The Atlantic resort town of Ocean City is one of the more popular summer destinations for locals who want to enjoy the sun, the waterfront, and even some historical sites. Although the population of the area is just under 10,000 people for most of the year, during the summer months, the population soars to 320,000 people on any given summer weekend. The land where Ocean City now stands was first purchased by an Englishman named Thomas Fenwick and by 1869, houses and businesses started to spring up in the area and by 1875 the area became a well-known tourist destination with the first hotels being built around this time. With fantastic beaches and amazing waterfront activities, it’s not surprising Ocean City is home to many great events and festivals. So if you’re in the area and are looking to head to one, here are the most popular festivals in Ocean City, Maryland.
1. Winterfest of Lights
Although the Winterfest of Lights is all about the winter season, it starts in November so you can get all that holiday cheer in early. Taking place in Ocean City’s Northside Park, the festival is a dedication to all things festive and Christmas-themed. Enjoy millions of twinkling little lights set up in various displays throughout the park and head to one of the many warming stations around the park to grab a little hot chocolate and get toasty by the fire. For the kids, Santa will be there taking photos and the fairytale-inspired light shows are fun for the whole family.
Winterfest of Lights
Address: Ocean City, MD 21842, United States
Website: Winterfest of Lights
Takes Place: November to January
Price: 5 USD
2. Springfest (May)
Springfest is an Ocean City tradition celebration over 30 years of fun on the boardwalk. Coming on the winter months means it’s time to celebrate in the warmth of the sun and Springfest is the place to do just that. The festival is host to amazing music acts and performances along Ocean City’s boardwalk so not only will there entertainment but you can spend an entire day hanging out, going shopping, and tasting the local food located in the area as well.
Address: Roland E. Powell Convention Center, Ocean City, Maryland, United States
Takes Place: May
Price: Free admission
The weather is beautiful, the sun is shining, and the people of Ocean City are looking for a good time. Sunfest is a celebration of music and art and of course, the sun. The festival is a celebration of summer coming to an end and is a great time for everyone in the family. There are fun-filled days of arts and crafts, delicious food, and tons of musical entertainment. The event is located on the Boardwalk, and best of all, Sunfest is free.
Address: : Hugh T. Cropper Inlet Parking Lot, Ocean City, Maryland, United States
Takes Place: Usually held in September
Price: Free admission
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4. OC Air Show
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Soaring above the skies in Ocean City is the OC Air Show. Taking place during the heat of the summer, this event brings in people from all around the state to watch some of America’s best pilots take to the skies. The air show shows off a variety of aircraft both modern and old and they’re all doing stunts that will stun and amaze you. Grab a good seat on the beach and stare up into the sky or get a VIP seat and watch up close in one of the buildings nearby.
OC Air Show
Address: Ocean city, Maryland Air Show, Ocean City, Maryland, United States
Website: OC Air Show
Takes Place: June
Price: 10 - 150 USD
5. Jellyfish Festival
With a name like the Jellyfish Festival, you might think it is about the dangerous ocean invertebrat–but you’d be wrong. The annual Jellyfish Festival is about extreme fun and sports that many people don’t get to experience up close. Check out events like motocross, BMX competition, and skateboarding challenges right there on the oceanfront. Head to the beach and watch the surfing competitions or if you’re with your kids, head to the kid’s zones where they can have fun with some interactive art and music.
Address: 10 S Boardwalk, Ocean City, MD 21842, United States
Website: Jellyfish Festival
Takes Place: Usually held in June
Price: 20 - 50 USD
6. Maryland International Kite Expo
352 days left. Maryland International Kite Expo 2017Posted by The Kite Loft on Wednesday, 11 May 2016
The Maryland International Kite Expo is one of the more unique festivals around. Ocean City is home to one of the best and biggest kite festivals that take place right on the beach and boardwalk. Kite enthusiasts come from far and wide to do demonstrations and stunts for onlookers making the event a pretty nice one for the whole family to enjoy. There are competitions as well as a viewing of all kinds of different kites from the old days to the modern.
Maryland International Kite Expo
Address: 511 Boardwalk, Ocean City, MD 21842, United States
Website: Maryland International Kite Expo
Takes Place: Usually held in April
7. Wine on the Beach
Wine on the Beach is a party that is mostly catered to the adult crowd. The festival is going into its 27th year and the fall festival is one of the favorites among locals of Ocean City. Taking place at the historic Inlet, the area where the famous boardwalk starts, you’ll have an array of wine tastings available to you as well as a selection of regional cuisines. Pair famous Marylander food with delicious wines as well as micro-brewed beers. Taste wines from different wineries both local and international. Delight in some delectable finger foods while you listen to some live music on the nearby stages.
Wine on the Beach
Address: 809 S. Atlantic Avenue, Ocean City, Maryland
Website: Wine on the Beach
Takes Place: Usually held in September
Price: 35 USD
8. Ocean City Bikefest
For the fans of hogs (motorcycles, not pigs), Ocean City Bikefest is the best festival around the area focusing on all things motorcycle. The event is one of the biggest festivals hosted by Ocean City with tons of music, tons of events, and tons of gorgeous bikes. The event brings all kinds of people for a great weekend in September.
Ocean City Bikefest
Address: 802 S Atlantic Ave, Ocean City, MD 21842, United States
Website: Ocean City Bikefest
Takes Place: September
9. Fourth of July Concert & Fireworks
It’s time to get your Fourth of July plans in order! Enjoy a free concert at 8 p.m., followed by fireworks at 9:30 at...Posted by Ocean City, MD - Tourism on Wednesday, 22 June 2016
Come to the biggest festival in the country. All of the United States celebrates the fourth of July and if you’re in Ocean City during the fourth, then why not join in on all the celebrations. The Fourth of July Concert & Fireworks is a one-day party with tons of great things for the whole family. Enjoy a day of live music, great food, DJs, and of course, an amazing fireworks display at night.
Fourth of July Concert & Fireworks
Address: Northside Park. 200 125th St, Ocean City, MD, United States
Website: Fourth of July Concert & Fireworks
Takes Place: July 4
10. Cruisin' Ocean City
Cruisin’ Ocean City is the city’s biggest car festival, bringing in classic and collectible cars from all over the country as well as even some international car collectors. If you’re into cars, then Cruisin’ Ocean City will be a favorite for you. The event takes place over a whole weekend in May and people come with their vintage cars and meet and greet other car collectors. Enjoy classic cars on the boardwalk as well as some great live music and delicious food.
Cruisin' Ocean City
Address: Inlet Parking Lot (809 South Atlantic Ave) Convention Center (4001 Coastal Highway)
Website: Cruisin’ Ocean City
Takes Place: May
Price: 10 - 15 USD
Festive Ocean City
The best part of events and festivals in Ocean City is that almost all of them take place right next to the ocean. No matter what time of the year it is, the events in Ocean City are fun and worth going to. So many of them are great for people with families. And not only that–hanging out near the beach with the ocean air blowing is always appreciated no matter what. Music, art, food and even motorcycles make Ocean City all the more festive.
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