Plans for a festive 65th anniversary celebration of one of Ocean City’s premier summer events, Night in Venice, are in the works.
Tickets for Night in Venice weekend shows go on sale this Thursday and registration for participating boats and waterfront homes is open.
The boat parade and decorated bayfront home contest are a highlight of the season in Ocean City.
Thousands of spectators line the bay, and thousands more attend private parties at homes along the route from the Ocean City-Longport Bridge to Tennessee Avenue.
A fireworks display caps off the bayfront festivities at the conclusion of the parade.
The parade starts at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 13. The “Celebrate! 65 Years of Night in Venice” theme is optional, but offers a chance to reminisce about favorite Night in Venice memories through the years.
Entries for boats and homes are currently being accepted online at www.ocnj.us/niv or by calling 609-399-6111.
Special guests this year will include Chubby Checker, Kate Flannery and Patina Miller.
Checker will help kick off Night in Venice weekend with a special concert with his band, the Wildcats, 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 12 at the Ocean City Music Pier.
The rock ‘n’ roll icon will perform “The Twist” and other hits from his legendary career. He will return on Saturday to appear in the Night in Venice boat parade.
Flannery, star of NBC’s “The Office,” will greet fans before her appearance in the boat parade. She will be at the Ocean City Music Pier starting at 11 a.m. Saturday (July 13).
Tickets will be available for an autograph and a selfie photograph with Flannery.
Miller, a Tony-winning actress currently starring on the CBS hit drama series “Madam Secretary,” will be in town for a featured performance with the Ocean City Pops at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 14. But she’ll arrive a day early to join the Night in Venice fun on Saturday.
Miller is also known for her lead role in the 2012-2013 Broadway revival of “Pippin,” which earned her the Tony award. She received a Tony nomination for her Broadway debut as the lead in the stage adaptation of “Sister Act.”
Her show with the Pops caps off Night in Venice weekend in Ocean City. (Tickets for this show are on sale now.)
Tickets for these shows and for admission to a special Night in Venice viewing area at the Bayside Center (Bayfront near Sixth Street) are available at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice, by calling 609-399-6111, and at welcome centers throughout town.
ACME returns as a presenting sponsor for Night in Venice this year. Free shuttle transportation will be available and free grandstands will be set up at street ends along the route. For more information on participating in the event or attending, visit www.ocnj.us/NIV or call 609-399-6111.
THIS WEEKEND IN OCEAN CITY
AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION HEARTWALK (May 18): Registration begins at 9 a.m. at the Sports and Civic Center (Sixth and Boardwalk). Walk begins at 10:30 a.m. For more information, call 609-223-3731.
X MARKS THE SPOT TREASURE HUNT (May 18 and 19): The 10th annual open beach metal detecting hunt at the Ocean City Music Pier runs 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, starting with a special hunt for kids (ages 2 to 13) on Saturday morning.
Loaner detectors available. The event includes an optional big silver hunt on Saturday and optional gold hunt on Sunday (8 a.m. to 3 p.m.) in addition to two regular prizes each day. Visit www.ecrda.org for registration information or sign up at the Music Pier on the day of the event. Sponsored by the East Coast Research and Discovery Association. For more information, call 732-276-8251
OCNJ TRIATHLON/DUATHLON (MAY 19): Quarter-mile pool swim followed by a 2-mile run, 16-mile bike and another 2-mile run. Kids’ course is half the distance. Pool swim slots are 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. The Run-Bike-Run starts at 9 a.m. For more information, call 609-399-6111 or visit www.ocnj.us/race-events.
WALK TO END LUPUS NOW (May 19): The 11th annual Walk to End Lupus Now South provides people affected by Lupus and their families with the opportunity to come together for one unified purpose: ending lupus. Register at the Sixth Street practice field off the Boardwalk. The walk begins at 10 a.m. For more information, visit www.walktoendlupusnowsj.org or call 1-866-517-5070.
COMING UP IN MAY:
UNLOCKING OF THE OCEAN AND BUSINESS PERSONS PLUNGE (May 24): Participants dress in business suits, carry briefcases and march into the ocean to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” to welcome the new season. Event starts at noon on the beach adjacent to the Music Pier. For more information, call 609-399-6111.
31 MEMORIAL BEACH CHALLENGE (May 25): The main obstacle course challenge is a soft-sand adventure race followed by a kids fun run. Staging at Ninth Street Beach. For registration information, visit www.memorialbeachchallenge.com or call 856-905-0583.
MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE (May 27): 11 a.m. at the Ocean City Tabernacle, 550 Wesley Avenue. For more information, call 609-399-6111.
NATIONAL MOMENT OF REMEMBRANCE (May 27): National Moment of Remembrance, established by Congress, asks Americans, wherever they are at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, to pause in an act of national unity for a duration of one minute.
The time 3 p.m. was chosen because it is the time when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday. Greg Murphy of Buglers Across America will sound “Taps” to commemorate the moment. It will be broadcast on the Boardwalk public-address system.
GRACE KELLY TEA (May 29): The Ocean City Historical Museum will host an afternoon high tea at the Flanders Hotel with guest speaker Al Crescenzo making a presentation on Grace Kelly.