Kimberlee Bongard, Patch Staff
Before the boat parade sets sail down the bayfront, here’s what you need to know about this year’s Night In Venice.
When: 6 p.m. Saturday, July 24
Parade route: 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.
Where can I watch the parade: 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, Sixth Street, Seventh 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, barbecued food for sale (to benefit the Junior Raiders football and cheerleading squads) and bleacher seating plus DJ entertainment. Tickets are on sale, $4 for children (12-and-under) and $8 for adults. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. with DJ entertainment playing from then until the first boats in the parade arrive at about 6:15 p.m.
The DJ will resume after the parade and play until the fireworks start at about 9 p.m. Tickets may be purchased by cash, check or charge at City Hall, 861 Asbury Avenue, any day from 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.
Parade cost: The parade is free to watch at all locations except the Bayside Center.
Parking: 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 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 10 p.m.
Parking restrictions begin at midnight Friday (July 23) through midnight Saturday (July 24) for the following locations:
· 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 all areas of the bayfront.
Can I watch from the Ninth Street Bridge: 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.
What is the Night in Venice theme: “Honoring Our Heroes.” Boats and houses are encouraged to pay tribute to all of the health care workers, first responders, essential employees and others who helped us get through the year. Participants may also use last year’s planned “Olympics” theme. These themes are optional.
When and where are the fireworks: 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.
Who participates: Anyone with a boat or anyone with a house along the bayfront parade route can participate by decorating their boat or home. Judges pick winners among boats, homes and condominium complexes.
How do I participate: 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 21.
How can I see results of the contest: Results will be announced on ocnj.us and oceancityvacation.com by noon Sunday, July 25, and awards can be picked up starting at 1 p.m. July 25 from the City Hall Welcome Center.
Are paddleboards and kayaks part of the parade: For safety reasons, paddleboards and kayaks are not part of the Night in Venice parade.
Will there be a grand marshal: Dr. Christopher Lucasti, Dr. Charles Roche, Dr. Gary Raab, Dr. Jason Chew and Dr. Jeanne Rowe (who will not be able to attend) will be among the honored “Heroes” in this year’s parade.