OCEAN CITY — Cheryl Sadowl always goes big with Halloween decorations at her Central Avenue home.
This year, there are bragging rights on the line. Not to mention a chance for a gift certificate.
When Ocean City announced its new Halloween house decorating contest, she was among the first to sign up.
Decorations include an inflatable tree with an owl, which is something of a family symbol and a small graveyard.
The contest will feature winners in each of the four city wards, along with a separate prize for participating businesses. According to Michael Hartman, the city’s event coordinator, part of the motivation for the contest was to make up for the loss of the beloved Halloween parade.
Jointly presented by the city and the Ocean City Exchange Club, the annual parade on Asbury Avenue has taken place for more than 70 years.
This year, the risk of people gathering in large numbers seemed too great during the COVID-19 pandemic, making it one of the latest events to be modified or canceled for 2020.
“In general, we’ve been thinking of new ways to do stuff,” Hartman said. “This was a way for us to continue the tradition of the town coming together and doing it in a safe way.”
Homeowners can have fun decorating their places, he said, while families can drive around town and check out the displays.