Avalon Historical Society Clam Shell Pitch Competition
In the mid-1940s a group of Coast Guard servicemen made a habit of trekking down to the beach in Avalon and tossing clam shells to pass the time. The game they set up looked a lot like horseshoes — teams of one or two would take turns pitching clam shells, each aiming for a hole 5 inches deep and 5 inches wide dug into the sand. Over time this habit turned into a club, and in 1947, the Avalon Clam Shell Club challenged another group from Cape May to a tournament. The Annual Clam Shell Pitch Competition lasted years but eventually faded from the town's memory until 2009, when the Avalon Historical Society revived the tradition. This Saturday, make your way to the beach to compete in one of the town's oldest beach games. Trophies will be awards to the doubles and singles tournaments. Clam shells will be provided.
8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. 30th Street Beach, Avalon. $10 registration for one tournament, $15 to play singles and doubles. 609-967-0090, avalonhistorycenter.org/calendar
Christmas in July
If you decide to take a walk along the beach in North Wildwood this weekend, you might come upon a family with young kids dressed in an Ishihara-style mélange of red and green, spread out on a blanket, enjoying a full turkey dinner. Saturday marks the annual Christmas in July celebration in North Wildwood, a decades-old tradition that injects the quiet beach town with a few hours of holiday spirit. Starting at 1 p.m., two trucks will make their way from Second Street down the beach, one carrying a fully costumed Santa Claus and a hoard of his helpers, and the other outfitted with a six-piece band playing Christmas songs. Every three blocks or so, the caravan will stop for free photo ops with Santa while his elves hand out free candy canes. Tom McGuigan of the North Wildwood Beach Patrol says the turkey-diners are not alone in their enthusiasm; many residents bring Christmas trees, Santa hats, and homemade decorations. "The beach looks like a supermarket after Thanksgiving," he said.
1 p.m. Saturday. North Wildwood beach at the Second Avenue Inlet. Free. 609-522-7500, wildwoodsnj.com
Night in Venice Boat Parade
Catch a parade on the water in Ocean City this weekend. The 63rd annual boat parade, part of Ocean City's "Night in Venice" weekend, will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday, and finish with a fireworks show over the water near Third Street. Alfonso Ribeiro (yep, Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) presiding as parade "grand marshal." The parade's theme is "Rockin' Through the Decades," so expect decorations celebrating the music, fashion, and culture from all your favorite years.
6 p.m. Saturday. Parade runs along the bay from the Ocean City-Longport Toll Bridge until Tennessee Avenue. Free to watch; Bay Center $3 for kids, $7 for adults. 609-399-6111, oceancityvacation.com/niv
Race Roll Dye 5K Color Run
It's possible that, at one point or another, you have had the impulse to run 5 kilometers throwing fistfuls of bright-colored dye while diving through a lineup of obstacles molded from sand. If so, Saturday's your shot. The Race Roll Dye 5K Color Run is a family-friendly beach race, in which all runners are armed with complimentary T-shirts and a veritable rainbow of (washable!) dyes. After the race, get more color for your buck at the Dyeing DJ Color Party.
9 a.m. Saturday. Rio Grande Avenue and the Boardwalk. $45; free for children under 10. 856-203-0395, www.racerolldye.com
Wildwood Farmer's Market Peach Party
Celebrate peach season at the Wildwood Farmer's Market this Saturday. The weekly market is hosting a "peach party," where the public can sample fresh peaches from around New Jersey, get tips on peach-related recipes, and stock up on peach-themed merchandise. Anyone who loves baking (except the pros, please) can enter their best peach pie into the Perfect Peach Pie Baking Contest. Submit your pie by 10:30 a.m., and the winner will be announced at 11:30 a.m. The best baker this round will get a Wildwood goody bag and have the chance to compete for the best peach pie in South/Central Jersey, and win the grand prize of $300.