Summer Schedules Taking Shape

🎡 Ocean City, NJ's only weekly newsletter

Playland’s rebuild, photo taken last summer

Days like today might not remind you of summer. But the summer activity schedule in Ocean City is taking shape, we have a Playland’s update, Manco heading to Clearwater, and so much more.

In the email today:

📆 Upcoming Events in (and around) Ocean City

Saturday and Sunday, March 9 - 10

  • 🛍️ Market Madness | Shopping at the Music Pier | Details and times here

Saturday March 23 and 30

  • 🥚 Great Egg Hunt | Easter egg hunt along the Boardwalk | 1:00 p.m to 3:00 p.m.

You can see the full list of events in all nearby Shore towns with the following links: Ocean City | Sea Isle | Margate | Avalon | Stone Harbor | Somers Point | Wildwood | Cape May | Ventnor

Also note the Ocean City Library has many events for adults and kids alike on their calendar, which can be viewed here.

🎢 Playland’s Castaway Cove Reopening Timeline Update

I spoke to Playland’s VP Brian Hartley this week and asked him for an update on the reopening timeline of their arcade and proposed rooftop roller coaster, which we first told you about last year.

The Arcade: The optimistic goal is for an August reopening. Playland’s has plumbing and HVAC in place, but finding a contractor to handle the electrical has been a problem. It’s a big job and Playland’s is looking farther inland for someone willing to tackle it. As such, reopening has been delayed.

The Coaster: Not great! The arcade needs to be done first, and then proposals and contracts for the coaster on top of it need to come in. There is a bit of a back up in the coaster manufacturing space, apparently, so this might still be a few years out.

The amusement park itself has of course reopened and is accessible through a separate entrance.

A correction: Last week on our Instagram page we posted about $15 tickets for Playland’s on May 4. That was a mistake. While there are $15 tickets available for that day, they must be purchased in advance and only through specific local groups that have them available. Our apologies.

🤾 Summer Activity Schedules Are Taking Shape

One of my favorite times of the year is sitting down at my home in PA on a cool spring morning and MASHING THE REGISTER BUTTON ON THE GLITCHY OCNJ REC DESK SITE in a panicked state to lock in summer camp and activity reservations for me and my kids.

It’s a tradition unlike any other.

But for real, it’s always a sign that spring has sprung and summer is on the way… if the website will just take my damn credit card!

Anyway, the summer activity schedule is taking shape in Ocean City.

  • OCNJ Rec Desk: A list of activities and events has been posted here. Registration for most of them will begin at 9 a.m. on May 1, which is a Wednesday and not at all inconvenient for those of who work. I would recommend checking the details for the specific activity you want to enroll in, just in case they do things differently.

  • Greater Ocean City Theater Company: Spring and summer camps are open for registration. It looks like the 2-week camp for Pirates! The Musical already has a waitlist. Argh! You can view camps and register here.

If you plan on signing up, just know I’ll be armed with a battle station of 7 computer monitors, 4 credit cards, and a small team of migrant children furiously hitting refresh on the rec desk website at 9 a.m. on May 1. May the odds be ever in your favor!

🍕 Manco and Manco Recreates Ocean City Water for Dough in Clearwater

First Mike Fitzick (Express Pizza) smuggled Italian yeast into the country. Now Chuck Bangle is recreating Ocean City municipal water.

Manco and Manco expanded to its third state this winter when it opened a location at BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater, Florida— the Phillies’ spring training stadium.

Manco’s is of course also at Citizens Bank Park.

But Phillies beat reporter Todd Zolecki was wondering how important the Ocean City water is to the dough, and if Bangle was able to replicate it in Clearwater.

The answer is yep!

Bangle told Zolecki that he uses an undisclosed facility - which replicates Ocean City water - to make the dough, and then ships it to Florida:


“We went to great lengths,” Bangle said. “We tested our water, our products, for five years before we even wanted to do CBP. We knew we were not only going to go to Citizens Bank Park, but we were going to franchise. The reason we went to Citizens Bank Park was to get validation from our product. And right away, when the gate went up, and they saw the white shirt and the sauce pump hose and the big oven and then they tasted the pizza, they said, 'Yeah, the real Manco’s has landed in Philly.'” 

Bangle said Manco’s pizza dough gets to Clearwater from the undisclosed facility via a refrigerated truck. 

“Our third state. Forty-seven to go, plus the District of Columbia,” Bangle said.

Fun fact: Ray Kroc discovered that McDonald’s original fries were so good because the potatoes cured in chicken wire bins in the dry desert heat… so he figured out a way to replicate the process to scale his fast food empire. Basically what Bangle is doing here… or some dough manufacturer is just using ocean water and fooling everyone.

🥍 Turf Field Renovation at Shelter Road Completed

Mayor Gillian announced that the new cork-filled turf field, which will be used for lacrosse, soccer, and field hockey, has been completed at the Tennessee Ave. Sports Complex. The Nor’Easters will also use the field for practice.

Cork-filled fields supposedly don’t use as many of the “forever chemicals” that are used in rubber fields— the latter of which were the focus of a recent Inquirer article about the safety of synthetic turf. However, cork-filled fields likely still feature synthetic grass blades that contain potentially dangerous chemicals.

Cities, towns, and organizations that use synthetic turf laud them for their low-cost maintenance and durability, which were some of the benefits cited by Ocean City officials when they decided to install the field.

🍬 The Candy Store Arms Race Heats Up

A few weeks ago we told you about Douglass Candies joining the other 962,486 Ocean City candy stores.

It turns out, we have room for one more.

The Dabek Family announced on Facebook that it is opening a Kilwins Chocolate franchise at 736 Wesley Ave. this summer and it will be open year-round.

Per the post: Kilwins, also known as Kilwins Chocolates, is an American company specializing in confectioneries such as candy, ice cream, and fudge and started in 1947. There are 160 Franchise Store across 26 states. Kilwins is one of 10 companies that make their own chocolate. Over 50% of the chocolate products are made fresh in the Stores. The other chocolates products are handcraft crafted at the Kilwins facility in Petosky Michigan. They also make Premium Ice Cream which is the best!

Yeah, but do they use Ocean City water smuggled from a chocolatier in Italy who aged his ganache in chicken wire in the California desert? Or maybe I’m just mixing franchise lore.

🐟 Vote on Flounder Sizes

I don’t fish, but I asked our resident fisherman to explain:

“NJ is trying to get the fluke (flounder) regulations right. With changes to the keeper limit in 2023 we again have changes approaching in 2024. There are 6 options to vote on for fishermen. The voting will be held this month and depending on what happens with the vote the quota for both recreational fisherman and commercial fisherman can change. Some options shorten the season quite a bit which could hurt the commercial fisherman and possibly availability of this fish in local fish markets.”

The comment period runs through March 7. You can give your input on the size restrictions here.

🏠 Real Estate Update

⭐️ Featured Rental

4150 Asbury Ave (2nd Floor) | 3 🛏️ 2 🛁 

Reader Kim sent us her listing at 4150 Asbury, which, as of sending this, still has weeks remaining in June, July, and August.

Property description:

Beautiful 3 bedroom 2 bath vacation home in a great location for your family to come and enjoy the beaches in Ocean City.  Sit up on the roof top deck to watch the sunset while relaxing after a day of sun and fun.  You can take a short walk to get some ice cream or go have breakfast or lunch.  You will be sure to make some great memories with your family at the Jersey shore.


Want to rent this place? You can email Kevin from Berger Realty by clicking this button:

Full contact details:

Kevin Laskowski
Berger Realty

1670 Boardwalk
Ocean City, NJ, 08226
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 888-579-0095x312
Cell: 267-432-1248

If you are a homeowner or an agent and want to show off your available sale or rental in this space, just reply to this email and I’ll get right back to you. It is $250 to feature your property in front of nearly 10k highly-engaged Walking The Boards subscribers.

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