Which weekend is Fourth of July weekend this year? I'm stumped. Since the 4th falls on a Wednesday, neither weekend is closest. But either way, if you come down to the shore before or after the holiday, you have good reason to extend your long weekend by a couple of extra days. With plenty of beach, good food and fireworks at both ends of the town, Ocean City is a great place to spend it. Here are some tips and events to help you get the most out of your extended holiday weekend.

1. On the 4th of July, once you get to Ocean City, stay there. West Ocean City has some of the best restaurants and shopping in the area. But once you're over that bridge, nothing is worth going back for. Fourth of July weekend is hands down the busiest the beach will get all year. That means traffic everywhere, and backups on Route 50 all the way to Stephen Decatur High School (that's about 6 miles). You'll get the most joy out of your vacation if you avoid going back to your car. Whatever you do, don't try to leave Ocean City after the fireworks displays on the 4th of July. I speak from experience here - once I was foolish enough to do this, and it took me more than an hour to get from 2nd Street to the opposite side of the Route 50 bridge.

2. Go out to a ball game on July 3. My favorite memories from the Fourth of July are going to the Delmarva Shorebirds minor league baseball games with my family. Nothing like baseball and fireworks for the 4th! Unfortunately, the Shorebirds are away on the holiday this year. However, they are playing at their home stadium in Salisbury on July 3 at 6:35 p.m. against the West Virginia Power. If you take Route 50 to Ocean City, you drive right past the stadium, which is about a 30-minute drive from the beach. This event includes fireworks after the game! On the day of the game, tickets are $6 for kids, seniors and military, and $7 for adults for general admission. There are other seating options available, but prices don't get higher than $13. For more information, or to get tickets ahead of time call 410-219-3112, or visit the Shorebirds online at http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t548.

3. See the fireworks. There will be spectacular displays all around in the days leading up to and including July 4. The town of Ocean City will be putting on two fireworks displays for the holiday, one uptown and one downtown. The shows will be happening simultaneously. At Northside Park on 125th Street, a concert featuring the U.S. Army Band Downrange begins at 8 p.m., fireworks begin around 9:30 p.m. And at North Division Street downtown, a concert featuring 78th Army Band begins at 8 p.m., fireworks begin around 9:30 p.m.

-Seacrets on 49th St bayside will also have fireworks. There will be a display on June 29 for their 24th Anniversary Party at 9:30 p.m. They will also have fireworks on the 4th of July around 9 p.m.

-Ocean Pines, just over the Route 90 bridge will be having fireworks at Showell Park on Racetrack Road around 9 p.m.

-Ocean Downs on Racetrack Road between Route 90 and Route 50 will also have fireworks on July 2, after the live horse racing for that evening is finished (approximately 10:30 p.m.). Kids are allowed to come and watch the races if they are accompanied by an adult. No children are allowed in the casino. Post time for the races is at 7:10 p.m., and there will be other races around the holiday on July 1, 5, 8 and 9.