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May 31, 2011

Ocean City senior week officially starts; are june bug complaints justified?

PX00197_9.JPGGraduating high school seniors have been arriving at Ocean City since last week, but today marks the start of the city's official senior week program, Play it Safe.

Instead of having the june bugs run amok, the city, with funding from the state, has put together the series of events - pancake eating contests! tie-dying classes! - to keep the teens busy for all of June.

It works, to some extent. Of the estimated 10,000-plus teens that come to the resort every summer, only ten percent of them get busted for drinking. The numbers have stayed pretty constant since at least 2007, according to Ocean City police.

Today's story on senior week looks at how Ocean City is transformed during the summer - last year, service calls jumped from 2,500 in April to nearly 14,000 in June. Some 814 minors, including juveniles and those between the ages of 18 and 20, were cited for alcohol violations just in the month of June alone; for comparison, just 11 minors were cited in September.

The story also includes interviews with local businesses who see the annual infestation with mixed emotions, both good for revenue, but disruptive to the city's laid-back pace.

For those who've spent senior week in Ocean City, are the complaints justified, or are there only a few june bugs? 

Photo: H20 on Friday night (Joey Gardner/Special to the Sun) 

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Posted by Erik Maza at 10:47 AM | | Comments (17)
Categories: News


What's a june bug?

Dave, ready the story

Dave, read the story

The only time I've ever seen fighting on the boardwalk, or cops on the beach after sunset, was when I went down for my June week. That said, I also don't think its any crazier than the rest of the summer. I'm sure it seems that way because it such an abrupt change and there is such an emphasis on underage drinking, but I'd really like to see the numbers compared to July and August.

And the other 90% are very good at not getting caught.
Many moons ago when it was my Senior Week, we went, but were staying not in a hotel, but in a house just across the line in Delaware. My foolish friend started talking to some older dudes and invited them back to the house. It became VERY obvious that they were cops, because they kept asking us if we had any weed. ( You can't bust kids for drinking across state lines, apparently, at the time) We were very drunk 90% of the time, nothing bad happened, i got a little sunburned and no one got arrested.
Oh, and we contributed greatly to the local economy of both Maryland and Delaware.

@Gina, according to OC police, there were 100 or so citations for the 18-20 age group in July '10, and about 100 more in August '10. In September it was back down to 11.

same story different place....

more citations are written during the winter months(during football season) and on the weekends in Federal Hill.

There was Senior week before these people bought there houses;)

As someone who lived in Ocean City year round for my entire childhood through college, I can definitely say that June Bugs are awful. Period.

Can we all agree that use of the term "junebugs" must cease immediately?

Personally I prefer brick-and-mortar junebugs to mobile ones.

That was my point also, Trouble. (I did in fact read the article) I've lived here all my life and never heard that term. Plus, most seniors go to the beach the week between their last final and graduation. That's June for some but May for many.

@Dave, I live in Baltimore now, but as I stated above grew up in Ocean City (lived there for 20 years). My family still lives there.

"June Bugs" is absolutely how most OC locals refer to the senior week'ers, and the term fits the phenomenon. It's like an infestation of idiots.

as opposed to the usual classy crowd that vacations in OC? The kids aren't that bad. And yes I can also verify the June Bugs is a legit term used by the locals, though I agree with Jed - lets leave that term alone for them to use.

Ok, I stand corrected.

Most of the kids are well behaved and dont cause trouble. They later return during college, and later with their families. Its teh cycle of life, and why those of us who love OC go back as adults- we had great childhood memories there.
I dont believe these numbers. There are way more than 10,000 visitors. Sr Week is over 3 weeks, beginning this weekend. This last week had almost no high school seniors- its a college week and biker week. The busiest Senior week is June 11 week, and June 18 is a combo of HS Seniors and the firemen- give me HS seniors all day long. I also dont believe 10% of the kids get busted- no way the numbers are that high.
These kids arrive, spend a lot of money when families with school age kids would not be in town yet, and get the business closer to the black. They are vital to the town economy.

Good point OC landlord, re: the Fire Convention. Hitting O.C. during Senior Week is tough, but Fireman Convention time is down right scary. I saw a bunch of firmen, all wearing unit t-shirts destroy the back of a O.C. bus. They kicked out the side door, pulled the plastic chairs from their supports and called women grotesque names while the bus made its way down Ocean Highway. Apparently the energy they use to rush burning buildings doesn't dissipate when there is no fire. So, yeah, I'll take the high school kids over that.

No, it gets pretty crazy. I worked down there for a few years. I even worked at a program for 'june bugs' that had just gotten arrested.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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