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OC Blog
Travel news and tips about Ocean City, Maryland
From Ocean City to Fells Point, a grueling kayak journey for a cause

The Scunny Memorial Paddle, which ran from Sept. 16 to 21, turned out to be even less fun than Christopher Furst, a marketing director for Power Plant Live, thought it would be. And the novice kayaker didn't go in expecting the 175-mile kayak trip was going to be a day at the beach.

"In all honesty, it was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I've played every sport, baseball, football," Furst said, "but this was sheer endurance, paddling eight hours a day in an uncomfortable position." A week after finishing the journey, Furst said, he was still recovering.

It rained heavily on the first day, which the eight kayakers took as a bad omen. There were days of 30- and 40-mile paddles, when the only thing that kept them going, Furst said, was getting to the next stop.

And on the trip's last day, with the Baltimore harbor nearly in their sights, there was a shark. "I saw what looked like a dorsal fin," Furst said. "And then I saw his head pop up."

Not that Furst hadn't been warned....

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Sunfest celebrates 40 years in Ocean City

Not ready for the fall just yet? Catch the last rays of summer sun with live music and food from over 30 vendors at Ocean City’s SunFest today until Sunday.

The event, which was rated number one classic and contemporary craft show by Sunshine Artist Magazine for 2014, includes both indoor and outdoor activities ranging from Rick Springfield’s sold-out concert on Saturday to arts and crafts presentations on the boardwalk. Foodies will be able to savor fare of all types, including traditional crab cakes and oysters as well as Asian delicacies.

In honor of its 40 year anniversary, the festival will kick off with a fireworks show Friday night at 10:05 p.m. by North Division Street. In addition, laser lights will illuminate the beach on Saturday starting at 9, 9:30, 10, and 10:30 p.m.

Parmalee and Eric Paslay entertain in concert Friday night. Other performers throughout the weekend include The Stickers, Rick K & The Allnighters, British Invasion Experience, The Galaxy Collective, Ritchie...

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Two, including man from Rosedale, die in Ocean City rip currents

Two men, including one from Rosedale, died while swimming at Ocean City Wednesday, officials said.

The 49-year-old man from Rosedale, who has not yet been publicly identified, was spotted floating unconscious far out into the water by a beach patrol supervisor at around 5:45 p.m., about 15 minutes after lifeguards had gone off duty for the day, Ocean City Beach Patrol Captain Butch Arbin said. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

"Our biggest message is don't swim when we're off duty and this is what this person did," Arbin said.

Five other people needed to be rescued earlier in the day, including a 52-year-old Pennsylvania man who was caught in a rip current, town officials said. Arbin said they believe that Huntingdon man, who has also not yet been identified, may have suffered a medical condition while in the water.

The Huntingdon man was one of five people caught in strong currents only minutes and a few streets apart, town officials said.

He and two others swimming near...

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Sunny season draws to a close in Ocean City

Dumser's soft ice cream cones were still twirled perilously high, Thrashers' french fries were still doused in vinegar, and the surf was clear and cold as ever, but there were signs of change in Ocean City this summer.

In some cases, literally: Town officials posted signs along the boardwalk asking visitors to refrain from using profanity.

It was an unusual move in an interesting season at Maryland's most popular resort town. The planning board discussed curtailing weekly rentals in some neighborhoods but ultimately rejected the idea. The owner of Ocean Gallery — a local landmark marked by layers of hand-scrawled signs — said he was considering moving his business to Hollywood for a reality show. Long-debated smoking restrictions for the beach and boardwalk were finally approved and are to begin next year.

And let's not forget the pole dancer who set up on the boardwalk.

Perhaps all the news from Ocean City helped bolster tourism.

After a slow start to the summer, business owners said...

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Two cases of Legionnaires' disease linked to Econo Lodge in Ocean City

Two people who stayed at an Econo Lodge in northern Ocean City this summer have tested positive for Legionnaires' disease and low levels of Legionella bacteria were found in the hotel's water pipes, Worcester County health officials said.

Health officials zeroed in on the 145th Street hotel after a second person who stayed there tested positive for the infection Aug. 28, said Kathleen Derr, nursing program manager for communicable disease for the county health department. The other person became ill earlier in the summer, she said.

The hotel voluntarily closed as it works to remove the bacteria, which can cause lung infection when breathed in water vapor. It is working to notify past guests of their potential exposure, Derr said.

Hotel management could not be reached for comment. A recording on the hotel's voicemail says it is closed for the season and refers guests who had reservations there to two other Ocean City hotels, the Econo Lodge Oceanfront and the Comfort Inn Boardwalk....

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Ocean City looks to enforcement, rather than rental ban

Ocean City will look to better enforcement to cut down on problems with rowdy visitors instead of a ban on short-term rentals, according to a city official.

The vacation destination had been considering adding regulations to govern some rental properties in response to complaints from some residents, but members of the planning and zoning commission backed away from the idea Wednesday, said Blaine Smith, the assistant director of the city's Planning and Zoning Department.

“They don’t think there needs to be new regulation. We just need to enforce the ones we have,” Smith said. Better enforcement would apply to all neighborhoods, not just the single-family and mobile home districts discussed previously, he added.

About 20 people attended Wednesday’s hearing where commissioners discussed changing the rules for short-term rentals, he said. Several hundred went to a meeting last month at which the public could speak about the proposal, he said.

Commission members plan to put together...

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