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Two Philadelphia sports players to highlight Sports Memorabilia Show

OCEAN CITY — Two sports players who helped bring championship rings to Philadelphia will be part of the second annual Sports Memorabilia Show  10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 30 at the Ocean City Music Pier.

Philadelphia Eagles star Darren Sproles and former Phillies slugger Matt Stairs will greet fans and lead Q&A sessions at the show. The show will feature vendors and table sales dedicated to athletes, fans and collectors. It will also open a season of special events in Ocean City that will stretch through the new year.

Sproles is one of the NFL’s career leaders in all-purpose yards. Though he was injured early in the season, he was part of the Eagles’ Super Bowl championship team in the 2017-18 season. Sproles will be available for a meet-and-greet session at 11:45 a.m. Tickets for an autograph (on a photo or self-supplied item) and a selfie photo with the player are on sale for $40.

Stairs helped bring the 2008 World Series title to Philadelphia in 2008. He holds the record for most pinch-hit home runs in Major League Baseball history. A meet-and-greet with Stairs ($20 for autograph and selfie with the player) is scheduled for 2:45 p.m.

A combination package that includes both players is available for $55.

Admission for the show is $7 for adults and $3 for children 12-and-under, with tickets available at the door. To purchase tickets, see oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice, call 609-399-6111 or stop by City Hall or the Roy Gillian Welcome Center.

Vendors interested in participating can call or email Lauren at 609-525-9282 or lsopko@ocnj.us.

OCEAN CITY EVENTS COMING UP

FRANCESCA BANDINO EXHIBIT (throughout March): Francesca Bandino brings her bright and colorful acrylics to the Ocean City Arts Center from March 1 to 30. A Meet the Artist reception, free and open to the public, will be held 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, March 8. Born in Cagliari, Sardinia, a city on a beautiful island in the Mediterranean, Bandino moved to New Jersey as an infant. She uses visible brush strokes and bright colors in her acrylic paintings. She explores different line and color combinations to create unlikely atmospheres for her subject matters.

MARK SOIFER POETRY READING (March 6): Ocean City’s longtime public relations director — the mastermind behind events from Martin Z. Mollusk Day to the Miss Crustacean Pageant — will read poems from his 10th book of verse, “Pair of Dice Lost,” 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, at the Ocean City Library, 1735 Simpson Ave. The book is illustrated by artist Jerome Lukas, who will attend the reading and demonstrate his talents. Admission is free. This event had been scheduled for Feb. 20 but was postponed due to the weather. Some of the poems Soifer will recite during the reading will be expanded and shown on a big screen at the library while he is reciting them.

"FREE WILLY" (March 10): The Ocean City Environmental Commission and Ocean City Free Public Library will present a free movie open to all 2 p.m. Sunday, March 10, at the library’s Chris Maloney Lecture Hall. “Free Willy” tells the story of a boy who risks everything to free a killer whale about to be killed by aquarium owners.

BLONDAGE SINGS IRISH FAVORITES (March 14): The female, and, of course, naturally blond trio Blondage will perform a free St. Patrick’s Day concert at the Ocean City Arts Center 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 14. The group consists of lead singer Linda Moore, guitarist and mandolinist Susan Salmon and Susan Davenport on violin and fiddle. The band sings everything from Irish music to rock to country. No reservations are necessary. Donations to the Arts Center are appreciated.

SPRING BOOK SALE (March 22-23): The Friends and Volunteers of the Ocean City Free Public Library will hold their two-day Spring Book Sale 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, March 22, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 23. The sale will be held in the atrium of the Ocean City Free Public Library, 1735 Simpson Ave., and feature specially-priced fiction and nonfiction books, DVDs, children’s books and more.

GIRLS WEEKEND (April 5 to 7): A Friday evening fashion show kicks off a weekend of shopping and dining specials, accommodation packages, wellness classes and more. The event showcases Ocean City’s downtown shopping district on Asbury Avenue between Sixth Street and 14th Street. More information on the event and special packages is available on the event blog and Facebook.

OC-CON COMIC BOOK AND MEMORABILIA FESTIVAL (April 6 to 7): Ocean City’s tribute to comics and memorabilia returns to the Music Pier.

DOO DAH PARADE (April 13): “I Dream of Jeannie” star Barbara Eden will lead this year’s parade as grand marshal. Individuals, groups, businesses and any other comic entries are invited to participate in the parade by signing up at www.ocnj.us/Doo-Dah-Parade.

MR. MATURE AMERICA PAGEANT (April 13): The pageant is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, April 13, on the Ocean City Music Pier. The event is the first and only pageant of its kind in the United States. The pageant includes competition in talent, judge’s interview, poise and appearance, and on-stage question. Registration is open for any contestant 55 or older who would like to participate. See www.ocnj.us/mrmature for more information and to sign up as a contestant.

THE GREAT EGG HUNT (April 13 and April 20): Two massive egg hunts on the beach for children up to 7 years old. The free events start at 2:30 p.m. and feature areas divided by age group and for children with special needs.

EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE (April 21): A traditional nondenominational service by the sea. All are welcome. The service starts at 6:30 a.m. at the Ocean City Music Pier.

DUELING PIANOS SHOW (April 21): The Philly Keys will perform their hit dueling pianos show starting at noon. The performers will take a break for the annual Easter Fashion Promenade.

EASTER FASHION PROMENADE (April 21): Families are invited to come dressed in their Easter best to stroll in the Fashion Promenade and meet the Easter bunny. Judging begins at 1 p.m. on the Boardwalk at the Ocean City Music Pier. Prizes awarded for Best Dressed Children, Teen, Adults and Family.

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