first_imgTens of thousands of spectators and partygoers lined the bayfront on Saturday night for Ocean City’s Night in Venice.The event enjoyed clear skies, relatively mild temperatures and calm water on the bay for the annual boat parade and house-decorating contest.This year’s parade included only 43 boats — 32 decorated for the contest and another 11 lead boats that carried grand marshal John Stauffer, special guests the Action News weather team, Miss Night in Venice contestants, City Council members and other special entries.Night in Venice remains a huge draw for spectators and for guests at private bayfront parties in Ocean City. But the event has struggled in recent years to attract participating boats.The event date was earlier in July than usual — with organizers forced to schedule it to coincide with a high tide. Many lagoons and bayside channels are too shallow for boat traffic at low tide.Last year’s lineup included 70 entries, and the 2013 parade saw 72. The 2012 parade had 50 entries, and the 2011 parade had 58.This year’s theme was “Dancing Under the Stars” with owners decorating their boats to fit the theme.__________Sign up for OCNJ Daily’s free Ocean City newsletter“Like” us on Facebook__________The parade set out from the Ocean City-Longport Bridge at 6:15 p.m. (about 15 minutes late) and made the trip along Ocean City’s bayfront, in and out of lagoons along the way, to the end of the parade route at Tennessee Avenue.Stauffer, owner of Johnson’s Popcorn, celebrating its 75th anniversary in Ocean City, was grand marshal. Honored by the honor, Stauffer donated tubs of popcorn to all participating boats and decorated homes.The home-decorating contest and private parties along the entire parade route make Night in Venice one of the highlights of the summer season in Ocean City.Contest judges at the Bayside Center in Ocean City said the winners of the boat and house-decorating contests will not be announced until after 6 p.m. Sunday. (Check back here for complete results.)See photo gallery below.[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”10″ gal_title=”Night in Venice 2015″]last_img

Published by admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *