Ocean City’s Night in Venice boat parade is one of the largest in
the world. Local boaters from the area decorate their boats and make their way
from the Longport Bridge along the bay to Tennessee Avenue. Houses along the
bay participate in the festivities with themed decorations and costumes as well.
CREDIT: Photo by Laurie H Howey
Why should you go?
It’s Fun (and Free)
You have multiple ways to enjoy the night. If you know someone with a boat or bay house you can get in on the fun by dressing up and helping to decorate. As a spectator, you can sit bayside and enjoy the parade too. Grandstands are set up along the bay from Battersea Road to 15th Street and also at Tennessee Avenue. They’re free and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The theme this year is "Night at the Oscars". Of course the theme is just a suggestion and you’re free to decorate/dress up any way you want. It’s Like Halloween in July. Scrambling last minute through your collection of past Halloween costumes is half the fun.
Prizes are awarded to the best decorated boats and homes. Boat owners receive a $50 decorating card and a photo of their boat participating in the parade. Both boat owners and homeowners receive a commemorative mug for entering too. Everyone likes to win stuff and that photo on your mantle gives you lifelong bragging rights.
This year’s parade features a new category: “The Happy Dance Challenge.” The category challenges participants to dance to Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” tune in new and creative ways. Three winners will be awarded a collector’s item cup with a happy face engraved on it. We have a feeling there will be a lot of minions in this year’s parade.
Night in Venice began in 1954 to mark the 75th Anniversary of Ocean City and has been held every year since. Many folks make this an annual family tradition and it’s events like these that make Ocean City "America's Greatest Family Resort". Even more so, to have fun family events like Night in Venice so close to home just makes us happy.
Night in Venice 2014 will be held on Saturday, July 26th at 7:30PM. For more information or to enter the boat or home competition: http://www.ocnj.us/NIV/