4th of July in Ocean Grove, New Jersey

Ocean  Grove, New Jersey is as American and patriotic as my mama’s apple pie.   And on the 4th of July, Ocean Grove proudly wears its red, white and blue. The parade is Ocean Grove tradition.  Onl0okers come from all over the states and are as constant and contagious as a breakout of the measles.  The day, as always, is priceless!

4th of July Parade in Ocean Grove

4th of July Parade, Ocean Avenue in Ocean Grove, NJ

Gathered in “God’s One Square Mile,” Ocean Grove’s nickname, participants line up on both sides of Main Avenue and on the  beachfront of Ocean Avenue while chairs hug close to the curbs.  The little ones anticipate, with buckets in hand, for the parade to begin, as candy rains down from heaven, tossed out of truck windows by volunteer firefighters and their helpers.  They come every year to display their unique equipment and their colorful trucks in our historic Victorian town.

Fire Trucks in Parade

This year was no different.  They came in droves and crowded the downtown shopping district, marching their way to the ocean.  A pleasant southerly breeze kept the humidity at bay, making it comfortable for the marchers and onlookers to enjoy being outdoors.

Same Day Fire Company


Ocean Grove’s fire companies and other volunteer firefighters housed in towns along the Jersey Shore are a dedicated crew of men and women working swing shifts twenty-four hours, seven days a week.  Their companies are supported by our tax dollars and the residents, knowing how important their job is to the community, come out every year to cheer them on the 4th of July to say, “Thank you”.

Rocky Mount Fire Company

The parade gathers every year at 9:30 AM on Broadway, as musicians tune up their instruments.  Once the songs from bagpipes and drums travel through the town, doors fly open and children and parents alike run to the beachfront for the day’s festivities to begin.  And, as always, they are thoroughly  entertained.

Kenilworth Fire Company

Kenilworth Fire Company

This year’s parade, also affected by Super Storm Sandy, rendered travelers to the Jersey Shore and several out-of-town marching bands without funding to participate in 2013’s events.  But as the slogan says, “We’re Jersey Strong,” so boardwalk and street repairs will continue in the fall to make our town whole again.

She’s a Grand Old Flag!

After the parade, cookouts and block parties ensue, while the younger folk mill through their candy piles.  An exceptional day with an evening to look forward to: a double-barrel firework display from neighboring towns to the south at Bradley Beach and to the north in Asbury Park.

Bagpipes and drums marching on Ocean Avenue

Update your interest about Ocean Grove’s concert series every Saturday night during the summer months at the Great Auditorium, and morning prayer services on the boardwalk at Ocean Pathway in an outdoor prayer pavilion.  Bible study for teens and younger children every weekday morning starting at 9 AM.

This is a great place to bring the family.   Plenty of restaurants, hotels, motels, and B&B combinations.


Photos: Patricia Florio