Nothing could be more motivational to kick off a new rodding season than the promise of sun, sand, and surf, combined with the sounds of big-inch mills along one of the most legendary boardwalks in the country. For 20 years Cruisin' Ocean City has rocked the coast of Ocean City, Maryland, with irrepressible zeal like no other car show around.

This neat coastal community of 8,000 residents has it all when it comes to hosting an event where car owners can drive the tires off their rides. It's obvious when you pull into town and the local gas stations have their signs up advising they have plenty of CAM2 available that this is indeed a serious weekend. With Jerry Dixey at the helm of the '10 AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour, it was the perfect destination for him to start laying down the miles on the new Shadow Rods XL27 roadster pickup. There's nothing like pulling into town with 3,000 other registered car owners who are greeted by townsfolk literally rolling out the red carpet to welcome you to their own personal paradise.

Once checked in at the convention center you walk back to your car with credential and event program in hand. It is like stepping into the past and being a kid again with a map to the biggest candy store in town. To kick off your visit in grand style, it was a must to head to the absolute end of the strip known as "The Inlet", which acts as the cornerstone of the weekend's festivities. With its breathtaking views, The Inlet is surrounded by both deep ocean and manicured beaches, making it the perfect spot to haul out that longboard and catch some serious waves. Having parking for up to 1,500 cars, it readily fills up by 10 a.m. Thanks to the numerous venues scattered up and down the strip, parking spaces usually turn over quickly.

Once settled, you had the chance to check out a multitude of vendors, including Miller Electric, GM Performance Parts, Ford Racing Performance Parts, and Summit Racing to touch the tip of the iceberg. As you made your way across manufacturers' row, there were plenty of scorching rides to check out, including Corry Hunter's fresh jet black Deuce or Steve Garrison's wicked '29 Ford roadster.

One of the many exciting opportunities offered to rodders is the rare chance for an early morning romp down the historic Ocean City boardwalk as a part of the daily parade happening Thursday through Saturday. The boardwalk stretches for miles and is a mind-numbing flashback to simpler times with its countless shops, campy eateries, caramel corn and funnel cake vendors, arcades, and amusement rides, including a spooky haunted house and Ferris wheel. While knee-deep in the festivities you'd swear you were a kid again still wearing cuffed jeans and a pair of PF Flyers.

Leaving The Inlet and heading downtown (since this is a driving event) to visit the convention center with its packed mini-event, the streets are filled with everything from stoke 'banger-urged hot rods to Pro Street alcohol-fed beasts with their mountainous high-strung V-8s wailing from light to light. On Friday, the convention center played host to a collector car auction by Express Auctioneers as well as a trip down memory lane in the evening with The Four Tops performing all of their top hits in the main ballroom. Throughout the weekend up and down the strip, there were plenty of other happenings to head to, including ones at Hooters Restaurant, Harley-Davidson of Ocean City, and Phillips Crab House, to name but a few.

Every year the event promoters treat visitors to a special celebrity and this time the crowds lined up throughout the weekend to spend time with one of Hollywood's legends, Henry Winkler, well known for his role on TV's Happy Days as well as his numerous children's books.

Once the daylight fades away you'd think it was time to call it a day. In Ocean City it was time to reenergize yourself, top off the tank, grab a bite, and head out on the strip for plenty of non-stop cruisin' as crowds cheered you on as you wove through the streets shoulder to shoulder with some of the East Coast's finest machines. Even after you retired for the evening, you could still hear the sounds of raucous big-inch thunder until the wee morning hours making its presence known.

By the time Sunday rolled in it was time for the legendary awards presentation at The Inlet where what seems like a trailer load of awards and trophies are handed out to eager car owners. Once again there were well over 100,000 visitors throughout the weekend proving that this is one event that grabs your attention and won't let it go. If you haven't experienced Ocean City before, mark your calendars for 2011 and be sure to hit the road for one of the hottest horsepower festivals in the East. You can check it all out at www.specialeventpro.com.