OCEAN CITY — The resort will become ground zero for Baltimore Ravens fans this weekend with players, coaches, cheerleaders, mascots and, of course, the fans, converging for the inaugural Ravens Ocean City Beach Bash.
For decades, the Council of Colts Corrals met in Ocean City each June for an annual convention culminating with a parade down Baltimore Ave. When the NFL returned to Baltimore with the Ravens in 1996, the old Colts Corrals became the new Ravens Roosts and the traditions continued with the annual convention in Ocean City and the parade.
For the first time ever this year, the Baltimore Ravens organization is officially joining the party. The Ravens are sending about a half a dozen current players, including tight end Ed Dickson, according to one source, along with former players, coaches, cheerleaders and mascots, including Rise and Conquer, the two actual ravens that live at the Baltimore Zoo and swoop around M&T Bank Stadium at home games and other events.
“I think it’s a great way for our fanatical fans to be together during the offseason,” said Ravens Vice President of Marketing Gabrielle Dow. “The draft is over and training camp is still two months away. This is the perfect medium ground where we can collectively show our pride.”
For the Ravens Roosts in Ocean City and across the state and beyond, the organization’s official participation in the annual event will help boost attendance.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Sue Draper, the Ravens Roosts chairperson for the convention. “We’ve had a very good relationship with the Ravens and the convention. The Beach Bash is going to benefit us. It’s going to bring a lot more Ravens fans into town. It’s going to help us expand our organization.”
For the Ravens, participation in the convention, parade and numerous activities is a means to acknowledge the team’s vast fan base in Ocean City and across the shore.
“We have a lot of fans up and down that area and we’ve never been out there before,” said Dow. “It’s an inexpensive, easy getaway to join us in the sun. Come tailgate with us on the beach Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”
The official events got started on Thursday with a live broadcast on 98 Rock in Baltimore from the Clarion, which is serving as team headquarters for the weekend.
For a complete listing of weekend events, see page 4B.