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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day ceremonies and other upcoming Ocean City events


The Rev. Gregory Johnson of Shiloh Baptist Church will bring back one of the traditional highlights of the city's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day events — his recitation of King’s "I Have a Dream" speech.  

Ocean City will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at two events Monday, Jan. 21: the Day of Service and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ceremony and Soul Food Dinner. 

The ceremony, a long tradition in Ocean City, moves this year from its customary date on the Saturday before to the Monday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It will be held at noon at the Hughes Performing Arts Center of Ocean City High School.  

The ceremony brings the community together to remember King through words, song and dance. After the program, everyone is invited to a free soul food dinner in the high school cafeteria. The Rev. Gregory Johnson of Shiloh Baptist Church will bring back one of the event’s traditional highlights — his recitation of King’s "I Have a Dream" speech.  

The Rev. Marcia Sanford of Macedonia Methodist Church and the Rev. Stephen Connor of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church will give scripture readings. Ocean City resident Sally Onesty will be honored with the Martin Luther King Award for her support of individuals and families battling the effects of addiction. Students from grades seven and eight at the Ocean City Intermediate School will be honored for their winning essays.  

Volunteers are invited to join others nationwide in a Day of Service earlier Jan. 21 to honor King’s contributions. Citizens are asked to participate in a citywide cleanup from 9 a.m. to noon. Sign-up and supply distribution will take place at the Howard S. Stainton Senior Center in the Community Center, 17th Street and Simpson Avenue. Hot drinks and refreshments will be available at the Senior Center after the cleanup. To participate or for more information, call 609-399-6111. 

Allman Betts Band joins 2019 summer concert series

The Allman Betts Band will join the lineup for the 26th annual Summer Concert Series at the Ocean City Music Pier with a performance 7 p.m. Monday, July 8. The newly formed band features the sons of legendary Allman Brothers Band members Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts. 

Devon Allman and Duane Betts are recording an album and launching a worldwide tour for 2019. The tour will include new music, songs from solo projects and classic Allman Brothers tunes in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Allman Brothers Band. Berry Oakley Jr. (son of original Allman Brothers Band bassist Berry Oakley) is also part of the band, and the concert will feature a special guest still to be announced. 

Tickets for the show will go on sale Friday, Jan. 11. A pre-sale is 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10 (use code BRE). For more information and ticket links, see

The lineup for the rest of the Summer Concert Series at the Ocean City Music Pier is already taking shape. The series brings a wide variety of contemporary performers to the stage in Ocean City with most concerts on Monday nights. Tickets are on sale for the following:  

• BUDDY GUY: Legendary blues guitarist and singer. 7 p.m. Monday, June 24

• HAPPY TOGETHER 2019: 10-Year Anniversary Tour starring The Turtles, Chuck Negron (formerly of Three Dog Night), Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, The Buckinghams, The Classics IV and The Cowsills. 7 p.m. Sunday, June 30

• BOZ SCAGGS: Out of The Blues Tour 2019. 7 p.m. Monday, July 1

• KILLER QUEEN: The Premier Tribute to Queen. 7 p.m. Monday, July 15

Mr. Mature America Pageant seeks contestants

Registration is now open for contestants in the Mr. Mature America Pageant on April 13.

Mr. Mature celebrates the achievements of men 55 years and older. The pageant, now in its sixth year, mixes talent, good looks and self-deprecating humor. The Ocean City Music Pier crowd is raucous and appreciative as the contestants ham it up on stage, competing in talent, poise and interview segments.

If you have what it takes to be the world’s next Mr. Mature (or if you can talk somebody into it), complete the online entry form available at or call Michael Hartman at 609-525-9284 for more information. Deadline for sign-ups is March 15.

 The event is the first and only pageant of its kind in the United States. The Mr. Mature Pageant takes place the evening of the Doo Dah Parade on April 13 to cap off a day filled with humor and nostalgia. 

Registration also is open for any individuals, groups or businesses who want to participate in the Doo Dah Parade at noon that day. Joining the parade is a great way to bring awareness to your business or cause before the summer season. Sign up at

The Doo Dah Parade was first held in Ocean City in 1986 as an event to herald the end of income tax season. It featured unusual entries like beach chair drill teams and fan clubs of legendary comedians. The parade begins on Asbury Avenue at Sixth Street, proceeds to 12th Street and turns east to the Boardwalk. This year it will pass the Ocean City Music Pier and finish on the Boardwalk at Sixth Street. For more than a decade, the parade has been anchored by a legion of dogs from the Basset Hound Rescue League.

Editorial Administrative Assistant

Started working with the Press in the Circulation Department in 2006 and moved to Editorial in 2008. Previously worked in Circulation and Advertising at the Asbury Park Press.

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