• August 22, 2019

SOCIA Fourth of July bike parade a huge draw - Ocean City Sentinel: News

SOCIA Fourth of July bike parade a huge draw

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Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2019 9:52 am

OCEAN CITY – Hundreds crowded Central Avenue and lined the sidewalks for the longstanding July 4 bike parade, presented by the South Ocean City Improvement Association. 

Pageant winners, floats and walkers were part of the parade, which made its way from the parking lot of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church at 40th Street to 53th Street, where the parade cut back from the beach to end at the city playground at Haven Avenue. 

But the kids were the main attraction. 

A steady line of children rode their elaborately decorated bikes along the route, forming a sea of red, white and blue. For many families, the bike parade is a long-standing tradition and a beloved part of Independence Day each year. In previous years, 800 people registered for the parade. With those crowding the route, including many young children in patriotic-themed shirts and hats, the total number seemed well over a thousand. 

SOCIA has sponsored the parade since 1954. 

This year seemed more crowded than usual, said John Fallon, the SOCIA president. 

“We had quite a few kids, I’ll tell you,” he said. Some of the youngest riders only made it through the first few blocks of the route before calling it quits, however. 

This year, the parade was dedicated to Barbara Johnson, a dedicated supporter of the parade who died on July 3 last year. Her family members carried a banner at the head of the parade this year. 

Police lead off the parade each year, followed by a fire truck, with winners of local pageants and Miss Night in Venice contestants riding next in convertibles. An Ocean City officer on a bike rode ahead, clearing the route and directing the few remaining cars off Central Avenue before the parade arrived. She received a loud cheer from the crowd at 52nd Street after redirecting the last truck off the road before the parade’s arrival. 

Fallon said the parade went well. 

“You know what the best part of this year? We didn’t get one complaint,” he said. 

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