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Night in Venice - Ocean City, New Jersey

Keeping the Grownups EntertainedAh, Venice.  The winding canals… the sunlit squares… the exquisite glass… the unforgettable Italian cuisine.  You may not be able to take a trip to Italy this summer, but you can experience the magic of a Night in Venice in Ocean City, New Jersey.

A Night in Venice is one of the world's largest boat parades!  Every year, Ocean City invites boaters from all over to light up a summer night starting at the foot of the Longport Bridge.  Cruise along the bay from the bridge to Tennessee Avenue, or sit on the shore and watch the show!  This year, you can experience a Night in Venice on July 24th.

A couple years ago, the Travel Channel voted Ocean City as the Best Family Beach in America!  Your family will love a Night in Venice in Ocean City -- join more than a hundred thousand spectators for the amazing show!  The mayor will lead an amazing flotilla of close to a hundred decorated boats.  The boats are separated into categories based on length and prizes are up for grabs for Best Decorated, Best Lighted, Most Original, and more.  Don't miss the Musical, Comical, and Children's boats!  The awards are presented in memory of a long time Night in Venice committee member and parade director.

The very first boat in the parade carries Miss Night in Venice and her court.  The Queen and her court are chosen by a money vote -- the result of a fundraising drive the week before the parade.  All proceeds from the fundraising drive benefit local charities.  Local dignitaries and politicians follow.  Be sure to look for last year's Best in Show winner in place of honor.

If you would like to enter a decorated boat in the competition, you can find entry forms at the City Hall Annex on Asbury Avenue in Ocean City.

And don't feel left out if you don't have a boat.  Bayfront property owners are also invited to decorate their properties -- more than three hundred houses and businesses will be decorated for the night.  The parade really is a treat for both sides -- from the shore, you can see the amazing decorated boats; from the boats, you can enjoy the brightly lit and decorated houses.

The modern version of a Night in Venice began in 1954, but Ocean City has been holding a yearly boat parade since the turn of the nineteenth century!  The older event shared the same name -- a Night in Venice -- but was a chance for Philadelphia debutantes to tour the lagoons and show their beauty to spectators.  The modern Night in Venice was created by the city's public relations director and the captain of the Ocean City beach patron in the 1950s.  Impressed by decorated boats in Venice, the boat parade became a yearly event in Ocean City!  As the years went by, the celebration expanded to include different themes and decorated shorefront homes and businesses.

Make time the day before a Night in Venice for the Merchant in Venice seafood festival!  July 19th is your chance to sample some of the best seafood in the area from all your favorite local restaurants.  Enjoy live entertainment, rides for the kids, and handmade crafts along Asbury Avenue between 6th Street and 8th Street.

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