Ocean City Spring Block Party Goes Virtual (May 2)

This year’s popular annual Ocean City Spring Block Party was supposed to unfold on Saturday, May 2. Unfortunately, the in-person event has been canceled. But, on the bright side, there’s a way to shop online from the comfort and safety of your own home now that the Ocean City Spring Block Party has gone virtual.

On Saturday, May 2, Ocean City is hosting a Virtual Ocean City Spring Block Party that includes Ocean City store owners. Here are some of the latest deals posted on the Ocean City Virtual Spring Block Party event page:

  • Cruise Control Gear: Cruise Control Gear is offering 25% off all weekend with the code “LoveOCNJ”; Live Facebook shopping event at 10 a.m. on May 2
  • Kay Jay’s Doll Shoppe: 20% off storewide (use code: VBP2020); curbside pickup available; phone and email orders accepted
  • LEH Soap Company: 20% off certain items with the code “SPRINGSALE”; all orders over $50 ship for free
  • Creative Window Design: $100 off custom window treatment purchase of $1,500 or more; purchase must be made during block party weekend
  • Lucky Find: $38 hoop earrings in crystal, pearl, and sterling silver with ten beautiful colors to choose from; order by phone
  • Ike’s Famous Crabcakes: Open for delivery and curbside pickup beginning this weekend, May 2 and 3; Use code “BLOCKPARTY” and receive 15% off your restaurant, marketplace, and online store orders May 2 and 3
  • Downtown Pilates: When the weekend shopping is complete and you need to unwind after all that web surfing and buying, remember to visit the Downtown Pilates website for free weekly livestream pilates classes on Mondays
  • The Spotted Whale: 30% off all rugs with the code “Rugs30”
  • And more!

Keep checking back to the Ocean City Virtual Spring Block Party Facebook page for updates on Ocean City store offerings for May 2!

For those who would like to explore some of the offerings of the usual block party street vendors, OCNJ Chatter has posted an event link where block party vendors from years past can post their websites and you can peruse the options of your favorite block party street vendors!

Both of these avenues make it possible for you to support local brick-and-mortar shops as well as the annual block party vendors who look forward to this event each year as a way to gain exposure and sell their creative products to the masses.

The Farm Stand at 14th Opens May 2

The Farm Stand at 14th, known for its delicious and nutritious menu items, will be reopening on Saturday, May 2!

Once open, The Farm Stand at 14th, located below Bob’s Grill at 14th Street, will be offering curbside pickup and delivery services. The Farm Stand at 14th offers an eclectic array of items including vegetarian, vegan, and items for the meat lovers as well. Some of the items that will be gracing the menu at The Farm Stand at 14th include sweet potato tacos, fresh fruit and veggie smoothies (new this year!), and more.

Another new aspect to The Farm Stand at 14th this year is that Sam Freda of the former Soma Café will be joining the eatery as the new kitchen manager. And you’ll be happy to know that some of the culinary dishes you enjoyed at Soma Café will now be on the Farm Stand at 14th menu!

Opening day is May 2, weather permitting, and pickup will be available as well as delivery to Ocean City, Somers Point, and Upper Township. The eatery will be open for curbside pickup and delivery every day.

Ocean City Closings and City Preparedness in Response to Coronavirus Outbreak

Additional information has just been released regarding the response to the coronavirus outbreak. Mayor Gillian has released details regarding the city’s response and changes pertaining to closings and cancellations going forward. Here are the finer details as outlined by Mayor Gillian:

Closed starting March 17:

  • Ocean City Community Center, which includes the Ocean City Free Public Library, Aquatic and Fitness Center, Arts Center, Historical Museum, and Senior Center
  • Ocean City Sports and Civic Center plus other city facilities
  • All Recreation Department programs suspended (until further notice)
  • Ocean City schools

Canceled:

  • OC Con Comic and Memorabilia Show
  • Girls Weekend
  • Great Egg Hunts and all other Easter events, including the Easter Sunrise Service
  • Doo Dah Parade
  • Mr. Mature America Pageant
  • Sports Memorabilia Show
  • All other shows/events through the end of April

Postponed:

  • Public meetings of boards and commissions, excluding City Council

City Hall and the Knight Building will stay open but with limited public access. Call City Hall for further details if you need city services.

What’s Open, What’s Closed in Ocean City Amid COVID-19 Concerns

*UPDATE: Gov. Murphy states all New Jersey bars, restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, and casinos to close at 8 p.m. tonight, March 16. Essential businesses, such as grocery stores and gas stations, can stay open past 8 p.m. Non-essential businesses must close by 8 p.m. daily. Restaurants can offer takeout/delivery services.

As COVID-19 concerns and cases grow, government officials, business owners, organizations, and individuals are taking necessary precautions to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Some institutions are being instructed by the government to close, while others are taking the initiative to close their doors to help stop the spread of the virus. On the other hand, businesses are keeping their doors open so that individuals can have access to food and other items.

*Updated 3/17*

Here’s a list of some current businesses and entities in Ocean City that are open, closed, or canceling/postponing events:

Open:

Closed/Canceled/Postponed:

Event Cancellations:

  • OC Con Comic and Memorabilia Show
  • Girls Weekend
  • Great Egg Hunts and all other Easter events, including the Easter Sunrise Service
  • Doo Dah Parade
  • Mr. Mature America Pageant
  • Sports Memorabilia Show
  • All other shows/events through the end of April

This is just a starter list and includes some of the openings/closings/cancellations. The list will be updated on a continual basis as changes are noted. The best bet is to always call prior to heading to your favorite Ocean City shop or restaurant to make sure hours of operation haven’t recently changed. And please feel free to add additions in the comments below.

Most importantly, thank you to all who are helping the public during this uncertain time (and always), including first responders, medical professionals, shop/restaurant owners and employees, and others who are lending a hand overall. Be safe and stay well, Ocean City friends!

 

Save the Date: Girls Weekend 2020 in Downtown Ocean City

With only 100 days left to go until Memorial Day, it’s a good time to talk about springtime Ocean City events. One popular event that brings in the crowds each year is the Girls Weekend event. This year’s Girls Weekend will unfold April 3–5 and include offerings such as a fashion show, shopping deals, hotel packages, dining options, and more.

Here are some events being held during Girls Weekend 2020:

Fashion Show Kickoff Event (April 3)

The Girls Weekend Fashion Show has been so popular in prior years that it’s being moved to a new, larger location this year. Purchase your tickets and reserve a seat for the fashion show taking place at PLAAY Fitness and Yoga at 910 Asbury Avenue. The show will start at 7 p.m. and feature a display of fashions available at local Ocean City boutiques.

The cost is $20 per person and includes light bites offered by local restaurants during the event. Tickets are required to attend, and this show sells out each year, so be sure to get your tickets early. Tickets can be purchased online and at various area locations, including the Route 52 Causeway Welcome Center, City Hall Welcome Center, Ta-Dah (1040 Asbury Ave.), Making Waves (836 Asbury Ave.), 7th Street Surf Shop (720 Asbury Ave.), and the Sneaker Shop (704 Asbury Ave.).

Accommodation Deals and Packages for Girls Weekend 2020

Many local hotels and B&Bs will offer special deals and lodging packages for Girls Weekend 2020. Here are some of the latest deals being offered:

  • The Flanders Hotel: Reserve a stay for the night of Friday, April 3, or Saturday, April 4, and receive the following: early check-in with complimentary gift upon arrival; overnight stay in a deluxe one-bedroom suite; a 30-minute leg and foot massage or 30-minute mini-facial with free product samples from Divine Images Salon and Spa; a coupon for 10% off at The Shoppes at Flanders; breakfast in Emily’s Ocean Room; and, late check-out. The cost is $169 per person plus tax and gratuity (cost based on double occupancy).
  • Port-O-Call: Enjoy a two-night stay at the Port-O-Call for Girls Weekend 2020. The package includes two-night deluxe accommodations, dinner at a local restaurant, breakfast both mornings at Adelene, and your choice of a relaxing spa service including a 25-minute facial provided by a local salon, 25-minute massage by Blue Garden Wellness (6th floor of the hotel), or manicure or mini-pedicure provided by a local salon. Prices start at $295 per person (based on double occupancy; includes taxes and hotel dining gratuity).
  • Northwood Inn Bed and Breakfast: Stay for two nights and get the second night 50% off. Plus, enjoy complimentary pizza and drinks on Friday night.
  • Biscayne Suites: Enjoy two nights of accommodations for $239 plus tax and you’ll also have access to a late 6 p.m. checkout, so you can fully take advantage of the entire weekend. Just mention “Girls Weekend” when calling for reservations.
  • Inn the Gardens Bed and Breakfast: Book your Girls Weekend stay and you’ll get $25 off the second night at Inn the Gardens Bed and Breakfast.
  • Ocean City Mansion: Book your April 3–5 stay and receive two complimentary beach tags for the summer of 2020. Just mention “Girls Weekend” when calling to reserve your room.
  • Impala Island Inn: Stay at the Impala Island Inn for $160 for the weekend, plus tax. Just mention “Girls Weekend” to snag this deal!
  • Wild Dunes Inn: Book a weekend stay at the Wild Dunes Inn for $190 for the weekend, plus tax. You’ll be able to get this deal when you mention “Girls Weekend” when reserving.

Shopping Deals, Exercise Classes, and More!

Besides the Girls Weekend Fashion Show and fabulous lodging deals, Girls Weekend 2020 attendees will enjoy extraordinary sales at local shops and boutiques, dining specials at local restaurants, exercise classes, spa specials, craft projects and demos, and so much more!

Keep checking back to OCNJ Happenings Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages for additional information as Girls Weekend 2020 draws closer and make your reservations today!

Over the Bridge: Point Wellness Opens in Somers Point

New stores and restaurants are opening up frequently on the mainland these days. From Somers Point to Linwood, you’ll be treated to a new array of products and dining options. The latest store to open its doors in Somers Point is Point Wellness.

The wellness shop at 550 New Road, #C, opened for business back in November and is now welcoming customers searching for pure CBD products. CBD has been growing in popularity the past few years and new products have been popping up on a continual basis, available at places such as privately-owned shops, farmers markets, and even commercial convenience stores.

Point Wellness Products

The thing that sets Point Wellness in Somers Point apart from the competitors is the large offering of handcrafted pure CBD products, ranging from creams and salves to candles and bath products, as well as the owner’s excellent customer service skills. Owner Doug Tobias has many years of experience and offers health and wellness products as a result of this experience.

When you visit the shop, you can peruse the products and purchase them but you’ll also learn about them at the same time. If you have any questions about specific products or general questions about CBD, Doug takes the time to explain them to you and answer any and all questions. At Point Wellness, the quality of products and customer service are of the utmost importance to Doug.

Point Wellness Candles and Bath Products

And, by offering the different types of products, it makes it possible for customers to find the exact item they need for their health and wellness needs.

“You’ve heard the sentiment that seeing is believing, but with CBD, it’s the feeling,” states Doug. “It’s what you get out of it. You know the benefits when you feel them.”

In addition to CBD products, Point Wellness also sells beautiful handmade bags and eye-catching hand blown glass necklace pendants.

Point Wellness is currently open seven days a week during the following hours:

  • Monday through Friday: 9:30 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Sunday: 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Congratulations to Doug on the new store and welcome to Somers Point!

Photo credit: Point Wellness

What You Need to Know About the Seagull Abatement Program in Ocean City

From delicious Roma Pizza slices stolen right out of your hand to having to hide your fresh, hot Chickie’s and Pete’s fries as you quickly eat them on the boardwalk, the problem associated with Ocean City seagulls is readily apparent. These birds won’t ask permission to enjoy a bite of your tasty boardwalk food. The audacity of these ocean gulls has become so extreme that Mayor Jay Gillian has taken steps to combat the issue. The mayor has enlisted the help of East Coast Falcons to aid the city in keeping these aggressive seagull sightings and events to a minimum.

Boardwalk Crowd (600x800)

The East Coast Falcons will deploy its trained falcons, hawks, and owls in Ocean City from 10 a.m.–10 p.m. daily throughout the month of August. The presence of these birds will keep the seagulls away as they will feel unsafe with these other birds flying throughout the area.

It’s important to note that this program is one of a humane nature. The seagulls won’t be harmed as a result of this program and it’s one which is approved by the Humane Society of Ocean City.

It will be interesting to see how well this program works to lessen the presence of seagulls on the boardwalk, and especially seagulls of an aggressive nature. While we wait to view the results, we can have high hopes of leisurely eating our Kohr Bros. ice cream cones on the boardwalk without fear of seagull sneak attacks while doing so.

Start Making Plans for Night in Venice (July 13)

On Saturday, July 13, the 65th Annual Night in Venice boat parade will unfold in Ocean City and provide a fun and festive evening for all who attend.

Boat owners and bayside homeowners participate in this unique boat parade by decorating their boats and homes for all to see as they compete to win prizes for the best of their category. The boat parade begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Ocean City-Longport bridge and the boat procession continues all the way to Tennessee Avenue. The participating boats will weave in and out of the lagoons along the way, providing bayside homeowners with a birds-eye view of the creatively decorated boats with the “Celebrate! 65 Years of Night in Venice” theme in mind.

Night In Venice Villanova Boat (800x450)In addition to viewing the extensive parade of boats with eye-catching decorations and fun themes, there will be special guests taking part in this year’s Night in Venice, including singer Chubby Checker, Kate Flannery of “The Office” fame, broadway star Caissie Levy, and former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell.

For the best viewing spots for spectators, there will be grandstands set up at the end of various streets along the bay, running from Battersea Road to 16th Street, as well as at Tennessee Avenue. The grandstand locations can be found at the following streets:

  • Battersea Road
  • North Street
  • First Street
  • Second Street Marina
  • Fourth Street
  • Sixth Street
  • 11th Street
  • 13th Street
  • 15th Street
  • 16th Street
  • Tennessee Avenue

The stand seating is first-come, first-served, so you want to be sure to get there nice and early to reserve your spot for the big show.

And, after the boat parade ends, don’t go too far, as there will be an extraordinary fireworks display over the bayfront at 9 p.m.

If you’re looking to take your Night in Venice viewing one step further, Dockside Kitchen at 228 Bay Avenue is hosting a three-course prix fixe dinner from 4:30–7:30 p.m. and you can even stay for the fireworks display! Currently, 23 seats remain, so make your reservations ASAP for this delicious Night in Venice opportunity!

If you have yet to attend a Night in Venice event in Ocean City, you simply must go to see this exciting boat parade in person. If you are already a fan of Night in Venice, then you probably already have your desired viewing spot in mind.

Good luck to all of the participants and, to the Night in Venice spectators, have a wonderful evening viewing the 65th Annual Night in Venice parade!

5 Excellent Reasons to Attend the Dancing for Hailey Event in Ocean City on June 9

The Dancing for Hailey event is quickly approaching and will take place on Sunday, June 9, from 11 a.m.–1 p.m., on 8th Street between Ocean Avenue and Wesley Avenue. If you weren’t already planning to attend this fabulous fundraiser, you will definitely want to do so!

Here are five excellent reasons to attend the Dancing for Hailey event on June 9:

Dance in Honor of Hailey

Dancing for Hailey OC Noreasters and Participants Kerri J Photography (542x640)

The foundation for this extraordinary event is Hailey Parker, a brave 11-year-old girl who sadly lost her battle with Stage IV brain cancer in 2015. The Dancing for Hailey event was founded in memory of Hailey and in honor of her dedication to raising funds in the fight against cancer as she was going through this battle herself. Attendees come together each year in front of The Dance Place to celebrate the life of Hailey and raise money to fight childhood cancer.

Raise Money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

Dancing for Hailey Participants Kerri J Photography (499x640)

When participants attend the Dancing for Hailey event, the proceeds raised will support Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a Philadelphia-area childhood cancer nonprofit organization. In addition to benefiting Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, some of the proceeds will also go to support Ocean City resident Joy Geller, who is currently battling breast cancer and has been a longtime supporter of the Dancing for Hailey event.

Fun Activities for the Whole Family

Those who attend the Dancing for Hailey event this Sunday will enjoy hours of fun and family-friendly activities. In addition to a DJ-led dance party, participants will enjoy face painting, sweet treats, pizza, a silent auction, and shopping at various vendor tables. Wristband holders will also receive one hour of amusement rides at Playland’s Castaway Cove from 2–3 p.m. that day. It’s a great event for the whole family to take part in as there is something for everyone to enjoy at the Dancing for Hailey event.

Special Guests

Dancing for Hailey OCFD Demo Kerri J Photography (640x444)

In addition to the fun activities mentioned above, Dancing for Hailey participants will get to hang out with special guests, including the Ocean City Nor’easters and the Ocean City Fire Department. The Ocean City Nor’easters will be showing off their moves while the Ocean City Fire Department will be hosting demos and greeting the crowd.

Come Together as a Community for a Great Cause

Dancing for Hailey Organizers and Volunteers Kerri J Photography (640x406)

Last, but certainly not least, the Dancing for Hailey event provides an excellent opportunity for the community to come together and honor the memory of a young girl who had so much love for Ocean City and the fun activities surrounding this shore town. In addition to dancing in Hailey’s memory, the community can help to raise funds to support childhood cancer research and help others battling this disease.

Don’t miss this wonderful event on June 9 in Hailey’s honor! If you’re unable to attend, please consider making an online donation on the fundraising page.

Photos credit: Kerri J Photography

 

Battle of the Badges in Ocean City to Benefit American Red Cross

Each year, the Ocean City Fire Department and Ocean City Police Department engage in a little friendly competition to encourage blood donations for the American Red Cross.

This year’s Battle of the Badges will take place on Thursday, June 6, from 10 a.m.–3 p.m., at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, located at 501 East 8th Street. Here’s how Battle of the Badges works: Individuals sign up to donate blood during this designated timeframe on June 6. When blood donors sign up, they will be able to choose which team they are rooting for, Ocean City firefighters or Ocean City police officers. The group of first responders which has the most individuals on their team wins the Battle of the Badges!

It’s easy to sign up to give a blood donation during the Battle of the Badges. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS for an appointment or register online at RedCrossBlood.org and search by entering the following sponsor code: oc battle of the badges.

Not only will your blood donation during the Battle of the Badges event help others in the community, but you’ll be able to cheer on your favorite first responders and grab a Battle of the Badges t-shirt, too.

Good luck to the Ocean City firefighters and Ocean City police officers in this friendly competition for a great cause!