By Jennifer Sabini Evans
The flagship event supporting crafts and makers is back for its 31st year! Springfest will return to the Ocean City, MD Inlet, May 5 to May 8. This four-day celebration is spectacular and widely anticipated by visitors and residents alike. This year, enjoy musical performances by Starship by Mickey Thomas, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, Romeo Delight, the Ultimate Van Halen Experience and many more. Full of food, art and great entertainment, it is a must-have experience when visiting Ocean City in the springtime.
Here are some one-of-a-kind items and things to watch out for as we get ready for Springfest 2022.
1. Starship featuring Mickey Thomas
Headliner - Ticketed Event, Saturday May 7 at 8PM
Mickey Thomas is the owner of the soaring voice that propelled Starship through the decade of the 80’s. With his soulful and compelling vocals, Mickey has established himself as one of Rock Music’s most recognizable stars.
Mickey made his mark in 1976 as lead vocalist on the mega-hit “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” with The Elvin Bishop Band. In 1979, Mickey’s joined Jefferson Starship as lead vocalist, after the departure of Grace Slick and Marty Balin.
Hits with Jefferson Starship, while Mickey Thomas was lead on vocals, included "Jane", "No Way Out", "Find Your Way Back", "Stranger", and "Layin' It on the Line".
The group was renamed Starship in 1985 and continued to record an amazing string of hits including "We Built This City", "Sara", an Oscar Nomination for the #1 hit "Nothing Gonna Stop Us Now", from the film Mannequin, and “It’s Not Over Til It’s Over” which became Major League Baseball’s theme in 1987.
Mickey’s stellar voice and video charisma on Starship’s video classics such as “We Built This City” and “Sara” became staples on MTV and VH1. Mickey Thomas now performs with Starship featuring Mickey Thomas. Material covered in Starship featuring Mickey Thomas's live performance ranges from Mickey’s tenure with The Elvin Bishop Band, Jefferson Starship and Starship, as well as songs from his two solo albums and more!
2. Beach Memories - Local Artesian Jewelry
Michele is a glass artist who has been refining her craft for over 20 years. At an art show in Ocean City many years ago, Michele was asked if she could incorporate sand from the beach into her glass beads? It took many attempts to find a balance between glass, sand, and heat, but ultimately Beach Memories®, jewelry inspired by our nation's coastal regions, was born.
3. Beach Tennis Tournament
The most electrifying new sport to hit the United States is coming to Springfest this year! Beach tennis is like beach volleyball, tennis, and badminton blended into one. This vibrant, engaging and fast-paced sport is played using Beach Tennis paddles and a low compression Stage 2 ‘orange’ tennis ball, on sand courts measuring 16x8 meters and a net 1.7 meters high. Register in the first Ocean City, MD ITF Beach Tennis Tournament, or spectate from the sidelines with family and friends.
Anyone interested in trying beach tennis can use the designated courts during the tournament. Clinics will also be held through the weekend. Equipment to play will be provided. Clinics are held Thursday at 11am and 2pm, Friday through Sunday 10am and 2pm.
4. Jimmy Charles
Indoor Stage - Friday May 6, at 4PM
The country music star and philanthropist Jimmy Charles creates music that matters. An Ocean City, Maryland, native, Jimmy moved to Nashville in 2008 and quickly became an active and viable member of the singer/songwriter and performing community. He's since played in every Nashville honky tonk, and shared stages with Travis Tritt, Josh Turner, Lady A, Montgomery Gentry, Merle Haggard and others.
He penned “Superman” alongside singer/songwriter, Goose Gossett, and cancer survivor, Phil Shulka which is a composition dedicated to cancer survivors. The original became the mantra song for Zero the End of Prostate Cancer. Now, as national spokesman for the nonprofit, Jimmy travels the country to perform at various Zero Run/Walks to raise consciousness surrounding men’s prostate cancer.
In 2020 Jimmy won Nashville Industry Music Awards “Song of the Year” for "Never Had a Bad day” and "Male Country Artist of the Year". Jimmy Charles is without a doubt a person with "heart," poised to make a difference in the country music sector and dedicated to making a difference in our lives.
5. Gosia's Pierogies
Food Vendor - Deaf-Owned Business
Gosia's Pierogies has been a family-run, Deaf-run business that began in their small family kitchen in Pennsylvania in 2001. Run by Jan and Terry Rawecki, Gosia's Pierogies are made from a secret family recipe that was handed down from Terry’s grandmother in Poland. Gosia's Pierogies are homemade, hand-pinched and made of the freshest ingredients. Even their potatoes are peeled by hand! Once you taste them, you will fall in love!
6. Copper Creations
Donna and Don Drew create copper sculpture and garden art in their studio in Melfa, Virginia. In most of their works, beach and water themes are predominant, such as verdigris scenes depicting cranes and reeds standing in water, blue crabs clinging to wall surfaces and herons watching over outdoor gardens.
7. Charlies Bull on the Run
The Suit family has participated in Springfest for over 30 years serving their famous Roast Beef, Crab Cakes, BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches, Crab Fluff, Shrimp and Jumbo Baked Potatoes. When not at Charlies Bull on the Run, Mike Suit works for The Town of Ocean City’s Emergency Services Department.
8. Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
Headliner - Ticketed Event, Friday May 6 at 8PM
Drawing influence from Tom Petty and Bob Dylan, Drew Holcomb has found his place in today’s landscape of singer/songwriter Americana. He and his band have developed their sound through extensive touring, performing alongside Amos Lee, Willie Nelson, John Hiatt, NEEDTOBREATHE, Don Henley, and more.
The band has sold over 150,000 albums to date and played over 2,000 concert dates in 7 countries. Their songs have received over 60 TV placements, appearing on How I Met Your Mother, Criminal Minds, Parenthood, Nashville, HOUSE, Justified and more.
9. Official Event Merchandise
While at Springfest, be sure to visit the Official Event Merchandise Tent located just inside the Main Entrance. Don’t forget your official Springfest tee! Youth and adult sizes through 4XL are available.
Here is an insight into this year's design from Keri Lombardo, local artist. “Originally from Baltimore, I am currently based on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I have been displaying my artistic skills for the past several years as a graphic designer, painter, and street artist. Much of my art is influenced by bright color and this year’s Springfest design is no exception. With this event taking place so close to the beach, I wanted to incorporate that aspect but also integrate spring time elements and the iconic pendant flags that can be seen throughout the event. As a local artist, I’m so fortunate to have the opportunity to work on this design and always have fun coming up with a new look.”
10. Ocean City Public Transportation
Due to limited parking in the downtown area and no parking in the Inlet lot throughout the event, the Town of Ocean City will provide Springfest transportation. The Coastal Highway Beach Bus will be operating for only $3 all day boarding. Take advantage of the town’s park and ride location on Route 50 in West Ocean City. Park your car for free and ride the shuttle to Springfest for $3 all day boarding. For more information about transportation, call 410-723-7606.