By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer
(July 4, 2019) Ocean Pines, like all communities in Worcester County, will celebrate Independence Day with a variety of activities. Here’s what Ocean Pines has scheduled for the July 4 holiday:
- Freedom 5K
Ocean Pines will begin its July 4 celebration with its annual Freedom 5K run and walk.
Families are encouraged to participate in the timed race, which starts at 8 a.m. and heads around the Veterans Memorial Park, across Ocean Parkway and through the Ocean Pines community. Runners will pass the South Gate Pond to the finish line near the memorial.
“It’s a fun run to support Achilles [International-Maryland] and it’s a good, fun patriotic type of race that we’ve done for eight years now,” Ocean Pines Recreation and Parks Program Supervisor Debbie Donahue said. “It’s a great way to start off your Fourth of July.”
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Achilles International-Maryland, a nonprofit charity that enables people with all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics in order to promote personal achievement, enhance self-esteem, and lower barriers to living a fulfilling life.
Last year, around 300 people participated in the run, Donahue said.
Attendees are encouraged to wear red, white and blue to support the military. An award will be presented for best costume. Trophies will be awarded to the top-three race finishers.
At the finish line, flags from each of the military branches will be on display in Veterans Memorial Park, and the first 200 registered runners are guaranteed event T-shirts.
Registration will begin at 7 a.m. The cost is $25 in advance or $35 the day of the event. Register online at OceanPines.org or call the Ocean Pines Recreation and Parks Department at 410-641-7052.
- Celebration and Fireworks
The fun in Ocean Pines continues at 4 p.m. with the Fourth of July celebration at Veterans Memorial Park on Cathell Road.
The All-American celebration will include music, dry slides, bouncy houses, carnival games and food concessions.
“We will play patriotic music during the fireworks … It’s a big event this year,” Donahue said.
Entry is free. Wristbands for the rides are $10 for children 5 and up, or $6 for children ages 2-5. There is no cost for children under 2. The event is cash only.
“There will be games that the DJ and my staff put on after we close the dry slides around 8:30-8:45 p.m.,” Donahue added.
Ocean Pines festivities will close with a free firework display at Veterans Memorial Park.
“This year, the fireworks will be at South Gate pond, so it’s one big event now versus being an event, then a break and then the fireworks at 9,” Donahue said. “We’re going to do it all in one event.”
Fireworks will begin shortly after dark and will last for 30 minutes. The event is open to the public.
Spectators should bring a chair or blanket. The event will take place on Friday, July 5 if there is inclement weather.
Ocean Parkway between Cathell Road and Manklin Creek Road will be closed one hour before the fireworks and is scheduled to reopen one hour after the fireworks finish. Cathell Road will be closed from the Sports Core Pool to Ocean Parkway from noon to one hour after the fireworks.
Free parking will be available at the Ocean Pines Library, Calvin B. Taylor Bank, post office, and Sports Core Pool. Additionally, safety fencing will be installed along Route 589 around the perimeter of the veteran’s memorial, and foot traffic will be redirected to the closed portions of Cathell Road.
Limited handicapped parking will be available in a marked area just south of the Sports Core Pool.
For more information, call the Ocean Pines Recreation and Parks Department at 410-641-7052 or visit OceanPines.org.