Ocean City, NJ — Safe summer fun and a salute to the Jersey Shore’s Heroes will highlight this year’s 59th annual Night in Venice Boat Parade in Ocean City.
The John R. Elliott HERO Campaign, which promotes the use of safe and sober designated drivers on land and water, will be a sponsoring partner of this year’s event, to be held Saturday, July 20 beginning at 6 p.m. The parade will attract an estimated 100,000 revelers to the city to view scores of decorated boats promoting summertime fun and honoring members of the military, law enforcement and first responders from the Jersey Shore.
“We welcome the HERO Campaign to remind everyone to use designated drivers when their good times include alcoholic beverages,” stated city business administrator Mike Dattilo. He noted that the city has been a supporter of the HERO Campaign for many years through its First Night New Year’s Eve celebration, the Miss Night in Venice Pageant , and Wonderland Pier’s HERO Day benefit.
Mayor Jay Gillian added: “Our ‘Jersey Strong’ Salute to Heroes will honor the men and women serving our country in the Middle East, as well as those who helped the Jersey Shore recover from hurricane Sandy.” He added, “We want to welcome everyone back to the Jersey Shore, and remind them that Ocean City’s beach and Boardwalk are better than ever.”
Philadelphia’s 6ABC Action News Meteorologist Adam Joseph will be the Grand Marshall for the Parade.
The HERO Campaign was established by the family of Navy Ensign John R. Elliott of Egg Harbor Township. Elliott was killed in July, 2000 by a drunken driver two months after graduating from the United States Naval Academy, where he was named the Outstanding HERO of his graduating class. The organization is now active in seven states.
“We believe designated drivers are heroes because they make sure everyone gets home safely,” said HERO Campaign chairman Bill Elliott, John’s father. He noted that the NJ State Police and the Marine Police will be supporting the Night in Venice, and participating in the campaign’s “Summer of HEROES,” which will include the use of designated driver “HEROES” by boaters. This summer, more than 150 bars from Asbury Park to Cape May will participate in the campaign’s Jersey Shore HEROES and serve free soft drinks to designated drivers.
Boats from Seaview Harbor Marina will host members of the various branches of the military, law enforcement and first responders, including the Navy, Marines, Army and Air Force National Guards, the Coast Guard, State and local police, EMS personnel, firefighters and utility workers.
For more information about the Night in Venice Parade and how to register your boat or bayfront home, contact the City of Ocean City at www.ocnj.us/niv
For more information on the HERO Campaign, visit http://herocampaign.org/