The “Night in Venice” Boat Parade on the Ocean City, NJ bayfront is a fun-filled, annual event and always a highlight of the summer for Jersey shore vacationers to our Cape May County island. Guests of the Scarborough Inn Bed & Breakfast can easily walk or bike to this event, as well as to the beach and boardwalk, due to the inn’s convenient center-of-town location.
Actually, “Night in Venice” has evolved into three, related events. The first is the selection of Miss Night in Venice. Unlike similar events, the winner is the young lady who raises the largest sum of money for charity with all donations benefiting non-profit organizations.
The second part of this summertime event is the Seafood Festival on Asbury Avenue in Downtown Ocean City. It takes place on Friday evening preceding the Boat Parade and includes live music by the Tidal Wave Band, amusements and pony rides for the younger children, and booths selling bar-b-que, beverages, snacks & sweets, and of course – seafood! There’s shrimp or scallop kabobs, lobster bisque, crab cake sandwiches, and more to tempt those strolling “the Avenue” (closed to vehicular traffic for the evening).
The actual Night in Venice Boat Parade takes place on Saturday evening and is always scheduled to coincide with the full moon. The associated high tide (highest of the summer) allows easier access to the lagoons by the largest vessels.
This year, Miss Night in Venice and her court lead off the annual Boat Parade on a gleaming cabin cruiser wearing brightly-colored summery gowns. Congressman Frank LoBiondo was featured on the next yacht, followed by the Mayor and City Council members on separate boats. These were followed by craft of all sizes – outboards, cabin cruisers, and party boats – decorated with themed decor, lights, and music. It makes for a very festive waterborne parade.
Some guests at the wonderful party we attended viewed the waterfront home displays by cruising around the bay during the afternoon. They reported that the decorations were colorful and varied. I imagine the decorations were even more magical when night fell and the homes and yards were illuminated with colorful lights reflecting in the water of the lagoons!
Traditionally, at least some of the entries feature commentary on current issues or people and this year Tiger Woods was a target. Patriotic decorations festooned some boats, “Elvis” made his annual appearance, and tropical or beach themes are always popular. This year, one outboard was decorated like a Venetian gondola, complete with gondolier!
The Night in Venice Boat Parade is certainly a fun event; but Ocean City, NJ has a full Calendar of Events and activities for all ages, tastes, and interests. Visit the “About Ocean City – Events” page on the Scarborough Inn B&B website for details about upcoming special events. Then make your reservations to coincide with favorite activities to enhance your Jersey shore vacation! We’ll be happy to assist with arrangements.