Crowds and cars did arrive in Ocean City on Friday night for H2Oi. However, the streets were drivable, the sidewalks walkable and the situation seemingly manageable for police.
One wouldn’t think that just a year ago, the same event turned Ocean City upside down. But in a twist of events, the Friday of H2Oi 2021 was relatively calm.
Though many still flocked to Ocean City, the crowds were not as heavy as last year’s H2Oi, as many pointed out online.
“Please explain to me how this page has 20.5k members are about 200 of you showed up,” Facebook user John Radomile said in a public H2Oi planning group.
Though the streets saw some traffic and drag racing, they also saw plenty of cars being impounded.
Additionally, with increased police presence and traffic laws in place, police were seemingly able to mitigate most incidents.
One Reddit user described the night as “tame.”
This lack of activity is welcomed by many locals and police who have seen the unofficial car rally at its most chaotic.
Last year, H2Oi perhaps hit its peak in chaos and crime. H2Oi 2020 featured riot-like crowds, illegal fireworks in downtown Ocean City and a car doing donuts on the Bay Bridge.
PREPARATIONS:How Ocean City planned to tackle H2Oi 2021
After H20i 2020, over 500 charges were filed in Worcester County, not including minor traffic violations.
Ocean City has yet to release numbers of arrests, charges or impoundments for H2Oi 2021 as the special event zone continues into Sunday.
However, the crowds Friday night could indicate that H2Oi 2021 will be a relatively calm event.
Maddie Aiken is the community reporter for Delmarva Now/The Daily Times. Have a story tip or idea? Send it her way at firstname.lastname@example.org, 443-454-1157 or on Twitter @madsaiken.