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Night in Venice Features Boat Parade, Fireworks and Concerts

What’s Happening in Ocean City, NJ 7/19/17

Ocean City’s 63rd annual Night in Venice celebration kicks off at 6 p.m. Saturday (July 22, 2017).

The boat parade and decorated bayfront home contest provides 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. This year, a fireworks display returns to cap off the bayfront festivities at the conclusion of the parade.

The optional theme will be “Rockin’ Through the Decades,” a celebration of music, fashion and culture. The grand marshal will be Alfonso Ribeiro, the new host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and a former star of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” The parade also will feature Fox 29 reporter Jenn Frederick, local band “Jazz, Dirty,” and the boy band O-Town along with Ryan Cabrera.

O-Town and Cabrera will be performing a concert 8 p.m. Friday (July 21) at the Ocean City Music Pier to open the “Rockin’ Through the Decades” weekend. Fans will also get a chance to meet the band and get autographs and a photo at a special session at noon Saturday at the Music Pier.

Gloria Gaynor joins the Ocean City Pops for a concert at 8 p.m. Sunday (July 23) at the Music Pier to round out the weekend of entertainment. Tickets for the concerts and meet-and-greet at noon Saturday at the Music Pier are still available at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice, 609-399-6111, in-person at the Ocean City Music Pier Box Office or any city welcome center.

The following FAQ includes information on how to attend.

When is Night in Venice?
The parade starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 22, 2017.

Where does the parade route begin and end?
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. The parade route does not include Snug Harbor or Glen Cove.

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, Second Street Marina, Fourth Street, Sixth 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, snack food for sale and bleacher seating plus live entertainment. Tickets are on sale, $3 for children (12-and-under) and $7 for adults. Gates open at 4:15 p.m. with the Good Tymes Band playing 5 p.m. until the first boats in the parade arrive. Children’s activities include crafts, games and face painting. Tickets may be purchased by cash, check or charge at: City Hall, 861 Asbury Avenue, any day 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. The band will resume after the parade and play until the fireworks start at approximately 9:15 p.m.

What does it cost?
The parade is free to watch at all locations except the Bayside Center.

Where can I park?
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 11 p.m.

Parking restrictions begin at midnight Friday (July 21) through midnight Saturday (July 22) 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 isolated 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?
The event’s theme is “Rockin’ Through the Decades.” Boats and houses are encouraged to celebrate popular music, fashion and culture from the decades. This is an optional theme.

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.

How do I participate?
You can register your boat or house online at www.ocnj.us/niv/.

Who is the 2017 grand marshal?
The grand marshal will be Alfonso Ribeiro. The new host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” Ribeiro has a career of more than three decades as an actor, TV director, award-winning dancer and Broadway star. He began his career as a child, playing the lead role in the Tony-winning musical “The Tap Dance Kid.” He had a recording contract with Island Records, released several dance/pop singles, and landed a spot in Michael Jackson’s 1984 Pepsi commercial. He created the memorable character of Carlton Banks opposite another teen idol, Will Smith, for six seasons of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” And in 2014, he won the 19th season of “Dancing with the Stars” and went on to host that show’s country-wide tour.

Can I meet Alfonso Ribeiro?
A limited number of tickets are on sale for a meet-and-greet with Ribeiro from 11 a.m. to noon July 22 on the Ocean City Music Pier. Tickets will be available at the Ocean City Music Pier Box Office and at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice.

Are paddleboards and kayaks part of the parade?
For safety reasons, paddleboards and kayaks are not part of the Night in Venice parade.

What else is happening on Night in Venice Weekend?
Night in Venice also will celebrate its “Rockin’ Through the Decades” theme this year with concerts by O-Town with Ryan Cabrera and Gloria Gaynor. The two concerts will fit the theme perfectly with 1970s icon Gloria Gaynor joining Ocean City Pops on Sunday and 2000s boy-band idols O-Town teaming up with Cabrera on Friday.

In 1999, ABC began airing one of the first reality shows in major network history, “Making the Band”, which chronicled the formation and rise to success of the boy band, O-Town. The public tuned in to watch as Trevor Penick, Jacob Underwood, Erik-Michael Estrada, Ashley Parker Angel and Dan Miller signed with Clive Davis’ J Records, released the No. 1 singles “Liquid Dreams” and “All or Nothing,” and achieved platinum success with their debut album. Platinum-selling singer and songwriter Ryan Cabrera is the architect behind hits such as “On the Way Down,” “True” and “Shine On.” He will release his fifth full-length album later this year.

The Music Pier will be set up for a dance concert for the O-Town and Cabrera show. Tickets ($15) also are on sale for a “meet and greet” with O-Town and Cabrera noon to 1 p.m. Saturday on the Ocean City Music Pier. Fans can bring one thing to autograph and take a photo with their own device. The stars also will participate in the Night in Venice boat parade.

Gaynor is known best for her 1978 anthem “I Will Survive,” and her legendary career has spanned 40 years with songs hitting the charts in all four decades. Gaynor has channeled her fame and recognition into support for several charities, donating not only her money but also her time and talent. She changed the lyrics to her world renowned song and leant her time to a corresponding music video used by the Miami Children’s Hospital to raise awareness and funds for their lifesaving efforts.

O-Town and Cabrera will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, July 21 on the Ocean City Music Pier. Gaynor joins the Pops at 8 p.m. Sunday, July 23 on the Music Pier to round out the Decades Weekend.
Tickets are on sale now for the O-Town/Cabrera concert ($30) and Gaynor concert ($30-$35). Visit oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice, call 609-399-6111, or stop by the Ocean City Music Pier Box Office, City Hall Welcome Center or the Roy Gillian Welcome Center on the Route 52 causeway.

ALSO THIS WEEK

WACKY WEDNESDAY (July 19): Use your creativity to shape and sculpt paper clips into your very own unique masterpiece. Contest is free. Open to all ages. Start time: 10:30 a.m. at the Music Pier. For more information, call 609-399-6111.

SUPERHEROES IN LOVE – A BROADWAY CABARET (July 19): The Friends of the Ocean City Pops present an evening of song and dance with Broadway’s super couple, Desiree’ Davar and Nicolas Dromard. Having starred in “Jersey Boys,” “Mary Poppins,” “West Side Story” and “Wicked,” this dynamic duo can do it all. This 8 p.m. program is made possible in part by a grant administered by the Cape May County County Culture and Heritage Commission from funds granted by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Table seating can be reserved by calling Donna Schmitt at 609-525-9295. Visit oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice, call 609-399-6111 or stop by the Music Pier Box Office (Boardwalk at Moorlyn Terrace) for other tickets.

OCEAN CITY FISHING CLUB OPEN HOUSE (July 20): Ocean City’s historic fishing club welcomes the public to visit the 14th Street Pier from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Along with Aug. 3, this is one of two days a year when the Pier is open to non-members. For more information, call 609-398-0534.

ESA SOUTH JERSEY DISTRICT SURF CONTEST (July 22): Sign-ups 7 a.m. at Seventh Street Beach. First heat in the water at 8 a.m. If your membership is expired or if you are a new member, you may renew or join on the beach. No wave date: July 29. For more information, call 609-884-5277.

GRAHAM NASH (July 24): Legendary singer-songwriter Graham Nash has no shortage of accolades to his name, as a two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee – both with Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and with The Hollies – as well as a Songwriter’s Hall of Famer and Grammy Award winner. Don’t miss your chance to catch the legend in the intimate setting of the Music Pier. The concert begins at 7 p.m. at the Ocean City Music Pier. Tickets start at $49. For tickets, please visit Ticketmaster or call 1-800-745-3000.

THE MUSICAL ADVENTURE OF FLAT STANLEY (July 25): The Ocean City Theatre Company presents a musical adaptation of the beloved children’s book. Jeff Brown’s 1964 work has become a literary and pop cultural phenomenon, delighting readers and travelers all around the world. The whirlwind musical travelogue starts at 10:30am at the Ocean City Music Pier. All tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Visit oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice, call 609-399-6111 or stop by the Music Pier Box Office (Boardwalk at Moorlyn Terrace). A special sensory-friendly version of the production will be presented at 1 p.m. July 25. The City of Ocean City is committed to increasing access and inclusion for our community’s children and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders and other sensory, social and cognitive disabilities. To provide a supportive and welcoming environment for children and families, this dedicated Sensory Friendly performance includes: reduction of loud or jarring sounds, reductions in flashing or strobe lights, modification of the house lights during the performance, accommodated house rules including audience members are free to talk or move during the show and extra staff and volunteer support. Audience members are welcome to bring their own manipulatives, headphones, seat cushions, comfort objects and extra support items to the show. Families may select their own seats. Doors will open at 12:30 p.m. show starts at 1 p.m. All tickets are $10.

WEEKLY EVENTS

Starting in July and running through the end of August, Ocean City’s boardwalk and downtown will be host to a series of weekly events:
• Character Nights: 6 p.m. Sundays on the boardwalk (ends Aug. 6). Mascots for Ocean City Boardwalk businesses will sign autographs at the Music Pier. Sponsored by Manco & Manco Pizza, Surf Mall and Jilly’s.
• Funtastic Tuesdays: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on downtown Asbury Avenue. Entertainment, face painters, balloon sculptors and more.
• Mummers Nights: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays on the boardwalk (starting July 11). String bands strut the boards between Sixth Street and 14th Street. Sponsored by: Shirt Shack, Preps, Ocean Treasures, Henry’s Fine Jewelry.
• Beach Walks: South end location at 59th Street and Central Avenue (entrance to Corson’s Inlet State Park) Tuesdays at 9 a.m., Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. North end location at OC/Longport Bridge parking lot Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m, Wednesdays at 9 a.m. Tickets may be purchased on-site. Adults $1, children 50 cents.
• Farmers & Crafters Market: Ocean City’s popular weekly Farmers Market every Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the grounds of the Ocean City Tabernacle on the 500 block of Asbury Avenue. Crafters set up on the street adjacent to the Farmers Market.
• Wacky Wednesdays: This year, the traditional “July Jubilee” and “Weird Week” contests will be held weekly on Wednesdays throughout the summer with a different theme each week.The contest is free and open to all ages. Start time is 10:30 a.m. at the Ocean City Music Pier, Boardwalk at Moorlyn Terrace. Sponsored by Shriver’s Salt Water Taffy.
• Market Days: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays on downtown Asbury Avenue. Entertainment, face painters, balloon sculptors and more.
• Family Nights: 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursdays on the boardwalk. Different bands and entertainers set up between Sixth Street and 14th Street. Sponsored by: Shriver’s, Playland’s Castaway Cove, Johnson’s Popcorn, Gillian’s Wonderland Pier.
• Historic Tours: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays. Pick-up at 7th Street and Central Avenue.

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