The 65th celebration of Ocean City’s premier summer event, Night in Venice, kicks off Saturday night with the traditional boat parade and decorated bayfront home contest.
Thousands are expected line the bay and attend private parties.
The parade starts at 5:30 p.m. Saturday and ends around 9 p.m. with a fireworks display.
Here's everything you need to know about the event.
When is Night in Venice?
The boat parade will start at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 13.
Where does the boat parade route start and end?
The parade will commence near the Ocean City-Longport toll bridge and will travel along the bayside to Tennessee Ave, winding through the lagoons along the way.
Where can I watch the procession?
Bleachers and stands will be set up along the bayside of street ends for the public to watch the parade, free of charge. Space is however limited on the platforms, so expect room to run out quickly.
Streets include: Battersea Rd., North Street, First Street, Second Street Marina, Fourth Street, Sixth Street, 11th Street, 13th Street, 15th Street, 16th Street and Tennessee Avenue.
What about viewing at the Bayside Center
Tickets are also available at the Bayside Center (520 Bay Ave.) for purchase which bleacher seating and entertainment. The DJ will play from 4:30 p.m. until the first boats arrive. The band will resume after the parade until the night's fireworks start at 9.
Tickets are $4 for children under the age of 12, $8 for adults. Tickets are available at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice or 609-399-6111.
What about parking?
Parking and bus shuttling is free and at select locations, including: Ocean City Municipal Airport, at 25th Street and Bay Ave., Soccer Field at Tennessee Ave., off Shelter Road, and the Ocean City Community Center, 1735 Simpson Ave.
Shuttles will drive to designated street ends on the bayside where the public can view the parade, as well as run to the Bayside Center. Services run until 10 p.m.
Parking restrictions begin at midnight Friday, July 12, and continue through midnight Saturday, July 13, and will be strictly enforced at: both sides of Bay Avenue between 16th Street and 24th Street, the east side of Bay Avenue between 14th Street and 16th Street, and West 16th Street, West 17th Street and West 18th Street will have parking restrictions in place.
Is viewing from the 9th street Bridge allowed?
Yes, pedestrians are allowed to use the Shared Use Bike Path on the south side for viewing the parade, but chairs will not be permitted. Alcoholic drinks are also prohibited in public. No one will be allowed to cross into motor traffic, or block the Shared Use Bike Path. Police will be present for assistance.
What's the forecast?
The summer sun will be cooking upon Ocean City for the parade. High pressure in the Midwest will bring a light northwest wind, plenty of sunshine and humidity that isn't stifling. Here's the forecast breakdown.
3:30 p.m. - Mostly sunny, 87 degrees, west-southwest wind 5 mph
5:30 p.m. (parade start) - Partly sunny, 85 degrees, southwest wind 5 mph
7:30 p.m. - Mostly sunny, 79 degrees, southwest wind 5 mph
9:30 p.m. - Clear, 77 degrees, southwest wind 5 mph
How about the boating conditions?
High tide at the 9th Street Bridge will be at 6:44 p.m. at a height of 4.4 feet about mean lower low water. Seas will be one foot or less. Winds will be from the south-southwest at 5-10 knots.
In other words, smooth sailing.
Did I read something about fireworks?
A fireworks display will cap the evening for Night in Venice after the parade has ended at 9 p.m. The display will be launched from a barge on the bay.
Can I join in the parade?
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., July 11.
Warning: For safety reasons, paddle boards and kayaks are not permitted in the parade.
What type of entertainment will be shown during the parade?
The Ocean City Theatre Company Show Choir, the Cousin’s Band and Andrew Hink will perform from boats in the parade. Some of the cast of the upcoming “Newsies” from the Ocean City Theater Company will also make an appearance.
I heard there would be other big performances this weekend.
Chubby Checker, rock 'n role icon of "the Twist", will commence the weekend ceremonies with a special concert with the Wildcats at 7:30 p.m. on July 12 at Music Pier. Tickets are $25 to $30.
Additionally, a fan meet-and-greet with the actress Kate Flannery, best know for her performance as Meredith from "the Office," will be at Music Pier on the morning of July 13 at 11 a.m. Tickets are $15 for an autograph and selfie with Flannery.
A special performance will be put on by Cassie Levy, Elsa from the Broadway musical "Frozen," on July 14, at Music Pier. Levy is also known for her portrayal of Elphaba in "Wicked," and Fantine in "Les Miserables." Tickets $45 to $55. Children are encouraged to dress as their hero Elsa to have the opportunity to take pictures with Levy. The musical set will include "Let It Go" from Frozen, and also other songs from various Broadway shows.
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).
Meteorologist Joe Martucci will be a boat judge
Joe will be seated at the Bayside Center at Bay Avenue between 6th and 5th streets as one of the three who will judge the parade. Make sure to say hello!