Memorial Day Weekend kicks off in Ocean City
OCEAN CITY, Md. – Memorial Day weekend officially kicked off Friday. In Ocean City, the next three days normally represent some of the biggest money making days of the year. This year things are different. Restaurants are restricted to carryout and delivery and bars are closed – and the focus is on safety. “We just want people to enjoy themselves and be safe and be courteous of each other and be responsible,” said Mayor Rick Meehan.
Memorial Day weekend is a time that typically turns Ocean City into Maryland’s second largest city. Fager’s Island and Bad Monkey owner John Fager says he and his team have been preparing for weeks. Now, they must face a change in plans. “If we do really well and we’re really busy with the carry out we’ll do maybe between four and five percent of last year’s,” said Fager.
Fager tells 47ABC that they’ve been waiting for a green light to reopen for outdoor service that still hasn’t come. “We’ve been ready for weeks and weeks and we’ve been waiting for weeks for some word from the governor as to what his intentions are and so far we have only silence,” said Fager.
Mayor Rick Meehan says that Ocean City restaurants are missing out in a big way this year. “It’s a little disappointing that we weren’t able to at least move a little bit forward to phase two. We’ve certainly been trying to get permission to do outside dining which I think would really benefit the restaurants,” said Mayor Meehan.
While restaurants may be closed for dine-in service, the boardwalk and beach are still open. Mayor Meehan says he hopes people will follow guidelines to keep themselves and those around them safe. “The same restrictions apply here apply where you reside that apply where you reside were encouraging social distancing recommending people wear masks when possible,” said the mayor.
47ABC did ask the mayor what people should do if they’re in a crowded situation where social distancing isn’t possible. Mayor Meehan says that people should just try to do their best to separate themselves and wear masks. For now, Maryland is still in phase one of reopening. Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan has said in the past that in order to end phase two, the state would need to see a significant decrease in cases.