Last week, Santa Claus descended from the roof of City Hall to greet his admirers. This week, he will enter town on a Retail Merchant’s Association float as the grand marshal of Ocean City’s annual Christmas Parade.
The parade will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, with Santa traveling down Asbury Avenue from Sixth Street to 11th Street, then returning to the small park at Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue to greet his friends, pose for photos and distribute treats to children.
The Pitman Hobo Band, Ocean City High School Band and Pennsport String Band will serenade Santa in the manner to which he has become accustomed. Mayor Jay Gillian and his wife, Michele Gillian, will represent the city administration along with Councilmen Tony Wilson, Pete Guinosso and Michael DeVlieger.
The Ocean City High School state champion field hockey team will ride on a Gillian’s Wonderland Pier float.
There will be costumed characters, floats and an array of area "Misses," including Miss Ocean City Devon Vanderslice, Junior Miss Ocean City Shannon Wallace and Little Miss Ocean City Paige Aita, plus Miss Night in Venice, Miss Cape May County and Little Miss and Junior Princess Cape May County. That’s enough royalty to start a court at Stainton’s.
Martin Z. Mollusk and “Elmo” will ride in a car, the Cape May County Sheriff’s Office will bring McGruff and Eagle Eddie. There will be a Marine Corps Color Guard, fire engines and many other features.
The stores on Asbury Avenue are open, and parade spectators are encouraged to shop before and after the event.
WOND-AM 1400 will broadcast news and talk live from Sun Rose Words and Music during the parade (6:30 to 8 p.m.) with radio host Chuck Betson and store co-owner Roz Lifshin.
— News release from the Ocean City Public Relations Director Mark Soifer