August 3, 2021

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Night In Venice boat parade returns to Ocean City bays after pandemic forced hiatus | Local News



Children compete in the annual pie-eating contest Wednesday at the Music Pier on the Boardwalk in Ocean City.







OCEAN CITY — Night In Venice is coming back.

After a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city’s premier summer event is set to kick off for the 66th time at 6 p.m. Saturday, with decorated boats parading past equally decorated bayfront and lagoon homes.

Last year’s theme was set to salute the Olympics, which was also delayed a year. Participants are encouraged to use that theme, or go with this year’s theme: “Honoring our Heroes.”

This year’s grand marshals will include several local medical professionals.

On Bay Avenue this week, Marlene Thornton put the finishing touches on her decorations, readying for the event. Her husband, Michael Thornton, is a volunteer firefighter and assistant chief of the volunteer fire company in Flourtown, Pennsylvania, which made her theme pick an easy one.

For recent Ocean City High School graduate Faith Slimmer, it was a personal decision.

The plan is to have party participants dance to a medley of fire-themed songs, including Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire.”

On Wednesday morning, she drew in the black lines of a huge cutout of a firefighter that will stand next to the house Saturday.

For close to 20 years, she has gone all out for the event, preparing elaborate themed decorations and matching costumes that have won her multiple first-place awards in the house judging.