Ocean City Celebrates Fourth in True Fashion

Ocean City Celebrates Fourth in True Fashion

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The Zamrowski family, of West Chester Pa., makes the Gardens Civic Association Bike Parade an annual holiday tradition.

By MADDY VITALE

Sun-splashed skies, a huge bike parade, packed beaches and a busy Boardwalk marked Fourth of July in Ocean City.

Patrick and Cathie Knaus, of Ocean City, couldn’t wait to bring their grandchildren, Brendan, 4, and his 2-year-old brother, Jack, who were visiting from Swarthmore, Pa., to the Gardens Civic Association Bike Parade Sunday morning.

“We are thrilled. Last year, with the bike parade and so many other things being canceled, the summer just didn’t have that great Ocean City feel. So this year, we decided to go all out,” Cathie Knaus said.

And they did. The kids were decked out head-to-toe, along with their bicycles, in patriotic colors, streamers and glitter.

“I’m so glad to see everybody out and about,” Patrick Knaus noted.

Hilary Shawn, of New York City, and her 4-year-old daughter, Mila Sky, enjoy some beach time on the Fourth of July.

Whether swimming, lounging on the beach, riding a bike in a parade or strolling along the Boardwalk, visitors and residents alike enjoyed the holiday weekend.

Hilary Shawn, of New York City, and her 4-year-old daughter, Mila Sky, enjoyed a walk along the Eighth Street beach before going back to their towels and Mila’s sandcastles.

“We have been here for almost a week,” said Shawn, who used to live in Philadelphia. “I’ve been coming to Ocean City for as long as I can remember. We come as much as we can.”

Some sunbathers relaxed in beach chairs by the water’s edge to take in the cool breezes, while others took cover under pop-up tents and cabanas. Kids played games, and families splashed in the surf.

Beachgoers celebrate the holiday with sun and surf.

Up on the Boardwalk, bicyclists whizzed by while other visitors perused shops, grabbed a bite to eat or strolled the boards while sipping cool drinks.

Staci Lombardo and her friend, Elena Paraskevas-Thadani and her 13-year-old son, Vishal Thadani, all of Chappaqua, N.Y., decided to grab iced teas and do some sightseeing. They are on their annual Ocean City two-week vacation.

“It’s so nice to be able to get out and be with friends and celebrate our nation’s birthday,” Lombardi said.

“We didn’t come down last year because of the pandemic. We are so happy to be back in Ocean City,” she added.

Vishal chimed in, “We have been coming here since I was three. I think my favorite thing in Ocean City is the beach. Every morning we get up and get doughnuts, too.”

Staci Lombardi, center, with friend, Elena Paraskevas-Thadani and her 13-year-old son, Vishal Thadani, all of Chappaqua, N.Y., stay cool with drinks.

The north end bike parade, which began in the 1950s, makes its way through the Gardens each year. The celebration is organized by longtime Ocean City resident Duane Sonneborn.

Brian Zamrowski, of West Chester, Pa., and his children, Brian, 8, Sara, 14, Mara, 11, and Kathleen, 16, along with their friend, Sophia Rhorer, 8, couldn’t wait for the parade to begin.

It is a longtime tradition in the Zamrowski family to never miss the north end bike parade, they said.

“We’ve done the parade since I was born,” Kathleen said as they lined up to roll down the road and showcase their patriotic colors. “My favorite part about the parade is the tradition. I like how everyone does it and decorates their bikes.”

Sara and Mike Truskey, center, of Lancaster County, Pa., and their children, Madelyn, 7, Julia, 22, and 14-year-old son, Cooper, get ready for the parade.

Brian Zamrowski called it a fantastic event in a community he loves.

“The parade brings families and country together like no other event,” he said.

Michele Gillian, executive director of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce, along with her husband, Mayor Jay Gillian, watched the parade, along with many other spectators, all enjoying the joyous atmosphere.

“The Gardens Civic Association does a fabulous job with the parade,” Michele Gillian said. “This is one of the biggest ever. It is a great event for the community.”

Tara Rupacz, red shirt, of Ocean City, with her children, Landon, 7, left, and Carter, 5, participate in the parade for the first time.

The mayor added, “This is what Ocean City is all about, family and tradition. Everybody gets together and has a good time.”

Lynne Cates, an Ocean City resident, and her husband, David, enjoyed watching the colorful procession of happy parade participants.

“I love seeing everybody enjoying themselves,” Lynne Cates said, noting that last year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, things were much different. “Everything is getting back to normal.”

George Dixon, 4, and his sister, Victoria, 1, of Massachusetts, hop a ride in a wagon.

Cathie and Patrick Knaus, of Ocean City, with their grandchildren, Jack, 2, left, and 4-year-old Brendan.
Bicyclists deck out for the festive bike parade.
Michele Gillian, executive director of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce, with her daughter-in-law Jill Berenato and family, watch the parade.
Lisa Russell, of Ocean City, wears her patriotic colors and gives a wave.