolls that the restaurant offers to the produce and meats that are used for the menu items, Hooked on Breakfast takes the use of fresh ingredients to a whole new level.

4. Expansive Seating and Takeout Options

Hooked on Breakfast Burger

Our lunch was a takeout order, which was extremely efficient and fast. The ordering process was easy and turnaround time was quick. In addition to takeout, Hooked on Breakfast has many umbrella-topped tables along the side and front of the building, offering an excellent outdoor dining option. And when the state restrictions on indoor dining are removed, Hooked on Breakfast will be able to open its beautiful restaurant for indoor dining.

5. Superb Customer Service

When you dine out, customer service is equally as important as the food the restaurant serves and the Hooked on Breakfast team definitely exceeds this goal with fabulous customer service. We were greeted as soon as we walked up and were immediately helped with our takeout order. Everyone was friendly, helpful, and let us know they were happy we chose Hooked on Breakfast as our go-to dining spot.

If you want an Ocean City restaurant that offers sensational food items made from the freshest of ingredients in a warm, welcoming environment, Hooked on Breakfast should be your new favorite eatery!

Hooked on Breakfast is open daily, 6:30 a.m.–2 p.m. Visit Hooked on Breakfast today for breakfast, lunch, or a midday snack.

Rainy Day Activities in Ocean City

When the rain starts falling in Ocean City, your beach day plans will likely have changed. With COVID-19 restrictions still in place, dining in at your favorite local restaurant or taking part in certain activities are not possible now. But, don’t worry! There’s still plenty to do on a rainy day in Ocean City!

Order Takeout for Any (or Every) Meal

Dining outdoors might not be possible today, or any other rainy day, but fortunately plenty of Ocean City restaurants offer takeout. Some have always offered takeout, whereas others have added takeout options in response to recent dining restrictions due to the pandemic.

Whether you want to order out for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a midday snack, you have so many options available to you throughout the island, including some new spots you might not have tried yet:

If you’re wondering if your favorite Ocean City restaurant offers takeout, simply give them a call or check out their social media pages for more information.  And if you’d rather not head outside in the rain to pick it up, many Ocean City restaurants will deliver the food right to your door!

Buy Some Indoor Games for the Family

Indoor games, such as board games, are fun anytime and anywhere, but especially on a rainy day down the shore. No matter how old or young your family members are, you’re sure to find some fun board games, card games, and other indoor activities to enjoy with the whole family. You can visit Hoy’s 5 & 10 and Stainton’s for game options and you can have fun indoors or on your covered porch until the rain stops.

Grab Your Rain Gear and Go Shopping

Although you can’t make it to the beach on a rainy day, you can indulge in some serious shopping along Asbury Avenue. Grab your rain gear and walk along Asbury Avenue, stopping into stores that pique your interest. Whether you want to explore the clothing and home decor items at B & B, create your own sandals at SunSmiles Sandals and Beachwear, or buy some eye-catching accessories at Seagrass Boutique, there’s something for everyone on Asbury Avenue.

Don’t let a little rain stop the fun in Ocean City! Enjoy the day!

Enjoy Local Shopping Discounts and Support Charities with Key to the Community Card

Supporting Ocean City businesses is important at all times, but especially now with local shops, restaurants, and service providers facing challenging situations due to COVID-19. It’s also important to support charities and nonprofit organizations whenever possible. Fortunately, the organizers of the Key to the Community card program have the answer!

The Key to the Community card is a discount shopping, dining, and services card that can be used at a wide array of local businesses. The card costs $25 and is good now through August of 2021. When individuals purchase this card, they can select a charity listed on the Key to the Community website and have $5 of the purchase price donated to their chosen organization. In addition, a portion of the proceeds from the card sales will go to provide scholarship opportunities to deserving students.

Key to the Community

The deals offered range anywhere from meal discounts at Jon & Patty’s to a photo session discount with Kerri J Photography. The deals and discounts offered may change from month-to-month, so there’s always something new to explore and added ways to support local businesses.

Some of the charities that cardholders can support include OCNJ CARE, CROPS, Ocean City Theatre Company, Chip Miller Amyloidosis Foundation, Humane Society of Ocean City, and so many other wonderful local and national nonprofit organizations.

The Key to the Community card program was created by founders Jill Adamson and Tyrone Rolls who wanted to lend a hand and help the local community. Add in the philanthropic aspect plus discounts to cardholders and you have a program where there are benefits all around!

Now’s the perfect time to lend a hand to local businesses, support your favorite charity, and grab sensational discounts! Purchase your Key to the Community card today and get started saving money while helping others at the same time.

Photo credit: Key to the Community