Water world: Boat show returns to resort

Published online: Feb 11, 2009 News Charlene Polk
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OCEAN CITY -- Boaters who want to take a break from February's chilly temperatures but can't take their minds off the water may want to stop by the 26th Annual Seaside Boat Show.

The boat show, organized by the Berlin-Ocean City Optimist Club, will be held in the Roland E. Powell Convention Center Feb. 13-15.

"It's the largest boat show on Delmarva," said Charlie Smith of the Optimist Club. "Even with the expanded convention center we sell out every vendor space."

More than 140 exhibitors will have their wares on display, at least 25 of whom will be boat dealers, Smith said, so attendees are sure to find what they are looking for.

"Everything related to being around the water will be there," he said.

And at this boat show, even those who aren't in the market for a boat will have the chance to win one, as once again North Bay Marina has donated a pontoon boat and motor as the show's door prize.

"Everybody that pays gets to throw in a ticket," Smith said.

Those who attend the boat show will also have the opportunity to buy tickets for the Optimist Club's cash lotto, the proceeds of which fund scholarships offered to high school seniors every year. In the last 20 years, the club has awarded $1.2 million in college scholarships to local students.

While the lotto is the source of money for the scholarships, the boat show itself is the Optimist Club's biggest fundraiser of the year, as it attracts numerous vendors and buyers while it is staffed by close to 90 Optimists. The club uses the money it raises to sponsor the local WeXL banquet for students, softball teams in Ocean City and Ocean Pines, Junior Achievement and CASA among other things.

"We're fortunate the city has let us keep the boat show," Smith said. "There are people who would love to have it."

cpolk@dmg.gannett.com410-213-9442, ext. 19

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