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Patriotic activities in OC, Pines, Berlin and Snow Hill

Thousands of people enjoy the fireworks on the beach in downtown Ocean City on July 4, last year.

By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer

(June 28, 2018) From a hot dog-eating contest to patriotic concerts and fireworks, a number of Independence Day celebrations will be taking place this weekend and on July 4.

Here are some activities planned:

Ocean Pines:

  • Freedom 5K:

Ocean Pines kicks off its Independence Day celebration on Wednesday with the fourth 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 where runners will pass the South Gate Pond to the finish line near the Veterans Memorial.

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.

Attendees are encouraged to wear red, white and blue to support the military. An award will be presented for best costume, as well as to race winners.

At the finish line, flags from each of the military branches will be on display in Veterans Memorial Park, and the first 250 registered runners are guaranteed event T-shirts. Trophies will be awarded to the top three finishers.

Registration begins at 7 a.m. The cost is $25 in advance or $35 the day of the event. Register online at or call the Ocean Pines Recreation and Parks Department at 410-641-7052.

  • Fourth of July Celebration:

The fun in Ocean Pines continues at 11 a.m. with the Fourth of July celebration at Veterans Memorial Park on Cathell Road.

The All-American celebration will include a deejay, water slides, carnival games, a dunking booth and concessions. Festivities take place until 3 p.m.

Wristbands for unlimited rides on the water bounce cost $6 and tickets will be sold for additional rides and games.

For more information, call the Ocean Pines Recreation and Parks Department at 410-641-7052 or visit

  • Fireworks:

Ocean Pines festivities come to a close with a free firework display at Showell Park across from Showell Elementary School on Racetrack Road, Wednesday night.

Visitors are encouraged to watch the display from Showell Elementary School, the Community Church of Ocean Pines, Most Blessed Sacrament School or the Pavilions for a good view. Free parking will also be available in these locations.

“Ocean Pines residents and nonresidents will be able to watch in wonder as fireworks ignite and light up the sky in an evening you will not soon forget,” Ocean Pines Marketing and Public Relations Director Denise Sawyer stated in a press release.

Fireworks will begin shortly after dark. The event is open to the public and the Community Church at Ocean Pines will be selling refreshments.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket. The event will take place on Thursday, July 5 if there is inclement weather.

For more information, call the Ocean Pines Recreation and Parks Department at 410-641-7052 or visit


  • Old Fashioned Celebration:

The Calvin B. Taylor House will host an “Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration” on Tuesday, July 3 from 4-7 p.m.

There will be a picnic on the lawn and children’s games, including corn hole, ring toss and a scavenger hunt. Musician Charlie Flagiello will perform.

“People can sign [the Declaration of Independence],” Jan Quick, president of the Taylor House Museum Board, said. “We’re blowing one up one and they’ll have ability to sign their own names to feel [like a founder].”

A Street Kitchen food truck will be on hand, and lemonade slushies and cherry pies will be offered by the museum.

“People can bring their own picnic lunch if they want, then be able to stay and sit on the lawn if they want to see the fireworks from there,” Quick said. “It’s a family-oriented picnic supper on the lawn.”

For more information, visit or call 410-641-1019.

Ocean City:

  • Uptown Concert and Fireworks:

At Northside Park on 125th Street, The Reagan Years will put on a free concert, Wednesday, July 4 at 8 p.m. followed by fireworks at 9:30 p.m. The National Anthem will lead the patriotic show.

The fireworks display can be seen anywhere in the park and organizers advise spectators to arrive early.

Attendees are encouraged to bring beach chairs and blankets. Call 1-800-626-2326, 410-250-0125 or visit for more information.

  • Downtown Concert and Fireworks:

A free concert on the beach at North Division Street in downtown Ocean City featuring Mike Hines and The Look will take place on Wednesday, July 4 at 8 p.m. with a fireworks display following at 9:30 p.m.

Visitors are encouraged to bring beach chairs or blankets to claim a spot on the sand for the patriotic display.

Call 1-800-626-2326, 410-250-0125 or visit for more information.

  • Hot Dog-Eating Contest:

Check out the 11th annual Independence Day “Top Dog” hot dog-eating contest at Fish Tales Bar & Grill on 22nd Street, bayside, Wednesday at 2 p.m.

“We’re just trying to keep it local this year and encourage local businesses,” said Jaymie Erbe, Fish Tales manager and contest coordinator. “You must have a local I.D. to register.”

Anyone 18 and older who is interested in competing in the July 4 contest should stop by the 22nd Street bayside bar and restaurant any time prior to that day to quickly consume five deli-style hot dogs and buns in order to qualify for the main event.

A Fish Tales representative will time each participant, and the 20 people with the fastest times will advance to the July 4 finals. The contest is free to enter this year.

Lauren Buckler, a bartender at Fish Tales, is just one of the competition participants this year, Erbe said.

On July 4, a stage will be assembled in the restaurant’s parking lot for the 10-minute event, which is modeled after Nathan’s famous Fourth of July international contest. Bleachers, a satellite bar and hot dog vendor will be set up for spectators.

“It’s a fun event,” Erbe said. “[We] try to bring the Ocean City community together with different restaurants coming together for one cause.”

The “Top Dog” will take home $1,500. Second place will receive $500 and third will take home $300. DJ BK is slated to emcee the competition again this year. Fish Tales, Coors Light and Dietz & Watson are sponsoring the event. Dietz & Watson will also supply the hot dogs.

Call 410-289-0990 for more information or to participate in the hot-dog eating contest if spots are still open.

  • Declaration of Independence Reading:

The American Legion and the Maryland Society Sons of the American Revolution will hold a joint event at the American Legion Synepuxent Post 166 on 24th Street on Wednesday, July 4 at 11 a.m.

President Mark Tyler of the Captain John Smoot Chapter of the SAR will read the Declaration of Independence. The event is open to the public.

For more information, visit or call 410-289-3166.

Snow Hill

  • Fireworks:

Fourth of July festivities take place Saturday, June 30, in Snow Hill with a firework display over the Pocomoke River in Sturgis Memorial Park.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with ice cream, drinks and food provided by the Snow Hill Rotary Club available before the fireworks start around 9:15 p.m. There will be bounce houses and face painting for children.

Guests should bring a lawn chair or blanket to Sturgis Park. Parking will be available at public lots on Green and Washington streets.

For more information, call 410-632-0809.