OCEAN CITY – With the Boardwalk Task Force’s recommendations regarding street performers in hand, the Mayor and City Council will next meet with the town’s First Amendment counsel to discuss how strict the changes can be without breaking the law.
The Town of Ocean City has been struggling with the proliferation of street performers on the Boardwalk for several years. Issues have grown as the number of performers increase every year and the acts diversify from spray paint fumes to costumed characters to a pole dancer. However, court rulings in recent years protecting street performer’s First Amendment rights have prevented the town from strictly regulating the acts on the Boardwalk.
In the beginning of the year, the Boardwalk Task Force was created to specifically look into these concerns. Membership consisted of Chair Greg Shockley, owner of Shenanigan’s on the Boardwalk and Ocean City Development Corporation board member; Frank Knight, representing the Boardwalk Development Committee; Lee Gerachis, owner of Malibu’s Surf Shop on the Boardwalk; Bob Rothermel, representing the Downtown Association; and street performer Mark Chase.