Ocean Grove

God's Square Mile at The Jersey Shore ● Victorian Day: House Walking & Horse-and-Buggy Tours – July 27 ● #Ocean Grove Forever: Family Fun Events – Aug. 10

What pops into your head when you think of the Jersey Shore? Asbury Park, of course! But did you know that just a short swim away from that famous rock’n’roll haven is a charming Victorian town that rivals similar settings like New Jersey’s Cape May, the “painted ladies” of San Francisco, and the Garden District of New Orleans?

It’s Ocean Grove, located in Monmouth County’s Neptune Township. The town was founded in 1869 by a group of Methodist ministers as a spiritual summer retreat. THE OCEAN GROVE CAMP MEETING ASSOCIATION (OGCMA) remains the town’s heartbeat and is the longest-active camp meeting site in the U.S., best known for its remarkable 5,000-seat Great Auditorium (likened by composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein to “Noah’s Ark upside-down”) that features a mighty pipe organ – one of the largest in the world.


This year, in honor of its 150th anniversary, OGCMA has planned a summer series of secular and spiritual events that will make your summer day(s) by the sea a wonderful, unique experience. If the religious components aren’t your cup of tea, the wide variety of Ocean Grove’s lodging, dining and shopping options will keep you comfortable and otherwise entertained while you especially enjoy the anniversary schedule of visit-worthy events. And, if the rock spirit moves you, Asbury Park is just minutes away – so you can have the best of both worlds. Meanwhile, besides the beach, boardwalk, balmy breezes and bright blue skies, Ocean Grove is offering the following this special year:

CELEBRATING 150 YEARS TOGETHER – Saturday, July 6

Independence Day Parade Celebrating the Spirit of America – 10:30am-12:30 p.m. – The parade begins on Whitefield Avenue and turns east along Main Avenue to Central Avenue, then turns north towards Ocean Pathway, then east again, ending along Ocean Avenue. It features over 2,000 participants including bands, floats, community groups, civic organizations, local politicians, businesses, and thousands of onlookers. The Ocean Grove Annual Independence Day Parade is one of the best attractions at the Jersey Shore and you won’t want to miss it.

  • Town Celebration – Auditorium Square Park and the Auditorium Pavilion Area – 1-5 p.m. – The fun continues immediately following the parade with food; family-friendly entertainment with DJ Jean Marie; and games and activities hosted by many of the local businesses, organizations, and civic groups.
  •  Fireworks on Ocean Grove Beach – 9 p.m. – A delightful night of rich color and bright light.

FOR THOSE WISHING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS SPECIAL DAY’S RELIGIOUS OPPORTUNITIES:

  •  Bible Hour with Mr. Mark Kolchin – Bishop Janes Tabernacle – 9-10 a.m.
  •  Gospel Music Ministries – The Boardwalk Pavilion – 3:30-4:30 p.m. and 7-8 p.m.
  •  Liquid Church at the ShoreGreat Auditorium – 6:00-7:30 p.m.

VICTORIAN DAY IN OCEAN GROVE – Saturday, July 27

  • Living History of Ocean Grove – Great Auditorium – 10 a.m. -3 p.m.
  • Dedication of Fountain Restoration – Founder’s Park – 11-11:30 a.m.
  • The Little Detour Photo Booth – Auditorium Park – 12-4 p.m.
  • Horse and Carriage Tours – 15-minute tours begin near the Stokes statue – 12-4 p.m.

Group $10; Individuals $2 – ride along the Victorian streets in style

  • Historical Society Walking Tours – Tours begin at the Historical Society Museum – 12-5 p.m.

See the outside and inside of pristine Victorian homes, as well as Society volunteers in vintage costumes

ADDED FUN:

  • Organ Recital with Dr. Gordon Turk, Great Auditorium, 12-1 p.m.
  • Boogie Board Races on the beach, 1-2 p.m.
  • Poetry Reading featuring works from the Elwood Stokes Collection, 2-2:50 p.m.
  • Ocean Grove Refreshments – From 4-8:30 p.m, the Ocean Grove Refreshment Committee will sell select food & beverages at reasonable prices.

FOR THOSE WISHING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS SPECIAL DAY’S RELIGIOUS OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Bible Hour with Pastor Vito Aiuto – Bishop Janes Tabernacle – 9-10 a.m.
  • Mrs. Thornley’s Prayer Tent – Founder’s Park – 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Prayers with the Presidents – a group panel featuring current and former presidents of OGCMA, followed by a time of prayer – 1-2 p.m.
  • God’s Story in Ocean Grove – Historical reenactments & a community hymn sing – Boardwalk Pavilion – 3-4 p.m.
  • Liquid Church at the Shore – Great Auditorium – 6-7 p.m.
  • Old Time Religion – An interactive retrospective of Ocean Grove’s musical heritage – Great Auditorium –   8 p.m.

#OCEAN GROVE FOREVER – SATURDAY AUGUST 10
A glorious day of family-friendly fun, filled with activities, games, and an unforgettable night.

  • Scavenger Hunt – On the Beach – 11:00am-2:00pm
  • Ladies Auxiliary Art in the Park – Auditorium Pavilion – 12:00-9:00pm
  • Organ Recital with Dr. Gordon Turk – Great Auditorium – 12:00-1:00pm
  • Petting Zoo, Face Painting, Caricatures, Balloon Art and Moon Bounces – Ocean Pathway – 2:00-5:00pm
  • Live Music in the Boardwalk Pavilion – 3:00-10:00pm
  • Food Truck Festival – An adventure in eating fabulous foods from some of Jersey’s best food truck owners & operators – 4-9 p.m.
  • Ladies Auxiliary Ice Cream Social – Auditorium Pavilion – 6-9 p.m.
  • Illumination Night – a festival of cheer with live music and shimmering lanterns – Auditorium Square Park – 8-10 p.m.

FOR THOSE WISHING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS SPECIAL DAY’S RELIGIOUS OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Bible Hour with Pastor Roger Casey – Bishop Janes Tabernacle – 9-10 a.m.
  • Liquid Church at the Shore – Great Auditorium – 6-7:30 p.m.