Halloween Parade in Ocean City New Jersey
Every October, the communities across South Jersey organize special events to kick off the fall and prepare for the holiday season. The Halloween Parade in Ocean City New Jersey has been a special tradition for the past seventy years and it’s an important event for local families in Ocean City and many who live on the Mainland. The parade covers about five city blocks along Asbury Avenue- the very same road that hosted the Ocean City Fall Block Party less than a month earlier.
The Ocean City Exchange Club hosts the Halloween Parade in Ocean City New Jersey. Anyone can attend the parade for free, but to participate in the parade and compete for a prize you will need to register in advance. On this year’s event page, the OCEC posted two rules: No political themes and no throwing candy. What a way to rain on the parade!
Seriously though, the parade is a great time for kids and adults and the only challenging part tends to be finding a parking spot and coping with traffic on the drive home. For locals who live within walking distance of the parade, it’s a hassle-free night of fun to look forward to. Those visiting from nearby beach towns should plan to arrive early and park, and leave a few minutes before the parade officially ends in order to avoid a traffic jam.
There are eight different prize categories in the Ocean City Halloween Parade competition. There are three separate kids-only divisions, a marching organization and groups in costumes category, family groups or adults, cheerleaders and drill teams, non-commercial floats, and commercial floats. Every registered individual or group is assigned a number and the winners are contacted the very next day and published in the Ocean City Sentinel newspaper soon after. One of the first place prizewinners this year was Jennifer Reed of Egg Harbor Township, NJ. She was accompanied by a large group of friends and family dressed in orange pumpkin tee shirts to present their very impressive Pumpkin Hayride float.
After the Halloween Parade in Ocean City ends, many costumed kids and upbeat parents head home to prepare for the trick-or-treating later that weekend. While the actual Halloween holiday isn’t until a few days later, the family-friendly beach town of Ocean City hosts a safe and scare-free daylight trick-or-treating opportunity for small children to enjoy. Saturday night, the downtown shops along Asbury Avenue between Sixth Street and 11th Street welcome kids into their stores for candy and other festive treats. In previous years, all participating shops placed a pumpkin sign in the window to invite costumed trick-or-treaters to stop by. It quickly became a fun game of eye-spy for little ones hopping excitedly down the sidewalks in search of windows with pumpkins. This event took place between 2pm and 4pm this year. The traditional time for trick-or-treating is officially set from 5pm to 8pm on Halloween night.
There’s more Halloween fun to be had for adults in Ocean City at the Ocean City Yacht Club. The Greater Ocean City Theatre Company hosts an annual Halloween Costume Party and they spare no expense! This event actually couples as a fundraiser for the local theatre company. Tickets cost $75 each at this 21-and-over party, but it’s well worth it when you fill up on the food and drinks and get your fix of dancing and prizes.
If you missed out on the Ocean City Halloween Parade, parties, and trick-or-treating this year, make sure you’re ready for next fall!