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Rain doesn’t deter Ocean City Block Party shoppers




Shoppers carry umbrellas and wander downtown to find merchandise and a range of food items.


The Ocean City Spring Block Party didn’t bring with it sunny Saturday skies or the warm temperatures, for that matter, typically associated with the hit event year after year.

But it brought plenty of families who chose to dress up for the occasion, carry their umbrellas and have a good time – shopping for goods ranging from beach gear to trinkets to household items, to eating lots of baked goods and other foods.

Rain bombarded Asbury Avenue in the late morning and early afternoon. Cloud cover left the sky grey.

But the crowds kept coming, perusing vendor tables, queuing for freshly cut flowers, eating their favorite foods and listening to live performances.

Dave Hiester, of Cherry Hill, his daughter, Maeve, 4, and parents Michelle and Kim Hiester, of Sicklerville, and pooch, Murphy, make the most of the soggy day.

Dave Hiester, of Cherry Hill, and his daughter, Maeve, 4, walked down the avenue with his parents, Michelle and Kim Hiester, of Sicklerville, with their dog, Murphy, and an umbrella in hand.

Even if it’s raining, it’s always nice to support local businesses, said Dave Hiester.

While the family spent time shopping, Maeves’ twin sister, Mallory, and other sister, Madeleine, had their hair braided at a nearby vendor’s table, Hiester said.

It’s just great for us and the kids, said Michelle Hiester, before heading to the family’s next stop, a stand selling Italian food.

More than 350 artisans, food vendors and artists lined a mile of downtown Asbury Avenue between Fifth Street and 14th Street. The live entertainment was at Mark Soifer Park and served as background music during the event, which ran from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Donahue family of Mullica Hill prepare for the warmer days with beach balls.

Michael Allegretto, assistant to Mayor Jay Gillian, said the event, which is sponsored by the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce, is always a good time for families.

Rain or shine, the block party is always a big event downtown, Allegretto said. It is one of the annual events that our local residents and visitors look forward to every year. People like to get food and goods from their favorite vendors.

Each year, the Block Party draws tens of thousands of people to Ocean City for a weekend of pre-summer fun,

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Spring Block Party did not take place in 2020 and 2021. Saturday was therefore very special for families with the return of the mega-event.

Carrie Mehl, of Harleysville, Pennsylvania, with her 5-year-old daughter, Sutton, browse the table at the Ocean City Theater Company.

Jack Donahue, 8, and his 9-year-old sister, Brooke, held beach balls while walking with their parents and visited summer-themed vendor stalls, which caught the attention of walkers despite rainy weather.

Our next stop is to buy pies, said Laura Donahue, Jack and Brooke’s mother. It’s our first Spring Block Party in Ocean City, and it’s fun. But I’m sure it would be better if it wasn’t raining.

Carrie Mehl, from Harleysville, Pennsylvania, and her daughter, Sutton, 5, and her mother, Marsha Stevens, had a girls’ day out.

“The men stayed home,” Mehl said with a laugh. “We’re doing fun things together today.”

As for the weather, the Mehls and Stevens didn’t seem to mind too much as they watched news on the table at the Ocean City Theater Company.

It’s a lot more fun than staying home, Stevens said.

Customers line up to buy flowers.
Members of the Ocean City Exchange Club prepare burgers and hot dogs for attendees.
Members of the Knights of Columbus chat with customers at a block party.
Members of VFW Post 6650 hide under a tent to protect themselves from the rain.




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