OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — Ocean City is hoping for a big boost in business this weekend. The resort town welcomed back long-awaited visitors Friday.

With hundreds washing in from the Ocean City boardwalk, an umbrella planted in the sand officially marks the unofficial start of summer.

READ MORE: Ocean City Beach Patrol Is Officially On Duty For The Summer

Gov. Larry Hogan spoke at a ceremony today kicking off Memorial Day weekend.

“Remember and pray for each and every one of our fallen heroes and their families,” he said.

Also honored were the front-line workers and health care providers that ushered Maryland on its road to recovery.

“It’s because of them that this Memorial Day weekend Ocean City and Maryland is 100 percent fully open for business,” Hogan said.

It’s welcome news to those enjoying their holiday weekend “down the ocean.”

“The beaches, you know, the water, the sand. It’s just a lovely place to be,” one man vacationing said.

READ MORE: Ocean City Officials Ask Visitors To Be Patient As They Continue To Struggle With Staffing Hotels, Restaurants And Attractions

“I like seeing people. I like seeing their faces and their smiles,” a woman vacationing said.

“Yes, I feel normal again. I feel a sense of normalcy,” a second woman vacationing said.

Some caught waves while some caught sun rays.

Steve Pastusak of Jolly Rogers Amusements said with 2020 in the rearview, they are looking forward to the summer that lies ahead.

“Sunshine, blue skies and there’s a lot of people coming to Ocean City,” he said. “We are back at it operating 100 percent. We have no limitations. Governor Hogan took care of us, so we’re ready to go.”

Ocean City also asks you to pack your patience as they are experiencing an employee shortage. They said they want to serve you, they want to serve you well, but it might take a little longer than normal.

 

Sean Streicher