Purple Friday Hits Ocean City


Ocean City was painted purple and black on Friday, as the Ravens continued their inaugural weekend Beach Bash.

The Ravens Purple Friday caravan made its way throughout town, stopping off at a handful of establishments along the coast. The cheerleaders, band and mascot Poe were all part of the caravan.

"This is the best city hall has ever looked," Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan said after the Ravens cheerleaders visited his office. "To have the cheerleaders here, to have the band here, it's special. We're going to remember this a long time at city hall."

In addition to visiting city hall, the caravan also stopped at Ocean City Elementary School, the Greene Turtle, the Sunset Grill, the Castle in the Sand Hotel and Spinnakers Motel.

At each location, the band and cheerleaders performed. Fans also had a chance to get autographs and take pictures.

"This is great," said Ravens fan George Smith, who was visiting from Perry Hall with some friends from the Ravens Roost. "You can't beat it. This is a fabulous outing."

This is the first time that the Ravens have brought a presence to the weekend, joining the team's two fan groups, the Ravens Roosts and the Ravens Nest. The Ravens Roosts (formally the Colts Corrals) have been visiting Ocean City for 48 years to celebrate Baltimore football.

"The Ravens Roost parade has been coming here for years, but now to have the Ravens here with it, that really takes it to a new level," Meehan said.

The weekend of festivities kicked off on Thursday, with events at Seacrets Bar and Grill, and the Clarion Hotel. As part of Thursday's events, fans were able to meet former players Brad Jackson and Kyle Richardson, who were both part of the Ravens 2000 Super Bowl Team.

"It's awesome for Ravens nation," Jackson said. "To be part of it and involved in it, along with Kyle Richardson, is great as former Ravens and world champions. It's great to give back to be down here in Ocean City, and it's also fun for the community and fans to reach out and have fun with us.

"It's a unique experience that is not available for a lot of teams around the NFL."

The events will continue throughout the weekend, and players will arrive later Friday evening. A 7-on-7 football tournament will be held at Stephen Decatur High School beginning at 9 a.m Saturday and the annual Ravens Roost parade will take place Saturday at 10 a.m.

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