By MICHAEL PRITCHARD
After two years of COVID-19, the “girls” of Ocean City have felt, well, a little locked up.
But things changed in a big way on Friday night, when the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce sponsored the annual girls’ weekend celebration – which just happened to coincide with April Fool’s Day – as well as the fifth parade of annual fashion.
The show features the spring and fall lineups of downtown Ocean City clothing stores.
“We call it the fifth annual parade, but we haven’t been able to hold it for the past two years due to the pandemic,” said Michele Gillian, executive director of the House. “It is the start of events throughout the weekend and features stores such as Ta-Dah, Sun Seekers, Bella and others. We have events scheduled for the entire weekend. Fun things like learning yoga and things just for fun, highlighting our local businesses.
For the show, however, that meant a group of locals, models, beauty queens and girls who just wanted to have some fun could stroll the runway – OK, the Ocean City Yacht Club dance floor – wearing some of the latest fashion dresses. The idea is to attract women who shop in the shops in the city center.
“It was really cool,” said Liz Katz, who modeled Parrot’s Cruise Control Gear sportswear with her 4-year-old daughter Ava. “Just to see everyone smile again and have fun. It is exciting to be able to reunite all of us together ”.
While the event is a lot of fun, it’s also a big weekend for Ocean City’s shopping district.
“This is our start to the season,” said Danielle Guerriero, owner of Ta-Dah and president of the Downtown Merchants Association in Ocean City. “This is the time when we introduce our new lines and show our local stores. It’s just a great way to start the season. “
Although the fashion show has been sidelined as the traditional glitzy event of the past couple of years, Ocean City store owners have found a way to keep the tradition alive even during closures due to COVID-19.
“The first year many of us went virtual and did the show online,” said Guerriero. “Last year the models walked down the boulevard. It’s an important and fun tradition and we just wanted to continue. But having everyone here again is wonderful ”.
With the Ocean City Yacht Club creating a Riviera vibe, a sizable crowd could see a myriad of fashion choices, from swimwear and beachwear to casual and evening wear. This was topped off with gift bags and ground prizes from Ocean City’s best shops.
In fact, there were even royalty on hand in the host of the event, Miss New Jersey 2021 Alyssa Sullivan.
“I am a life resident of Cape May Court House,” Sullivan said. “So, for me, it’s really cool to be with the women of Ocean City. It is an exciting event and it really highlights all the wonderful options that are here. We have a great audience and a great line-up and it’s a lot of fun ”.
And while fashion took center stage on Friday night, events will be held throughout the weekend, so if you’re looking to get out of quarantine and wear some style, downtown Ocean City has your number, and so funny.
“Look at all the smiles in this room,” Katz said. “It’s so good to see him again.”