Recently retired Villanova University men’s basketball coach Jay Wright and his wife, Patty, will be grand marshals of the 2022 Night in Venice boat parade on July 23 in Ocean City, N.J. The Wrights will be joined by family members for the 67th anniversary of the festive summer event.
Jay Wright stepped down as head coach this year after 21 seasons, 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, six Big East championships and two NCAA championships (2016 and 2018). A native of the region and summer resident of Ocean City, Wright is one of the most highly regarded coaches in NCAA history. He took the Wildcats to the NCAA Final Four in his final season earlier this spring. Patty Wright is a Villanova graduate, former cheerleader and proud member of Nova Nation. She continues to be involved in charitable activities through the university.
“It’s great to have two of our own leading Night in Venice this year,” Mayor Jay Gillian said. “Jay is a gentleman, a class act, and one of the best coaches in NCAA history. His legacy is a source of pride for everybody in the Philadelphia area and for all of us here in Ocean City. Patty’s support of Villanova and her work on behalf of those in need are exemplary.”
Ocean City is celebrating Philly with this year’s theme: “Mummers: Struttin’ on the Bay,” a tribute to the colorful costumes, themed entries and distinctive string bands that define the annual New Year’s Day parade and Ocean City’s Tuesday nights on the Boardwalk. A fireworks display will light up the bay and cap off the festivities on July 23.
The boat parade and decorated bayfront home contest provide a chance to be part of the highlight of the summer season in Ocean City. Thousands of spectators line the bayfront, and thousands more attend private parties at homes along the route from the Ocean City-Longport Bridge to Tennessee Avenue.
ACME returns as a presenting sponsor for Night in Venice this year. Free shuttle transportation will be available and free grandstands will be set up at street ends along the route. For more information on participating in the event or attending, visit www.ocnj.us/niv or call 609-399-6111.
Photo Caption: Head coach Jay Wright of the Villanova Wildcats cuts down the net after defeating the Houston Cougars, 50-44, in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Elite 8 Round at AT&T Center on March 26, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)