Ocean City rolls out July 4th tradition with dual bike parades
By MADDY VITALE
A July 4th tradition from Ocean City is back – two bike parades that will kick off the holiday weekend as had been the case for many years before COVID-19.
So families step into your best of July 4th, decorate your bikes and choose where you want to ride in a parade, joined by hundreds of other participants in the south on July 3 or the north on July 4.
Events are free and no prior registration is required.
The South Ocean City Improvement Association parade was not scheduled this year, but a group of local residents, the Chamber of Commerce and the city will bring it back.
The South End Parade will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 3, and participants will start lining up at 9 a.m. in the Our Lady of Good Counsel parking lot at 40th Street and Asbury Avenue.
The South End Parade ends at the 52nd Street and Haven Avenue Playground.
Michele Gillian, executive director of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber was keen to help keep the tradition going.
“We are thrilled to continue the tradition of the South End Bike Parade that began in 1954. Ocean City is about families and this community event is for families. It’s important to keep the tradition alive, ”Gillian said in a statement.
She added, “We can’t wait to see all the families and their bikes decorated for the parade. The North and South cycle parades are an important part of America’s largest family complex and we are happy to be a part of it.
Registration for the Gardens Civic Association Cycling Parade for the North End Parade begins at 9 a.m. on Sunday, July 4, in the parking lot at the base of the Ocean City-Longport toll bridge.
The route heads toward East Atlantic Boulevard with an arrival near Beach Road. The parade starts at 10 a.m.
Duane Sonneborn, treasurer of the Gardens Civic Association, said in an interview on Friday that he was looking forward to a fantastic family event.
“Everything was canceled in 2020. But this year is different,” Sonneborn said. “We’re back to normal. Hopefully we will have a lot of people for the parade. “
Sonneborn, who joined the association that runs the Northern Parade in 2009, said it has been a tradition since at least the 1950s for residents of the north.
“We have about 600 people showing up – children and adults,” he said. “We distribute t-shirts to children to emphasize the safety of the bicycle helmet. On the back of the jersey is a list of all the sponsors who help make the parade possible. “
Sonneborn explained that a lot goes into organizing the parade each year and added that the help of the police in crowd control and ensuring the safety of participants along the parade route is always appreciated.
“We are receiving great help from the police,” he said.
Sonneborn said he was delighted that the Southern Parade is being organized because, like the Northern Parade, it is an important tradition to be respected in the city.
He added, “I think it’s really positive for the city and the House to keep the tradition on 40th Street and the south end. It makes sense to have something for the south.
He said he heard from a former president of the Gardens Civic Association that the South Ocean City Improvement Association was struggling to muster enough volunteers to help organize the parade and that members decided to cancel the parade in February.
“They have always had large parades with floats. Our former president was talking to them and they basically said they had the same problem that we have in our association, ”Sonneborn explained. “We don’t have enough volunteers. We receive donations, which is great. But we don’t have enough actors.
Other holiday weekend events include a free Patriotic Ocean City Pops concert at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 3 at Carey Stadium on the Fifth Street beach block.
A kite contest and yo-yo exhibit will be held at 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 4 on the beach and boardwalk near Music Pier.
The fireworks are scheduled for 9 p.m. on July 4 with the show launched from a barge off Ninth Street.