The parade starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
The boat parade begins near the Ocean City-Longport toll bridge and travels along the bayside to Tennessee Avenue, looping in and out of lagoons along the way. The parade route does not include Snug Harbor or Glen Cove.
To view the Night In Venice boat parade, grandstands will be set up at street ends along the bay from Battersea Road to 16th Street and also at Tennessee Avenue. These are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Streets include: Battersea Rd., North Street, First Street, Second Street Marina, Fourth Street, Sixth Street, 11th Street, 13th Street, 15th Street, 16th Street and Tennessee Avenue.
The Bayside Center, 520 Bay Avenue, will be open with a picnic area, snack food for sale and bleacher seating plus live entertainment. Tickets are on sale, $3 for children (12-and-under) and $7 for adults. Gates open at 4:15 p.m. with the Good Tymes Band playing 5 p.m. until the first boats in the parade arrive. Children’s activities include crafts, games and face painting. Tickets may be purchased by cash, check or charge at: City Hall, 861 Asbury Avenue, any day 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. No alcohol is permitted, and no parking is available. Tickets are also available online at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice.
The band will resume after the parade and play until the fireworks start at approximately 9 p.m.
The parade is free to watch at all locations except the Bayside Center.
Free parking and shuttle service will run starting at 4 p.m. Parking will be available at:
- Ocean City Municipal Airport: 25th Street and Bay Ave
- Soccer Field at Tennessee Avenue: Off Shelter Road
- Ocean City Community Center: 1735 Simpson Avenue
Shuttles will drop off spectators at street ends where they can watch the parade and return them to the parking lots afterward. The shuttle also drops off at the Bayside Center. The service is free and will be available until 11 p.m.
Parking restrictions begin at midnight Friday (July 21) through midnight Saturday (July 22) for the following locations:
- Both sides of Bay Avenue between 16th St and 24th St.
- The east side of Bay Avenue between 14th St and 16th St.
- West 16th St, West 17th St and West 18th St will have parking restrictions in place.
Parking regulations will be strictly enforced. Violators will be ticketed and in severe cases, the vehicles will be towed if public safety is affected. This is to allow for safe passage of all pedestrian and vehicle traffic and emergency vehicle access to isolated areas of the bayfront.
All pedestrians and bicyclists should use the Shared Use Bike Path and stay to the south side shoulder for viewing. No persons will be allowed to bring chairs for seating onto the bridge. At no time will persons block the free movement of the Shared Use Bike Path. No open alcoholic beverages are permitted on the bridge at any time. Persons are not permitted to walk along the bridge with motor vehicle traffic. Ocean City Police will be present monitoring the bridge while the parade is in progress for assistance.
The event’s theme is “Rockin’ Through the Decades.” Boats and houses are encouraged to celebrate popular music, fashion and culture from the decades. This is an optional theme.
Night in Venice will include a fireworks display launched after the parade from a barge in the bay north of the Ninth Street Bridge, roughly off Third Street. The display should be best viewed from street ends or the bayfront between the Ocean City-Longport toll bridge and 16th Street.
Anyone with a boat or anyone with a house along the bayfront parade route can participate by decorating their boat or home.
You can register your boat or house online at oceancityvacation.com/niv.html .
The grand marshal will be Alfonso Ribeiro. The new host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” Ribeiro has a career of more than three decades as an actor, TV director, award-winning dancer and Broadway star. He began his career as a child, playing the lead role in the Tony-winning musical “The Tap Dance Kid.” He had a recording contract with Island Records, released several dance/pop singles, and landed a spot in Michael Jackson’s 1984 Pepsi commercial. He created the memorable character of Carlton Banks opposite another teen idol, Will Smith, for six seasons of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” And in 2014, he won the 19th season of “Dancing with the Stars” and went on to host that show’s country-wide tour.
Can I meet Alfonso Ribeiro?
A limited number of tickets are on sale for a meet-and-greet with Ribeiro from 11 a.m. to noon July 22 on the Ocean City Music Pier. Tickets will be available at the Ocean City Music Pier Box Office and at www.oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice.
For safety reasons, paddleboards and kayaks are not part of the Night in Venice parade.
What else is happening on Night in Venice Weekend?
Night in Venice also will celebrate its “Rockin’ Through the Decades” theme this year with concerts by O-Town with Ryan Cabrera and Gloria Gaynor. The two concerts will fit the theme perfectly with 1970s icon Gloria Gaynor joining Ocean City Pops on Sunday and 2000s boy-band idols O-Town teaming up with Cabrera on Friday.
In 1999, ABC began airing one of the first reality shows in major network history, “Making the Band”, which chronicled the formation and rise to success of the boy band, O-Town. The public tuned in to watch as Trevor Penick, Jacob Underwood, Erik-Michael Estrada, Ashley Parker Angel and Dan Miller signed with Clive Davis’ J Records, released the No. 1 singles “Liquid Dreams” and “All or Nothing,” and achieved platinum success with their debut album. Platinum-selling singer and songwriter Ryan Cabrera is the architect behind hits such as “On the Way Down,” “True” and “Shine On.” He will release his fifth full-length album later this year.
The Music Pier will be set up for a dance concert for the O-Town and Cabrera show. Tickets ($15) also are on sale for a “meet and greet” with O-Town and Cabrera noon to 1 p.m. Saturday on the Ocean City Music Pier. Fans can bring one thing to autograph and take a photo with their own device. The stars also will participate in the Night in Venice boat parade.
Gaynor is known best for her 1978 anthem “I Will Survive,” and her legendary career has spanned 40 years with songs hitting the charts in all four decades. Gaynor has channeled her fame and recognition into support for several charities, donating not only her money but also her time and talent. She changed the lyrics to her world renowned song and leant her time to a corresponding music video used by the Miami Children’s Hospital to raise awareness and funds for their lifesaving efforts.
O-Town and Cabrera will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, July 21 on the Ocean City Music Pier. Gaynor joins the Pops at 8 p.m. Sunday, July 23 on the Music Pier to round out the Decades Weekend.
Tickets are on sale now for the O-Town/Cabrera concert ($30) and Gaynor concert ($30-$35). Visit www.oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice, call 609-399-6111, or stop by the Ocean City Music Pier Box Office, City Hall Welcome Center or the Roy Gillian Welcome Center on the Route 52 causeway.