Ocean City, N.J. cancels July 4 fireworks, ‘Night in Venice’ boat parade

A scene from the 2017 Night in Venice boat parade in Ocean City, N.J. (Bill Barlow/WHYY)

A scene from the 2017 Night in Venice boat parade in Ocean City, N.J. (Bill Barlow/WHYY)

Two traditions in Ocean City won’t happen this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor Jay Gillian announced Monday that he and city officials decided to cancel the Fourth of July fireworks and the Night in Venice boat parade.

In a statement, the mayor said that he had hoped to preserve the events.

“But with the enormous influx of people we’ve seen over the past few weeks and with the governor still prohibiting mass gatherings and dense crowds, we do not believe it would be responsible to continue with these popular events,” he said in part. “The health and safety of everybody who loves Ocean City will always be our top priority.”

Down the Cape May County coast, Wildwood will host a July 4 fireworks show at the Rio Grande beach, and then every following Friday through Sept. 4.

Night in Venice is a tradition that spans more than 60 years. Watercraft decked out in colorful lights set sail for the three-mile parade along the bay from Ocean City-Longport Bridge to Tennessee Avenue.

Hundreds of decorated bayfront homes and businesses also participate in the night’s festivities. Prizes are awarded to both boats and buildings.

Jana Shea contributed to this report. 

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