By Cindy Hoffman, Staff Writer
(May 25, 2023) Memorial Day weekend is the start of the summer beach season, but it is also a time for honoring American veterans who gave their lives in service to this country.
Several Memorial Day activities are scheduled around the county, ranging from ceremonies to parades.
Here are some of the events planned for this weekend.
Monday, May 29, 11 a.m. to noon, the largest Memorial Day ceremony in the region returns to the Worcester County Veterans Memorial in Ocean Pines.
The event draws thousands of people to the memorial grounds and features music, demonstrations, and public speakers honoring U.S. military men and women.
“Memorial Day honors all who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our county,” Veterans Memorial Foundation President Marie Gilmore said. “This year’s ceremony, as those before it, will honor the brave men and women who served our country and lost their lives in doing so.”
The keynote speaker this year will be Maj. Al Soto (USMC retired).
The ceremony will also honor local Gold Star families. During World War I, families would fly flags or banners with a blue star for every immediate family member serving in combat. If one of them died, a gold star replaced the blue star.
Walter Webster, a member of the Maryland East Chapter of Ex-POWs, will place a wreath in honor of all current and former prisoners of war.
The program will also include patriotic music performed by Randy Lee Ashcraft, The Delmarva Chorus, and Glen Mohr with the St. Luke’s Contemporary Choir.
Public parking will be available at Veterans Memorial Park on Route 589 and Cathell Road in Ocean Pines. Limited seating will be available during the Memorial Day ceremony and guests are encouraged to bring chairs. No seating will be supplied for the special dedication ceremony.
In case of inclement weather, the Memorial Day ceremony will move to the Ocean Pines Community Center and be announced on the www.oceanpines.org and www.opvets.org websites and on social media.
For more information on the Worcester County Veterans Memorial Foundation, visit www.opvets.org or www.facebook.com/WorcesterCountyVeteransMemorial.
Monday, May 29 at 8 a.m.
The U.S. Coast Guard will be dropping a wreath in the ocean to the sound of Taps at the former Dunes Manor Hotel, now Hilton Garden Inn on 28th Street. The wreath honors the service men and women who lost their lives at sea.
Monday, May 29 at 1 p.m. The American Legion (2308 Philadelphia Avenue) will honor veterans with guest speakers, including members of the community who have had family members and friends who have died in the war or since passed away. A special commemoration will occur for those still missing in action.
Monday, May 29 at 8 a.m.
“Celebrating the Past and Embracing the Future” is this year’s Memorial Day Parade theme.
Duncan Showell Post 231 Color Guard will salute departed veterans at local cemeteries starting at 8 a.m.
A parade starting at Stephen Decatur Middle School and ending at Henry Park will begin at 11 a.m.
Food and craft vendors, live music, activities for children, and dance performances are scheduled at Henry Park.
For more information or to participate, contact DJ Lockwood at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-497-3242.
The Berlin Community Improvement Association hosts this event.
On Monday, May 29 at 2 p.m., the Hubert V. Simmons Negro League Baseball Museum Senior Men’s Softball team will play the Worcester County NAACP in an Old Timers Softball Doubleheader game.
On Friday, May 26 from 5-8 p.m., downtown Pocomoke will celebrate Memorial Day Weekend with the 4th Friday Street Festival.
A Memorial Day fireworks display will take place at dark over the Pocomoke River, sponsored by the Downtown Pocomoke Association, City of Pocomoke, and Simply Sublime Massage and Bodywork.
Fourth Fridays take place within the two blocks of Market Street between Front Street and Second Street for a block party-style event.
Local artists and vendors will fill the sidewalks of Market Street to sell their work, including paintings, photography, jewelry, bath and body products, home decor, fashion, plants, and much more.
This is a family-friendly event with multiple children’s activities, including a bounce house, crafts, sidewalk chalk, street games, and more. Live music will be provided by the Laidbaxx.
Participating downtown businesses will stay open late during event hours and local restaurants will offer food specials. A cash bar will be open for the adults to purchase beer and wine.
In the event of rain, the street festival will be canceled and will resume on the fourth Friday of the following month.
For more information, visit the “Downtown Pocomoke Association” Facebook page, www.downtownpocomoke.com or call Pocomoke City Hall at 410-957-1333 ext. 111.
On Sunday, May 28 at 2:05 p.m. the Delmarva Shorebirds play the Lynchburg Hillcats at Purdue Stadium. The Worcester County NAACP branch will honor several past players of Negro Baseball League teams on the Eastern Shore at this game.
In attendance will be former Indianapolis Clowns Pitcher Pedro Sierra, former Kansas City Monarchs outfielder Sam Allen and Negro Baseball Goodwill Ambassador Rayner Banks will have his Negro League Baseball exhibit on display. Negro Baseball League merchandise also will be available. This event is sponsored by McDonalds and Delmarva Shorebirds.