Ocean City will celebrate the 65th anniversary of Night in Venice at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, July 13.
The boat parade and decorated bayfront home contest provide a chance to be part of the highlight of the summer season in Ocean City.
Thousands of spectators line the bayfront, and thousands more attend private parties at homes along the route from the Ocean City-Longport Bridge to Tennessee Avenue. The evening ends with a fireworks display over the bayfront at 9 p.m.
The parade includes a lineup of stars who will perform shows and greet fans throughout the weekend.
Special guests will include the legendary Chubby Checker, Kate Flannery from NBC’s “The Office,” and Caissie Levy, star of the Broadway production of “Frozen.” Former Philadelphia Eagle wide receiver Freddie Mitchell also will be part of the parade.
The optional theme is “Celebrate: 65 Years of Night in Venice,” a chance to reminisce about favorite memories from Night in Venice history. Entries for boats and homes are still being accepted online at www.ocnj.us/niv or by calling 609-399-6111. Deadline for entries is at noon July, 11.
Here’s our guide to 2019 Night in Venice:
The parade starts at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 13.
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.
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 Road., North Street, First Street, Second Street Marina, Fourth Street, Sixth Street, 11th Street, 13th Street, 15th Street, 16th Street and Tennessee Avenue.
Tickets are also on sale to view Night in Venice from the Bayside Center (520 Bay Avenue), which will be open with a picnic area, snack food for sale, bleacher seating and entertainment.
Tickets are $4 for children (12-and-under) and $8 for adults.
A DJ will play music from 4:30 p.m. until the first boats in the parade arrive.
Face-painting will be available for children.
The band will resume after the parade until the fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Tickets are available at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice or 609-399-6111.
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 Avenue
- Soccer Field at Tennessee Avenue: Off Shelter Road
- Ocean City Community Center: 1735 Simpson AvenueParking restrictions begin at midnight Friday (July 12) and continue through midnight Saturday (July 13) for the following locations:
- 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 10 p.m.
- Both sides of Bay Avenue between 16th Street and 24th Street
- The east side of Bay Avenue between 14th Street and 16th Street.
- West 16th Street, West 17th Street and West 18th Street 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.
Can I watch online?
A video stream of the parade will be available through Facebook Live at Ocean City NJ. The video will be captured from the Bayside Center toward the beginning of the parade route.
Night in Venice will include a fireworks display launched after the parade at 9 p.m. 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.
You can register your boat or house online at www.ocnj.us/niv. The NIV Committee is seeking volunteer patrol boats to assist with keeping the parade together, monitoring the parade route, and general safety. If you’re able to help, email Michael Hartman at firstname.lastname@example.org by 4 p.m. Thursday (July 11).
Are paddleboards and kayaks part of the parade?
For safety reasons, paddleboards and kayaks are not part of the Night in Venice parade.
What are some other parade highlights?
The Ocean City Theatre Company Show Choir, the Cousin’s Band and Andrew Hink will perform from boats in the parade. The cast of the upcoming “Newsies” also will be part of the fun.
What else is happening on Night in Venice Weekend?
Tickets are on sale now for the following:
- Chubby Checker and the Wildcats: Chubby Checker will help kick off Night in Venice weekend with a special concert 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. Tickets are $25 to $30.
- Meet-and-Greet with Kate Flannery: Flannery will greet fans before her appearance in the Night in Venice boat parade. The Philadelphia native, who starred as Meredith on “The Office,” will be at the Ocean City Music Pier starting at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 13. Tickets ($15) are available for an autograph and a selfie photograph with Flannery.
- Caissie Levy with the Ocean City Pops: The star of the Broadway version of Disney’s “Frozen” will be the featured performer for this Ocean City Pops concert at 7:30 p.m. July 14. Levy also has performed on Broadway in “Les Miserables,” “Wicked,” “Hairspray” and “Rent.”
Tickets are $45 to $55. Any child dressed in prince or princess attire for the concert will have the opportunity to meet Levy after the concert for a quick photograph and autograph. The meet-and-greet is complimentary with purchase of a ticket to the concert. (Levy will perform “Let It Go” but will not be in costume, and the show will include songs from other Broadway musicals.)
Tickets for all events are available at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice, by calling 609-399-6111, or by visiting the Music Pier Box Office, the City Hall Welcome Center (861 Asbury Avenue) or the Roy Gillian Welcome Center (on the Route 52 causeway).
ALSO COMING UP
‘MAMMA MIA’ (July 9 to 12): The Ocean City Pops and Ocean City Theatre Company team up to present the popular Broadway musical featuring the timeless music of ABBA. Show times are at 7:30 p.m. on July 9, 10 and 12 with a 2 p.m. matinee on July 11 at the Hughes Performing Arts Center (beach block of Sixth Street). Call 609-399-6111 or visit oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice.
WACKY WEDNESDAY (July 10): Use your creativity to shape and sculpt french fries into your very own unique masterpiece. Contest is free. Open to all ages. Start time: 10:30 a.m. at the Music Pier.
FRECKLE CONTEST (July 10): Registration is free and begins at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Music Pier. Contest starts at 6 p.m. For more information, call 609-399-6111.
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS COMMUNITY CARAVAN (July 10): Gritty, the high-energy orange mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers, will make an appearance in Ocean City on Wednesday, July 10. He will be there for a portion of the Flyers’ Community Caravan, which will visit Ocean City 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, at the Ocean City Sports and Civic Center on the beach block of Sixth Street.
The first half hour of the Caravan will be reserved for participants in Ocean City Recreation Department morning programs.
From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., the event will be free and open to fans of all ages. Flyers alumni are scheduled to attend and sign autographs.
The Caravan is part of an initiative to promote the sport of ice hockey and support youths across the region.
Each stop in the family-fun series includes an inflatable rink hosting alumni-run clinics and shoot-arounds, inflatable games and activities, tailgate games, and more.
SAND SCULPTING CONTEST (July 11): Registration is free and the informal, family-friendly contest begins at 9 a.m. at the Sixth Street Beach. Judging takes place by 11 a.m. For more information call 609-399-6111.
ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES FAIR (July 13): The Ocean City Historical Museum invites some of the best known antique and collectible dealers in the region. China, glass, furniture, vintage collectibles, postcards, jewelry, textiles, and more. Free admission for the 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. event at the Stainton Senior Center within the Ocean City Community Center (1735 Simpson Avenue). For more information call 609-399-1801.
40TH ANNUAL T. JOHN CAREY MASTERS SWIM (July 13): One-mile ocean swim starts at 43rd Street or 25th Street (depending on favorable current) and finishes at 34th Street. Register online at raceforum.com/johncarey. Race-day registration opens at 8 a.m. at 34th Street and the beach. The race will start at 10 a.m.