White Marlin Open Announces New Festival for Spectators

Chesapeake Bay Magazine
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Fans of the world’s largest billfish tournament can watch the weigh-ins from their own outdoor festival this year.

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizers of the 2020 White Marlin Open (WMO) to limit fans on the docks in Ocean City, organizers created a satellite location to watch the evening weigh-ins. Like many pandemic-related innovations, the idea caught on. Now for 2021, the WMO is throwing Marlin Fest, a new outdoor viewing experience to coincide with the 48th annual fishing tournament.

Marlin Fest, held Aug. 2–6 at the 3rd Street Bayside Ballpark, will feature “a festival-like atmosphere as well as real-time, unobstructed views of the live stream of the tournament weigh-ins via large LED screens.”

In pre-pandemic years, Harbour Island drew an estimated 5,000 people per evening to watch the boats weigh in. Last year’s socially-distant satellite viewing location at the 3rd Street Bayside Ballpark, known as Marlin Village, offered a safer way to engage fans. This…

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