Guide to Night in Venice July 28 in Ocean City

Get ready to have fun at Ocean City's annual summer celebration.

Ocean City's Night in Venice is one of the biggest events of the summer for visitors and the height of the summer social scene for bayside residents.

The annual boat parade starts this year at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 28. 

The lineup of decorated boats will proceed from the base of the Ocean City-Longport Bridge along the bayfront, in and out of lagoons along the way, all the way to Tennessee Avenue (off Bay Avenue between 22nd and 23rd streets).

For the first time in the 58-year history of the event, there will be no traffic delays due to Ninth Street causeway drawbridge openings. The old drawbridge was demolished and replaced by a fixed span that gives boats 55 feet of vertical clearance. 

Here are some details on the annual event:


Grand Marshal

Grand Marshal will be Ocean City's Dick Richards, as one of the original members of Bill Haley's Comets. 


Best Places to Watch

If you're not invited to (or crashing) one of the many private parties that help Ocean City earn the label "the wettest dry town in America," your best bet is at one of the street ends along the route. The parade lineup sometimes thins as boats choose not to complete the route, so streets at the beginning of the parade (at the north end of Ocean City) might be your best bet. There will be free grandstand seating set up at most street ends. 

There is also a viewing site at the , Fifth Street and Bay Avenue, that features music by the Good Tymes Band and snacks sold by the Sting Rays Swim Team to benefit the Special Olympics Team. Gates open at 4 p.m. There is limited bleacher seating. You may bring your own chairs and blankets. Tickets are $3 for children 12 and under and $7 for adults. Get them at the second floor of City Hall or at the Music Pier Box Office.


Parking and Shuttle

Free shuttles to all viewing locations will be available from the Ocean City Municipal Airport parking lot, 25th Street and Bay Avenue, and the soccer field at Tennessee Avenue (toward the bay off Bay Avenue) starting at 4 p.m. Shuttles also will make stop at the Ocean City Community Center, 1735 Simpson Ave. The service will be available for return trips after the parade. 



Both car drivers and boat captains must refrain from drinking alcohol. Ocean City Police will be patrolling the streets and directing traffic. The bay will be heavily patrolled by the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Marine Police and 14 Night in Venice patrol boats. No swimming or rafting is permitted in lagoon areas during the parade. Any activity in the lagoons during the event including water ball tossing is prohibited and will be enforced by the police.


Merchants of Venice Seafood Festival

The annual pre-parade festival is set for 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, July 27, between Sixth and Ninth streets on Asbury Avenue. The event features an array of seafood, entertainment and rides for kids. Seafood is for sale. Admission is free. The event is sponsored by Comcast.


Edward May July 08, 2012 at 01:59 PM
High Tide on July 28th is at 4:49 pm the tide will be halfway out they should have had it the week before when high tide would have been 10:30 Who is responsible for this fiasco?
mau5 July 08, 2012 at 03:54 PM
awesome. so all the big boats will have fewer places they can get into too.
SPW July 08, 2012 at 10:19 PM
The water is less than 2' at 16th st bayside 2 hours before low tide......about the same time the parade hits these docks......better start at 6PM or there will be groundings
Ron Gifford July 13, 2012 at 07:09 PM
They have moved the start of the parade to 6pm!
Mike July 22, 2012 at 07:21 PM
The theme for Snug Harbor this year "Remember when we had water in our lagoon and could actually take our boat out"? I cant even take out a kayak within 2 - 3 hours of low tide.
Coral July 22, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Coral July 22, 2012 at 08:26 PM
sara July 23, 2012 at 02:57 PM
This is Mr. Soifer's baby...have to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. This gets more press from May until the actual night than the downtown gets in a year. Our PR Director's priorities have been messed up from the beginning...He also was totally against BYOB when it may have helped the empty downtown...I say may have...but it was something. I want to know how many police will be around to stop the drunks that walk around with booze right on the streets in OC at this drunken boat parade...Mr. Soifer has turned a blind eye to this for many years, but he sure has a lot to say on keeping the wholesome image of America's greatest family resort. He may be one of the biggest hypocrites of all...
George July 23, 2012 at 06:14 PM
I like this post and theme. Remember when 1. we had water in the back bay 2. we could rent boats to go fishing and water skiing or touring 3. we had waterfront Dining at several places along the bay front 4. we could fuel up our boats 5. we could by bait on the waterfront 6. Nights in Venice was at night 7. we could have our party bands and DJ past 11:00 8. we could walk down the street with a drink and not be harassed 9. we had150-200 boats and equally as many homes decorated Oh how times have changed Remember BYLTMH - Bring your liquor to my house :)
Duffer July 28, 2012 at 02:45 PM
NIV is so lame. Bunch of out of towners showing off to one another. OK, get it over with and go back where you came from.
Duffer July 28, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Been doing the rain dance all day. Derecho.....Derecho.....Derechooooo...
Duffer July 28, 2012 at 11:52 PM
It Worked!!!! Happy Night In Venice!!!!!!
Eleanor July 29, 2012 at 11:21 AM
Agree w/what some of George and Sara said. I remember when NIV used to be a big event with over 100 boats. There was dockside dining available and several places you could go to watch the parade. Now even with the overhyping it is down to 50 boats. It is not about who drinks and who doesn't - NIV was always known for big private parties and people drank on their boats if they wanted - it is about an out of date public relations policy that hangs on to out of date events and does nothing to bring fresh ideas, new programs and events into the agenda. When you look at Cape May and even Wildwood and how they have boosted their 'shoulder season' and brought in music, literary, arts and other programs in a 21st century style you have to wonder why we are hanging on to the same tired formula year after year. You can be a family friendly resort and still recognize that it is 2012. There are other shore resorts that have been successful in expanding their calendar of events - to give so much promotion to the same old stuff and do nothing to generate fresh ideas is counter productive. The problem seems to be that there is a disconnect between the downtown merchants and whoever plans events and no sense of cooperation between them. NIV, parades, walk around without your shoes day, beach clean ups - what do they do for the downtown or city as a whole?
sara July 30, 2012 at 01:49 AM
I totally agree Eleanor. I have been dealing with this as a merchant for 14 years. It's not even a disconnect. It's a no connect...If it's a new idea, it's not even considered. Out of date PR policies and PR person is putting it mildly along with the Main St. and RMA organizations...


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