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Ocean City restrictions on boardwalk performances are unconstitutional, judge rules

Associated Press

Some restrictions on boardwalk performers in Ocean City have been deemed unconstitutional.

The Daily Times of Salisbury reports U.S. District Court Judge Richard D. Bennett ruled performers on the Ocean City Boardwalk will no longer have to sign up for spaces a week in advance. Performers are also no longer restricted to certain dedicated areas, and performances before 10 a.m. and advertising are now permitted.

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The decision says Ocean City’s restrictions placed a “substantial burden” on harmless speech. Ocean City can still ban performances after 1 a.m., items bigger than 6 feet and performances on certain streets.

Ocean City Town Solicitor Guy Ayres says the town hasn’t decided whether to file an appeal.

Electric violinist Lucian Ionescu lauded the decision, likening the boardwalk under the restrictions to “the Gaza Strip,” the Palestinian territory under an Israeli blockade.

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