Dick Richards (center), 91, will perform with his Rockers at the second Mr. Mature Pageant on March 28 on the Ocean City Music Pier.Dick Richards, the Rock’n Roll Hall of Fame drummer and original member of the legendary “Bill Haley’s Comets,” will be a guest performer at the Mr. Mature America Pageant in Ocean City on March 28.The 91-year-old musician, a resident of Ocean City, still tours with a new edition of the Comets. He has also formed a local group, “The Ready Rockers,” who play oldies concerts throughout the area.Richards and his Rockers will perform “Shake, Rattle and Roll” at the pageant. The rock classic will feature a rousing, drum solo by the durable musician.Not only is Richards a great musician, but he was a Broadway actor and also performed in more than 40 movies and soap operas, such as “One Life to Live.” A graduate of West Chester University, he excelled in sports and is a member of its Football Hall of Fame.The Mr. Mature Pageant honors the talents and achievements of men 55 and older. It is the only event of its kind in the world. Mr. Mature America debuted to an enthusiastic audience last year. The second annual edition is set for 7 p.m., Saturday, March 28 at the Ocean City Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace.“This will be a unique opportunity to enjoy seeing an American rock ‘n roll legend perform,” said Mark Soifer, founder of the pageant. “We are fortunate to have such a renowned and generous musician living in Ocean City.”Richards and his band mates are performing free. Pageant proceeds, after expenses, will benefit the Ocean City Ecumenical Council Food Cupboard. Last year, the pageant donated $2,000 to charities.Another stellar senior performer, Herb Birch, aka Bubba Mac, founder of the popular Bubba Mac Blues Band, will donate his services. Birch has championed blues for many years and is renowned throughout the East for the quality of his music. He will perform solo._____Sign up for free breaking news updates from Ocean City.Get Ocean City updates in your Facebook news feed. “Like” us._____Pageant contestants will dance to “It’s Raining Men” to kick off the show, choreographed by Jessica Albertson, who produced last year’s popular opener.Contestants will also perform a talent, plus talk about their favorite “Memories” and be judged for an on-stage question. To enter the pageant, call (609) 399-6111, ext. 9300 or email [email protected] “Memories” is the theme of the pageant and the event will feature a display of “Memories Memorabilia” by area residents. This will include keepsakes that folks especially treasure and would like to show the public. The exhibit will be located in the back of the auditorium. It will be open at 6 p.m., one hour before the pageant and for a period of time afterwards. Those interested in showing their memorabilia should call (609) 399-6111, ext. 9300. They will receive a free ticket for the evening.Pageant tickets ($10) are now on sale at the information center on the ground floor of City Hall, 9th Street and Asbury Avenue, or can be acquired by accessing www.ocnj.us/boxoffice. Tickets will also be available at the door. Call 609-399-6111 Ext. 9300. All seating will be reserved.— News release from Ocean City Public Relations Director Mark Soifer
Should we, or should we not?The Vancouver City Council took audience comments Monday night about whether to accept a $2.3 million federal grant to reopen and staff Fire Station 6 — but they postponed a decision until Tuesday, Aug. 30. That would be two days before the Sept. 1 deadline.Numerous neighborhood association members are urging city officials to accept the two-year grant, but the issue has several snags for Vancouver’s budget makers.For one thing, the firefighter’s union, which has asked for a wage increase of 8.2 percent, apparently has not reached agreement with the city.“Until the contract is settled or an arbitration decision is issued, the city does not know what the costs will be to continue to provide fire services at current or desired levels,” according to a city staff report dated Monday and issued at the meeting.And there’s another catch: The grant mandates that the city must keep its fire department staff at the same level as when the grant, if accepted, goes into effect for the entire two-year period. That means that, if more layoffs of city employees are necessary in the continuing economic downturn, other departments would shoulder the burden.