More Events:

June 19, 2024

Ocean City's Night in Venice boat parade next month will pay homage to Jimmy Buffett

Tickets to a special viewing area for the July 20 event go on sale Thursday. ESPN's Marty Smith will be the grand marshal.

Festivals Ocean City
ocean city night in venice Provided Image/CITY OF OCEAN CITY

Ocean City will host its 69th annual Night in Venice boat parade on Saturday, July 20, with a Jimmy Buffett theme. Above, a 'Barbie' themed float from the 2023 parade.

Anyone at next month's Night in Venice boat parade in Ocean City can expect to hear "Margaritaville" and "Cheeseburger in Paradise" on repeat, as the event will pay homage to the late Jimmy Buffett.

The 69th annual Night in Venice will take place Saturday, July 20, from 6:30-9:30 p.m., and thousands of spectators are expected to line the bay to watch the intricately decorated boats and homes along the route. 

MORE: Fishtown Taps weekly happy hour deals start today at these 25 restaurants

With the event's “Summertime Vibes: A Tribute to Jimmy Buffett” theme in mind, contest participants are encouraged to pay tribute to the singer-songwriter known for his tropical rock vibes who died in September at age 76. The best of the best will be selected as winners by a group of judges. Entries for boats and homes can be submitted online or by calling 609-399-6111.

"A tribute to Jimmy Buffett is perfect for our summertime event," Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian said in a release.

At 6:30 p.m., the parade kicks off from the Ocean City-Longport Bridge and travels to Tennessee Avenue. Free grandstands will be set up at street ends along the parade route, and many homes along the route host private parties. A fireworks display will cap off the festivities at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Tickets for a special viewing area at the Bayside Center (520 Bay Ave.) go on sale at 9 a.m. Thursday and will include a picnic spot, snack stand, face painting, DJ music, bleacher seating and a prime view of the fireworks show. Admission to the viewing area starts at $10 for adults and $6 for kids ages 12 and younger.

The grand marshal for this year's boat parade will be ESPN reporter and host Marty Smith. His wife, Lainie, was born and raised in Ocean City and was crowned Miss Night in Venice 1995. Their family owns a house in Ocean City and spends summers there.

Night in Venice is a Jersey Shore tradition that began in 1954 as a way to commemorate Ocean City's 75th anniversary. The previous two events featured some Philly flair. Last year, the theme was "It's a Philly Thing," and the parade had retired 6ABC news anchor Jim Gardner as grand marshal. In 2022, the event had a "Mummers: Struttin' on the Bay" theme and retired Villanova coach Jay Wright was grand marshal.

On Friday, July 19, there will be a concert featuring Jimmy Buffett tribute band the Landsharks to kick off the Night in Venice festivities. The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. on the Ocean City Music Pier (825 Boardwalk), and tickets go on sale Thursday.

Night in Venice

Saturday, July 20
6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Ocean City-Longport Bridge to Tennessee Avenue
Ocean City, N.J.

Follow Franki & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @wordsbyfranki | @thePhillyVoice
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice
Have a news tip? Let us know.