Ocean City, MD Mayor Rick Meehan issued a statement saying he’ll work hard to make sure H2OI 2020 does NOT happen in his town.

Editors note (Sept 27,2020:) This was posted last year on Sept 29,2019! I am getting a lot of new visitors to this blog post and I hope you don’t assume this was posted in 2020.

Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan watched first hand, again, as his beloved Oceanside town suddenly grew to unprecedented numbers thanks to hundreds of thousands of car enthusiasts coming in for the unofficial H2OI 2019 gathering.

In a statement issued on Facebook earlier this morning (Sept. 29, 2019) Mayor Rick Meehan first thanked his local police force for doing everything in their power to keep law and order then outlined a tentative plan to effectively stop H2OI 2020 from happening.

Read his statement below, you’ll have to “click more” to see the entire statement.

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that, from thousands of miles away I’ve blogged about a handful of the most important events of H2Oi 2019, often involving police.

Compared to last year’s event coverage, this year’s H2OI 2019 festivities took it up a notch.

All relevant statistics pertaining to this weekend will presumably go up and estimates for how many people arrived, how many arrests OCPD made, the amount of tickets doled out etc. will surpass 2018.

It’s a trend that, if not unchecked, will grow even more in 2020.

But, as a car enthusiast, the Mayor’s statement is an overreaction that sheds a negative light on the car enthusiasts in general.

Looking at preliminary estimates of injuries suffered by OCPD officers, according to Delmarvanow.com,

“At least one officer was struck by a rock,” Miller (OCPD Spokesman) wrote in an email. “One crowd member jumped on an OCPD vehicle.”

There were no injuries to officers, she added. 

That sounds like an uneventful weekend in Oakland too me.

Overworked and stretched to thin, sure. But to call car enthusiasts coming this weekend hellbent on just destruction is an overstatement.

Attendees suffered most of the injuries.

Although no local news is reporting significant property damage, I’m sure dozens of Ocean City properties from as small as a fire hydrant to private properties in hotels suffered damage consistent with a sudden influx of people in an otherwise quiet beach town.

I’ve seen at least one video of someone popping open a fire hydrant on an Ocean City street.

Taking a bird’s-eye view, Ocean City is, for most of the year, uneventful with a smattering of artsy beach events, that one classic car show that comes into town, and a handful of wine tastings.

The town only has 7,000+ people when nothing’s happening.

H2OI is a statistical anomaly that throws off the balance of the town, this year’s H2OI being a highlight.

To hint that H2OI 2020 will not happen is probably not a healthy response.

The unsilent majority, business owners in the area, local towing companies, and everyone that enjoys a cash injection thanks to all the ticketing that went on for over 72 hours, won’t be vocal against their mayor but probably won’t support measures to close the town down for one weekend.

I’d bet this weekend probably just put a couple business owner’s kids through four years at Cornell.

Declaring a State of Emergency is for hurricanes, hate-filled riots, and environmental disasters. This is just thousands of 18-24-year-old’s and their cars. To even consider a SOE sounds like a mayor who has no control over his own town.

By cutting off H2OI 2020, Ocean City is potentially missing out on turning something they see as a negative into something positive. H2OI has a known date and the city can prepare accordingly.

H2OI is a part of Ocean City’s history, is probably the best thing to happen to that small town in decades, and to deny people coming in next year is a mistake.

We’ll see how it all plays out on a local, county, and state level as the months go on.

7 COMMENTS

  1. maybe the mayor should concentrate more on bringing down the crime and drugs that go unseen in the community rather then wasting money on 3 days once a year with car enthusiasts where they worst they do is lay rubber on the road THAT GETS REPAVED AT THE END OF EVERY SEASON ANYWAY.

    but hey, burnouts and causing traffic is def worse then drugs, OD’s and crime…

    #afewf***sgivenrx7 (<<<<< to the boomers you can google that)

  2. Why doesn’t the mayor and the town embrace the event and make money from it ??? I’ve been coming for bike week for 20 years and I’m not a hardcore biker by any means but I do ride,and ride respectfully,my wife and I love Ocean City and come to wine events(several) and happened to be there when h20i occured,I personally as did my wife talked to a lot of these kids,many are still going to college,many had regular jobs,yes there were a few disrupters among them and yes those individuals deserved tickets and/or being arrested but that comes with any event even bike week has it but the mayor and the town needs to take another look,I’m a business owner from PA and I see an opportunity for Ocean City to turn this into a profitable,positive thing.

  3. I hope they find a way to stop it. I came for Wine on the Beach and couldn’t even enjoy the town or show my friends the town. Traffic was horrendous,and they garbage all over. This was an Ocean City I’d never seen. I’ve been there for Bike Week and never saw that type of craziness.

  4. OC is PACKED all summer long with people dropping money like they are Bill Gates (and not tearing the place down!) – they don’t need this freaking three-day riot to get a “cash infusion”!

  5. My girlfriend and I go to OC every year for some fishing and trying different restaurants. This Spring in the midst of Covid we still went. The Boardwalk was a nightmare, with most younger people not respecting the mask restrictions. Also very loud music … Rap specifically laced with vulgarity and profanity. Everywhere we went it was like this. Pretty much ruined that trip.

    As for this weekend with the H2Oi morons … Too many idiots together in one place and the Fast and Furious mentality seems to be alive and well … Which is not Well or Good in any way.

    That movie franchise launched a new generation of disrespectful rule breaking live for the moment a-holes. And with everything going on in society we don’t need it or them. So tired of all of it.

    All the protests and badmouthing the Law Enforcement is ridiculous. The only lives that matter are the ones that go to work every day and do the job and live right and honest. The participants for the betterment and stability of our society. I want to say normal people. And that includes every race and income bracket. If you’re not part of this mindset, then you are part of the problem.

    The H2Oi event is without question part of the problem. People are going to end up dead during this event and on the drive home. Our drive home from a less than satisfying vacation weekend was having to avoid the same A-Holes racing by and around us … Passing on the shoulders at Highway speed and tailgating on a stop and go congested road. Seeing cars filled with an entire family just trying to get home safe and fearing one wrong move by these race car wannabes could end them. It filled me with anger.

    Is it wrong that I wanted their specifically modified engines to blow up? To see them stranded on the side of the road … A bit of embarrassment and humiliation to repay the aggravation the rest of us endured. Small pleasure also to see them pulled over flashing lights and a healthy ticket or better yet an arrest an impound.😁

    Sorry but it needs to stop. It’s not even a generation thing. It’s a literal breakdown of morals. I don’t have an answer to fixing it. More rules and more police to enforce it. I’m okay with Big Brother watching me … If you’re not breaking the law then you’ve got nothing to worry about. If we all do our part it works. For the ones not willing to make the effort, ya need to go …

    If only it were that easy.

    • Thank you for the comment, Rob. The official numbers came out earlier today, 277 arrests and 345 tows over four days. I have to ask, did you about the notoriety of the last week of Sept. in Ocean City? As far as I know, this event, official and unofficial, has been coming down there like clockwork since at least 2009.

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