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Ocean City Displays Patriotic Spirit in July 4 Parades

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Families deck out in red, white and blue for the July 4 parade in the south end.

By MADDY VITALE

Who doesn’t love a parade, especially when there are three to choose from in one town? Yes, Ocean City showcased its patriotism with plenty of stars and stripes in the form of attire, decorations on bicycles, floats and vehicles for the Fourth of July festivities.

The South Ocean City Improvement Association bicycle parade had plenty of festive spirit on display, with everything from patriotic-themed floats to a Jimmy Buffett tribute display.

The parade began at 40th Street and Asbury Avenue and traveled south to the playground at 52nd Street and Haven Avenue.

The highlight of the event that brought hundreds of spectators and participants were the children and their families who decked out their bikes, floats and wagons in red, white and blue streamers, patriotic-colored sunglasses, hats, hair adornments including mini-flags and decorations on bicycle helmets.

Giavanna McMenamin is excited about her first Fourth of July parade in the south end.

On the other side of town, the Gardens Civic Association Bike Parade, also called the North End Parade, was held at the same time as the south end parade starting at 10 a.m. The Riviera Neighborhood parade began at noon.

Giavanna McMenamin, 6, of Ocean City, enjoyed her first south end Fourth of July parade.

But her grandmother, Pam McMenamin, of Ocean City, goes every year for as long as she can remember, she said.

“I’ve lived here for 36 years, so I’ve been coming to the parade for a long time,” McMenamin said with a smile.

Giavanna’s adorned bicycle was all thanks to “pop pop” Kevin McMenamin, Pam McMenamin said.

“I think it took him about 45 minutes to put it all together,” she noted.

While some children, like Giavanna, experienced the south end parade for the first time, others go every year.

Brynn Walters is red, white and blue ready for the parade to begin.

At just 5, Brynn Walters, of Downingtown, Pa., was at her third south end Fourth of July parade.

“She’s so excited to do the parade again,” Brynn’s mother, Amy Walters said.

Twins Gianna and Suraya Womack, of Mullica Hill, were ecstatic when the parade began, especially when a float glided by carrying their favorite Disney character, Minnie Mouse.

They waved and smiled. Their mother, Connor Womack, joked that, “we can’t compete with Minnie Mouse,” noting that the girls’ eyes were transfixed on the character.

Twins Gianna and Suraya Womack are pleased to see Minnie Mouse on a float, while their mother, Connor Womack, gives a wave.

Many families, like the Repine family, of Ocean City, made the parade a family affair.

Andrea and Chase Repine and their children, Chase, 5, and 6-year-old Jack, couldn’t wait for the parade to begin.

Chase was quick to answer what his favorite part of the parade was.

“The candy!” he exclaimed of candy tossed from floats during the event.

Jack agreed with his brother.

Andrea Repine said that the family enjoys the annual event because, “It’s an excellent event for the kids. They just love it.”

The Barnes family makes the parade their annual tradition.
The Repine family is ready for the parade.
Crooner Keith Hickman serenades the spectators with patriotic songs.

Ocean City’s “New Frontier” is a cool float.

Parade participants toss candy into the crowd.
Miss Night in Venice contestants are among the parade participants.