As the summer vacation season winds down, the Jeep community converges each year on a bustling tourist destination on the Eastern Seaboard. The town is Ocean City, located in Maryland along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, and Ocean City Jeep Week is one of the region’s most popular enthusiast events. The 2017 event, held August 24–27, was no exception.
One might find it hard to get any work done with all the distractions Ocean City has to offer. You could spend a day lying on the beach or rent a bicycle for a mid-afternoon cruise up the famous boardwalk. There are dozens of eateries and bars serving up deliciousness and their own signature libations. The town has go-karting, mini-amusement parks and arcades for the kids. That’s exactly why the Ocean City Jeep Week event is here. The Jeep community has always been family-friendly—load up the rig and go wheeling with your friends and loved ones.
Ocean City Jeep Week started with an idea to help fill some local hotels. Founder Brad Hoffman, whose brain fires on all cylinders 24 hours a day, created an event for everyone to enjoy. It kicks off with a vendor show and registration. People walk around, talk to parts manufacturers, and even have parts installed on their Jeeps onsite. Any Jeeper knows there is always something new and cool that they must install on their vehicle. There is a show-and-shine featuring the craziest, wildest, and most detailed builds.
Then there are the parties.
Every night the Jeep community comes together to meet and mingle. The party kicked off this year at the famous FishTales. Free food and drink specials were available to the participants. One of the more special events that takes place every morning and has a waiting list longer than the list of participants is the beach crawl. Capped at 250 Jeeps each morning, participants are allowed to literally cruise their Jeeps on the sand down the beach.
Off-road enthusiasts enjoy the Jeep Jam that takes place in Berlin, just 20 minutes west of Ocean City. There is no shortage of obstacle courses for Jeepers to flex their axles, bend their suspension, and test their skill level. For those who really want to get dirty, the course features a 6-foot deep mud pit that swallows most Jeeps. A King of the Pit competition is held there with crowds lined up as far as the eye can see.
With plenty of family-friendly fun, Ocean City Jeep Week 2017 had no shortage of good times, good weather, and entertainment. But before the post-event blues set in, don’t worry: Brad Hoffman is already planning next year.