Laser light show is new in O.C.
WTOP's Andrew Mollenbeck reports from Ocean City.
Andrew Mollenbeck, wtop.com
STEVENSVILLE, Md. - Gas is getting cheaper and it's Memorial Day weekend -- but, no, the sky isn't falling.
The twist on holiday norms at the pump will likely make the roads more traveled. AAA Mid-Atlantic projects a 1.9 percent increase in the overall number of holiday travelers in the Washington area.
With an estimated 875,000 people in the D.C. area getting out of town, this is expected to be the most congested Memorial Day weekend in seven years.
At the same time — and somewhat quietly — gas prices have dropped for seven consecutive weeks.
"This is kind of hard to believe, but gas prices right now are 20 cents a gallon lower than they were this time a year ago," Lon Anderson, a spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic, says of the national average.
In the Washington area, the average price of self-serve regular is 27 cents cheaper than last year, AAA says. Beach cities are betting some of those extra travelers will roll to the shore.
In Ocean City, tourism promoters believe as many as 225,000 people will show up during the weekend.
The unofficial kickoff to summer is also a time to show off what's new at the beach. Ocean City has dubbed this year the "Summer of Thanks," adding a variety of free events.
For starters, weekly fireworks at the beach begin Tuesday. This Sunday, visitors in Ocean City can catch the first "Beach Lights Spectacular."
"It's a laser beach show. It's a five-story beach ball that's going to be out on the beach with lots of lights and special effects," says Donna Abbott, the tourism director.
On Memorial Day itself, the city is unfurling a flag the size of the football field. To help do that, it's looking for about 200 people to meet near North Division Street and the beach.
The beach itself had a pretty easy winter, with no major storms.
"Our city engineer went out to survey [the beach] just a few weeks ago, and he says it's never looked better," Abbott says.
The boardwalk also has been refurbished in a couple areas, including the north end from 15th to 27th Streets and at the very southern end, where all new wood has been added.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
What famous actor should be cast to play this guy?
Scenes from last night's show and spectacle in Las Vegas.(Photos)
A funeral home offers a bicycle hearse and a casket that's a basket.
Fans have hooked up RG3 and his fiancee for their wedding.