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A Maryland Beach Mega Club Had to Cancel Mask-Burning Parties

Seacrets bros might be crushed to hear it, but a similar event could be coming to Ocean City soon

Seacrets in Ocean City Maryland
A pre-pandemic file photo shows a typically rowdy scene at Seacrets
Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Seacrets, a busy bayside bar complex in the Maryland party hub of Ocean City, has scratched its plan to host a mass mask-burning onstage this weekend. The event was planned a little more than a week after Governor Larry Hogan repealed an order requiring masks outdoors and reinstated outdoor bar service without social distancing requirements.

According to a listing on Ocean City’s visitors bureau website, patrons were invited to “the burn” on Friday, May 7, and Saturday, May 8, “for a party outside with no restrictions!” that would include live music and service at its beach bars. A Seacrets employee reached by phone on Friday says the club decided to cancel the event earlier this week, but not because management expected to get flack from the general public. “That area is not quite ready,” she says, referring to the beach stage where the mask-burning party was scheduled to take place.

The event promo came with an ironic restriction for guests, whose masks were set to go up in flames: “Indoor restrictions still apply and masks are required inside.” Revelers could mark the mask-burning occasion with a commemorative T-shirt while supplies last.

The event could be rescheduled to a later date, the employee adds, saying “I’m sure there were going to be a lot” of attendees this weekend. According to its calendar, Seacrets has a slew of booked DJs and live artists set to perform from 5 p.m. to 1:50 a.m. this weekend at its night club and beach bars and stage instead.

The decades-old institution, lined with palm trees brought in from Florida every year, is prominently anchored in Ocean City’s nightlife section of Midtown. As one of the busiest and highest-grossing bars in the country, Seacrets remained open throughout the pandemic. The sprawling seaside entertainment complex was established in 1988 and grew across six acres with close to 20 drinking spots, a radio station, and a distillery. The Caribbean-style setup invites drinkers to wade in the water in inner tubes. It’s arguably best known for its frozen “Pain in de Ass” — a layered rum runner and pina colada cocktail. Historically speaking, the tiki titan’s bread and butter season sits between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when upwards of 25,000 people wait in line to get inside.

Tony Tomelden, who owns H Street NE dive bar the Pug, poked some fun at the Seacrets party, tweeting out a Spotify playlist ripe with Trump rallying hits (albeit solid songs) from rockers Boston, Journey, Def Leppard, and Styx.

As of April 28, masks and face coverings are no longer required outdoors in the state of Maryland, per Hogan’s orders. Face coverings are still required for all Marylanders at all large ticketed venues outdoors. Marylanders who are not yet vaccinated are strongly encouraged to continue wearing masks, however, especially when physical distancing is not possible. “Wear the damn mask” has been Hogan’s tag line of choice throughout the pandemic.