Night in Venice, now in its 64th year, is a highly-anticipated summer event in Ocean City, New Jersey. In July of each year, individuals with boats and those who live on the bay often take part in the revelry by decorating their boats and homes and entering the Night in Venice contest to be named best of the bunch.
Although Night in Venice itself is only one night out of the year, the weekend on which it falls is often filled with other plentiful events on the days surrounding the boat parade. This year is no exception. Here are six reasons to make sure you’re in Ocean City on the weekend of July 27–29:
Night in Venice Boat Parade
The Night in Venice boat parade, which is the number one reason to be in town during this weekend, will take place on Saturday, July 28, starting at 7 p.m. This year’s theme is “TV’s Greatest Hits” and the grand marshals will be Jackie Evancho, Jon Dorenbos, Laurie Hernandez and Maksim “Maks” Chmerkovskiy. Boat owners who wish to enter the parade can register online, decorate their boats and join the parade, which starts at the Ocean City-Longport bridge and heads south along the bay, meandering in and out of the lagoons, until it reaches Tennessee Avenue.
If you are a bayside homeowner or condo owner, you can also register your home to be considered as a contestant in the Night in Venice festivities. Many homeowners decorate their houses and enter the contest to try to win the prize for best decoration.
For those who wish to watch the parade and don’t have a bayside home in which to do so, don’t worry, as the cross streets which end at the bay are a great place to spectate, along with the 9th Street bridge, for free. Certain cross streets will have grandstands set up for viewing (see the FAQ’s section on the city website for more info). For those who don’t mind paying a small fee, the Bayside Center at 520 Bay Avenue will be open with bleacher seating, food for sale, kid’s activities, live entertainment and more. The cost to view the parade at the Bayside Center and take advantage of these other amenities is $4 for kids 12 and under and $8 for adults. Gates open at 5:15 p.m. and guests can stay to watch the Night in Venice fireworks display, which begins at 9 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at City Hall or online.
Master Dance Class with Maksim “Maks” Chmerkovskiy
Known for his professional dance expertise on Dancing with the Stars, Maksim “Maks” Chmerkovskiy invites Ocean City residents and visitors to sign up for a master dance class with him on Saturday, July 28, with two sessions to choose from, including 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The cost is $65 per person and includes a meet-and-greet and Q&A with Maks. Tickets are now available online.
Meet-and-Greet and Q&A with Maks Chmerkovskiy and Dancing with the Stars Partner Laurie Hernandez
Not much of a dancer, yet still want the opportunity to meet up with Maks Chmerkovskiy when he’s in town? You can do so by attending the meet-and-greet and Q&A, scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 28. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet his Dancing with the Stars partner, U.S. Olympic gold medalist, gymnast Laurie Hernandez. The cost to attend this event is $30 per person and tickets can be purchased on the Ocean City website.
Jon Dorenbos Magic Show
Beloved former Philadelphia Eagles player, Jon Dorenbos, is not only famous for his football player stardom but his magic expertise as well. On Friday, July 27, at 8 p.m., watch Jon Dorenbos work his magic (literally) at the Ocean City Music Pier. The evening will feature magic tricks and inspirational dialogue by Dorenbos. Tickets are available for $32–$37 and can be purchased online.
Jon Dorenbos Meet-and-Greet
Eager to see Jon Dorenbos, but not able to make it to the magic show at 8 p.m.? Attend the meet-and-greet earlier in the day on Friday, July 27, at 4:30 p.m., at the Music Pier. The cost is $20 per person and tickets are now available.
Jackie Evancho with the Ocean City Pops
On Sunday, July 29, at 7:30 p.m., Jackie Evancho, known for her extraordinary singing talent on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, will take the stage at the Music Pier with the exceptional Ocean City Pops orchestra. Tickets in the $30 price range are still available.