Business Plunge

Business people are led by Ocean City public relations officer Mark Soifer (left) into the ocean. Ocean City kicked off the summer season with it's annual business person plunge, held at the Moorlyn Avenue Beach, Friday May 23, 2008. People in suits and costumes, walk into the ocean to celebrate Memorial Day and the opening of beaches in Ocean City. (Press of Atlantic City Photo/Dale Gerhard)

Dale Gerhard

Ocean City is just one of many towns that starts summer off with an official ceremony to "unlock" the ocean. But Ocean City is about the only place around that follows that shtick up by having hundreds of business-suited people head into that unlocked ocean for a late May dip.

The city's traditional unlocking act is set for Friday beside the Ocean City Music Pier, and this year's Business Persons Plunge will feature the last official plunge by a local celebrity, Mark Soifer, the town's longtime public-relations maven.

Soifer is retiring this year at 84, after more than 45 years of inventing events to generate publicity for America's Greatest Family Resort -- including the Business Person's Plunge. He said Thursday that he will go into the ocean for this last time, wearing his official Trash Buster's superhero costume. That get-up mainly involves a large trash can, and is a way for Soifer and the city to promote recycling by visitors and residents.

The ocean-unlocking ceremony is scheduled to start noon Friday on the beach at Moorlyn Terrace, and the Business Persons Plunge follows that and other Soifer-started rituals, including a performance of "Pomp and Circumstance" by the Ocean City High School marching band.

For more details, call 609-399-6111.

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