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Ocean City Locals Hunker Down As Summer Arrives

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Tourists will crowd into Ocean City, Md. and surrounding resorts this weekend and for the rest of the summer.
Ben Beard (http://www.flickr.com/photos/benjaminbeard/3827428339/)
Tourists will crowd into Ocean City, Md. and surrounding resorts this weekend and for the rest of the summer.

Hundreds of thousands of people spent the Fourth of July at the beach in Ocean City, and while many will make it a long weekend soaking up the sun and playing in the ocean, others are seeking shelter from the heat, and the crowds.

The Fourth is one of the busiest weekends of the year in the resort city. Businesses know a good weather forecast is vital to maximizing profits and tourists want as much time as possible lounging on the beach and watching fireworks. But for many locals, the Fourth of July is no holiday.

"They stay away from the traffic or the crowds and that type of thing," says Lorraine Mack, who's lived in the area for 17 years. "Or they are working so they don't have a choice of where they are going to spend it." Like so many locals, Mack tends to steer clear of the 10-mile-long island that's packed this week.

Some tourists try to stay away from the crowds too. New Jersey native Steve Shaldone, who's staying at a local campground just outside Ocean City. His strategy? Remain at the campground at all costs. 

"It's self sufficient and we don't have to leave at all," Shaldone says. 

While there is inevitably mixed feeling among locals about traffic backups leading into the resort this time of year, the Fourth of July means that summer is officially here, and it's time to either get to work or seek shelter until the fall.


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