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Ocean City mayor: We’re just having a little fun with cicadas | READER COMMENTARY

An adult cicada sheds its nymphal skin on the bark on an oak tree, Tuesday, May 4, 2021, on the University of Maryland campus in College Park. Trillions of cicadas are about to emerge from 15 states in the U.S. East. Scientists say Brood X is one of the biggest for these bugs which come out only once every 17 years. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
An adult cicada sheds its nymphal skin on the bark on an oak tree, Tuesday, May 4, 2021, on the University of Maryland campus in College Park. Trillions of cicadas are about to emerge from 15 states in the U.S. East. Scientists say Brood X is one of the biggest for these bugs which come out only once every 17 years. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

I read with great interest The Baltimore Sun’s editorial, “Cicadas are ‘insect debutantes’ — let’s not treat them as frightening invaders” (May 3), which referenced Ocean City’s current “Cicada Free Zone” campaign.

While we’re glad you saw our ads, we’re not thrilled to be lumped in with pest control companies that seek to eradicate the Brood X, 17-year cicadas. How ridiculous!

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You see, Ocean City is not anti-cicada. We’re simply inviting people like your readers who live where cicadas will soon emerge to join us here in Ocean City where we are naturally 100% cicada-free.

You accused us of encouraging irrational behavior with our campaign, but we think going on vacation where the cicadas are not is a very rational response to their impending arrival. Not to mention, while news outlets like yours continue to cover the arrival of these buzzing bugs, we thought “why not have a little fun?” Is fun no longer allowed at The Sun? In Ocean City, fun is kind of what we do best so why not welcome people to our cicada-free zone?

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So, when your ears have heard enough of what Brood X has to offer, come on down to Ocean City. Trade the constant hum of insects for the relaxing sounds of waves rolling up on our 10 miles of beautiful and cicada-free beach, as well as our cicada-free outdoor restaurants, golf courses and other attractions. We are pretty sure even the cicadas would vacation here if they could!

Ocean City has always been a place to come to escape the stress of everyday life. This takes on extra meaning this year.

Remember, you can always return after the buzz dies down.

Richard W. Meehan, Ocean City

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The writer is mayor of Ocean City, Maryland.

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