Ocean City -- Fireworks, bands and festivals from one end of town to the other are planned for Independence Day here.
The fireworks displays will begin at 9:30 p.m. tomorrow, according to Martha Clements, Ocean City's public relations director. There will be two simultaneous displays of 20 minutes each, one launched from the Wicomico Street pier downtown, over the ocean, and one farther north at 125th Street, over the bay. Both are free.
The simultaneous displays will cap a busy, varied holiday weekend at this resort. A Jamboree in the Park sponsored by the city's Parks and Recreation Department will bring crafts vendors, food stands, games and music to Northside Park at 125th Street and the bay.
For children, the jamboree will have moon bouncers, human gyroscope, high strikers, dunking booth, sand art, carnival games, pie- and watermelon-eating contests, races and field games. Beppo the Clown and magician Dave Anderson will also perform in the late afternoon.
For adults, there will be two concerts by Bud Forrest and His String of Pearls, a swing band. The band will present its show, titled "In the Mood," at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The musical revue commemorates this year's 50th anniversary of World War II, and is the official commemorative production.
It was first presented at the National Archives in Washington and includes music and dancing to such wartime standards as "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree," "Sing, Sing, Sing" and "God Bless America."
There will also be two performances by the show group Spectrum, which has performed at the festival for the past four years. The band will give one show at 6:30 p.m. and a second one that begins at 8:30 p.m. and ends when the fireworks begin.
Downtown on the Boardwalk, Bud Forrest and His String of Pearls will perform on the beach at Caroline Street at 7:45 p.m. until the fireworks begin at 9:30.
There will be plenty of other music during the weekend too, as well as other forms of entertainment, according to Ms. Clements.
On July 5, Reggae Sunsplash will bring tropical music to Ocean City, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Convention Center on 40th Street and the bay.
The evening will also include Steel Pulse, Maxi Priest, Beres Hammond, Marcia Griffith, Red Fox, Terror Fabulous, Junior Tucker, the A-Team and Tommy Cowan. Tickets are $19 and $20 for the show, and can be purchased at the Convention Center box office.
Today, the World Wrestling Federation comes to Ocean City. The show begins at 7 p.m. at the Convention Center with a match between Tatanka and I.R.S. That match will be followed by one between Lex Luger and Crush.
The evening's championship match will then be held, between Bret "Hit Man" Hart and "The Rocket" Owen Hare.
The evening's finale, an Intercontinental Title Match, in which Razor Ramon will wrestle Diesel and Earthquake will wrestle Yokozuna, is scheduled for 9 p.m. It will be taped live for broadcast later on USA Network. Tickets for the matches can be bought at the Convention Center box office for $11 and $16. They can also be bought through TicketMaster ( 551-7328; in Baltimore, call 481-SEAT).
IF YOU GO . . .
For additional information, call the Ocean City Public Relations Office at (410) 289-2800 or (800) OC-OCEAN.
Free parking is available at the Convention Center, and express shuttle buses will begin downtown service at 4 p.m., continuing until 1 a.m. The fare is $1.
FOR THE FOURTH
There will be limited access on Monday, July 4, to the Wicomico Street Fishing Pier. An 800-foot area will be roped off on either side of the pier for the fireworks display.
The U.S. 50 drawbridge schedule will change on the evening of the 4th. It will open at 8:25 p.m., as usual, but will not reopen until 10:25 p.m., after the fireworks, as part of an effort to relieve traffic congestion during the display.
Free parking will be available at two sites during the fireworks display: the Francis Scott Key Motel on U.S. 50, and the Convention Center parking lot.
OC Shuttle bus service will be available for $1 at both locations.