The Spectacular Sights and Sounds of a Crowded Boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ, on New Year’s Day
When you can start a new year at the Jersey Shore by taking advantage of 60° weather on the boardwalk, you go for it.
That's exactly what I did Sunday in Ocean City -- and I was far from the only person.
Around lunchtime Sunday, there was hardly a cloud in the sky, there was just a slight breeze, and the sun felt quite warm. Warm enough, if fact, that more than a few people were wearing shorts.
January 1st in Ocean City felt a lot like a weekend in early May.
The boardwalk was packed. The lines in front of Mack & Man-- er, Manco & Manco and Curly's Fries impeded the flow of those walking (that's not a bad thing), and the smell of pizza was wafting in the air (that's not a bad thing, either). It was glorious, especially for early January.
Keep in mind, Ocean City got 14" of snow on January 3rd of last year and just last week it was 8°.
Lots of people were riding bikes and lots of people were walking dogs. No one seemed to mind, not even the officers with the Ocean City Police Department who were keeping an eye on things.
The only things that seemed to be missing were the screams of people on the rollercoasters at Playland and the screams of seagulls stealing french fries from unsuspecting 9-year-olds.
Ocean City does a tremendous job planning activities all year long. Sunday featured a 5K race and an ocean plunge.
Of course, those two events brought a lot of people to town.
Watching the hundreds of runners was fun -- but even better was seeing that many more people cheering on the participants.
Blocks and blocks of people clapping and supporting those beating the boards with their sneakers.
And that was another thing that struck me -- if you have never heard what it sounds like to hear hundreds of people running on a boardwalk at the same time, it is so cool to hear. What a unique sound.
Meanwhile, the ocean seemed just as busy as the boardwalk. Surfers were everywhere.
The ocean water, in case you are wondering, is about 42°. The surfers didn't mind, nor did the plungers.
It was a spectacular way to start 2023!