OCEAN CITY, Md. – The Town of Ocean City is getting ready for H2Oi this weekend. The unsanctioned pop-up car rally event brings in car enthusiasts from around the nation, but not without complications.
Ashley Miller and the Ocean City police department are prepared for this year.
Ashley said, “With the upcoming pop-up rally this weekend, we will be having the special event zone in place. Speed limits will be lowered throughout town, we will have increased fines and penalties, an some traffic violations are now arrestable under the new special event zone legislation that was passed earlier this year.”
The event has caused problems in the past. Between property damage and unsafe driving, town officials are advising residents and visitors to be careful in the roads this weekend.
Ocean City Communications Manager Jessica Waters said, “This is not going to be a typical weekend at the beach. My advice to residents is really to try to get out, get your grocery shopping done early, try to hunker in, and do as little traveling as you possibly can throughout the weekend.”
Even with that increased police presence for the event this weekend, there are still some growing concerns, namely, COVID-19. Even outdoor events like H2Oi threaten the spread of the coronavirus. Because of the outdoor nature of things, it’s very difficult to enforce mask wearing and social distancing guidelines.
“We encourage anybody that will be here for the pop up rally to think about that, that we still are in the midst of a pandemic. Think about yourself and others around you as you are gathering around cars to be conscious of social distancing and wearing the masks,” Ashley Miller said.
But for some car enthusiasts, H2Oi is just an event that brings people together and brings business to the ocean town.
Enthusiast Jonathan Moore said, “It’s just like with anything, you’re gonna have good eggs and bad eggs, and I feel like people focus on the inevitable burnouts, speeding tickets, things like that, when they forget that it brings great revenue for the city, and it’s a great event.”
With complications in the past in mind, Ocean City officials are prepared for H2Oi this weekend, and hope for a much safer event going forward.