Holiday weekend kickoff at the Shore
OCEAN CITY, N.J. - May 27, 2011 (WPVI) -- Hundreds watched near Ocean City's Music Pier as local dignitaries presided over the annual symbolic unlocking of the beach.
There was a wind chime band serenading the crowd. And as they do every year, a contingent of local business people wearing suits and carrying briefcases marched right into the Atlantic Ocean.
"Well, it's not your normal attire when you're walking into the ocean. But we get so excited when the summer opens up every year," said real estate agent Jeffrey Stull.
"Oh isn't this hysterical? I mean these people doing something like this, these men and women in their dress-up outfits!" said Helene Spause of Ocean City.
Yes, the business people slosh around in the surf and give new meaning to the idea of wet suits. But there is a method to this watery madness.
"It's telling all our visitors that we're also open for business. The real estate industry, the boardwalk merchants, the downtown merchants," said march chairman John Walton.
"It was so exciting. We came here we were totally surprised. We had a front row seat and didn't even expect it. It was great," said Arlene Dowd of Cherry Hill, N.J.
Despite the wacky goings-on here, or perhaps because of them, merchants are predicting a fabulous start to what they hope will be a successful summer.
"Oh it's going to be a great year. This weekend's going to be gangbusters, we're going to roll down here. Perfect weather," said Doug Jewell of Pirates Arrgh Us.
And if the crowds arriving at the shore are any indication, that may be true. That is, if they're not scared away by the nutty merchants swimming in business suits!
"It's just a unique idea, and Ocean City is full of unique and silly ideas. It's a wonderful way to start the season," said Hank Glaser of Shriver's Fudge.
new jersey, memorial day, holidays, ocean city, local/state, nora muchanic
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