DAVE WINSLOW WAS A TEENAGER WHEN
he attended his first Night in Venice, Ocean
City’s annual boat parade. The decorated
vessels illuminating the summer evening
captivated Winslow as they floated across
Great Egg Harbor Bay.
“It was almost like the water came alive,”
he recalls. Forty-seven years later, Winslow
keeps returning for the spectacle, which,
like Winslow himself, turns 60 this year.
The anniversary parade will set sail July 26
between 6 and 7 PM, depending on tides. It
lasts about four hours.
“I’ve seen every parade since 1967,” says
Winslow, a former Night in Venice committee chairman who now divides his time
between Fort Lauderdale and Ocean City.
Mark Soifer, Ocean City’s public relations director, calls the parade “the social
event of the season.” He estimates 80,000
people watched the 2013 parade of about
80 boats. The flotilla follows a 3-mile
route along the bay from the Ocean City-Longport Bridge to Tennessee Avenue.
Good viewing spots include Ocean
City’s Bayside Center, 5th Street and Bay
Avenue, and streets that end at the bay from
Battersea Road to 15th Street, Soifer says.
Grandstands will be in place, but spectators
may bring chairs. A free shuttle runs 4 to
11 PM from Ocean City Airport (25th Street
and Bay Avenue) to the waterfront. Admis-
sion to Bayside Center, one of the shuttle
stops, is $5 for adults and $3 for children.
Elsewhere, waterfront access is free.
Winslow says the spectacle incorporates elements of Mardi Gras and
Philadelphia’s Mummers Parade.
Vessels range from small motorboats
to commercial party boats and yachts.
Boats and homes along the parade route
decorate for the occasion, Soifer says.
This year’s theme is Night at the
Oscars, but participants often choose
themes related to a current event—such
as Bridgegate. “Anything that’s hap-
pened in the past 12 months is likely to
show up,” Winslow says.
The original Night in Venice cast off in
1907, says city historian Fred Miller. “It was
held again in the 1920s, but discontinued
because of the Depression and World War
II.” He credits Jack Jernee, a captain of the
Ocean City Beach Patrol, with reviving the
parade in 1954 to commemorate Ocean
City’s 75th anniversary.
Since its revival, no Night in Venice has
been postponed by bad weather, a streak
Winslow hopes will continue. “It can’t rain
on our parade,” he says. ;
A skilled welder and bike
enthusiast, Erik Hendrickson has re-envisioned
19th-century high-wheel bicycles for the 21st century.
The Morristown resident
recently launched his first
business, Hi Cycles. Weld-
ing a second frame on top
of a regular bicycle puts
riders, he says, “on another
A land surveyor by day,
Hendrickson, 26, works
part-time at Marty’s Reli-
able Cycle in Morristown.
He hopes to see his tow-
ering two-wheelers catch
on. He says the tall cycles
o;er great sight lines for
touring the Shore, and he
also hopes to use them to
flaunt ad banners.
To mount the machine,
he plants his right foot on
a peg on the left side of
the rear wheel, steps on
the pedal with his left foot
and throws his right leg
over the saddle. Coming
to a stop without toppling
is tricky. “Not everyone’s
meant to do it,” he admits.
“I’m probably too skilled for
my own good.” ; P H
[EVENTS] BY TOM WILK
Lighting Up the Night
take to the sea
for Ocean City’s
annual Night in
Venice, now in
its 60th year.
ABOVE IT ALL: Eric Hendrickson, on his Hi Cycle, sees a role
for it towing ad banners.
[ I N N O V A T I O N S ] BY CHRISTINA COLIZZA