By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer
(Aug. 23, 2018) Hundreds of Jeeps have taken over Ocean City for the ninth annual Jeep Week, which kicks off today, Thursday, Aug. 23.
“There’s a whole new group of Jeep followers,” Live Wire Media Owner and Event Coordinator Brad Hoffman said. “In the end I’ve always loved and had a passion for Jeeps.”
Jeep Week was first created by Will Lynch and Chris Cropper nine years ago as a means to promote businesses in Ocean City and provide a fun-filled week for Jeep owners and enthusiasts. Hoffman joined the Jeep Week team five years ago as a sponsor.
“It really was a vision to take the whole thing to the next level over the past four/five years,” Hoffman said. “We’re well over 1,400-1,500 registered Jeeps this year. Every year I’ve grown it 20-25 percent to be stronger on the vendor side [and] stronger on the participant side. I’m really proud of building something that is nationally recognized.”
Jeep parades on the beach will take place daily from 7:30-9:15 a.m. The parade will begin at 29th Street and continue down to the inlet. Around 250 Jeeps will take a sandy ride along the beach toward the inlet each day.
Onlookers can observe the parade from the Boardwalk. Parade participants are advised to arrive at the Jolly Roger parking lot on 30th Street early to ensure the parade begins on time.
New events have been added to this year’s Jeep Week, including the 50-acre Jeep Jam at the MAYS Sports Complex in Pittsville created in part by course builders, Chris Cropper of CC Customs, Chris Russell of Superior Contracting, and John DeForce.
Jeep Jam replaced the original Jeep obstacle course held in Berlin.
Another new event is the beach obstacle course. It will be located north of the pier between Somerset and Dorchester streets in Ocean City.
“It’s a little Jeep course on the beach, which brings more participants, which brings more revenue and keeps it local,” Hoffman said.
Activities run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the convention center.
Vendors and representatives from I.G. Burton of Berlin, the title sponsor, will showcase various products throughout the week at the convention center. I.G. Burton will also welcome guests to its new dealership in Berlin on Sunday from 1-4 p.m. for a Jeep sendoff party and open house.
This year’s Jeep Week is dedicated to the memory of Hoffman’s sister, Wendy Hoffman Steil, who passed away two weeks ago from lung cancer. She was 61.
“My sister worked with me at Jeep Week last year when she was fighting lung cancer,” Hoffman said. “She was just there selling wristbands and meeting my friends in the Jeep world and I was just honored to have her as a sister.
“She embodied that feeling of ‘Hey, let’s have a good time, everybody smile, this is a fun thing,’” he continued. “I know she’ll be looking out for the event this year.”
General admission for the convention center and MAYS Sports Complex is $10. A two-day and three-day pass is available for $15 and $20, respectively.
For more information or see the full schedule, visit www.oceancityjeepweek.com/ or call Hoffman at 443-366-5944 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.