Schedule of weekly boardwalk and downtown events beginsOcean City’s annual Independence Day fireworks display goes off this year at 9;15 p.m. Tuesday, July 4. The fireworks will be launched from a barge off the Ocean City Music Pier and will be best viewed from the beach and boardwalk between Fifth Street and 14th Street. A patriotic soundtrack broadcast over the new state-of-the-art boardwalk PA system will accompany the display. Rain date is July 5. The fireworks will cap off a full day of fun in Ocean City.Two bike parades at either end of the island start Ocean City’s traditional holiday celebration at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The events invite all families to dress patriotically, adorn bicycles and take a short ride.Registration for the South Ocean City Improvement Association parade takes place in the parking lot of Our Lady of Good Counsel (40th Street and Asbury Avenue) at 9 a.m. The event is free to all. The parade route starts at 40th Street and Central Avenue and proceeds down Central Avenue to 53rd Street. From there, the route turns down 53rd Street to finish at the playground at Haven Avenue, where free refreshments will be available and prizes given out to winners in age and family categories. The event has been held since 1954.The Gardens Civic Association’s Bike Parade also starts at 10 a.m. with registration 9 a.m. at the Longport Bridge parking lot. Entry is free. The parade winds its way to E. Atlantic Boulevard along the north-end beaches and finishes with refreshments near the intersection of Beach Road. Registration for a kite-flying competition on the beach between the Music Pier and 10th Street opens at 6 p.m. All are invited to participate, and the contest is free. Prizes will be given in the following categories: Most Patriotic, Largest, Smallest, Youngest Flyer, Highest Flying, Best Homemade, Best Stunt Flyer and Oldest Flyer.The kite contest will be followed at the same location by yo-yo and spinner demonstrations and contests starting at 8 p.m. A hula hoop contest begins at 8:30 p.m. All of these beach contests are sponsored by Air Circus.The popular Tidal Wave Band will play party rock at the Music Pier for an hour prior to the fireworks and an hour after. After many years of playing out front, the band took refuge from rain last year under the covered loggia of the Music Pier, and the performance turned into a dance party. They’ll return to the same location. For more information on any July 4 event, call 609-399-6111.WEEKLY EVENTS KICK INTO HIGH GEARStarting in July and running through the end of August, Ocean City’s boardwalk and downtown will be host to a series of weekly events:Character Nights: 6 p.m. Sundays on the boardwalk (ends Aug. 6). Mascots for Ocean City Boardwalk businesses will sign autographs at the Music Pier. Sponsored by Manco & Manco Pizza, Surf Mall and Jilly’s.Funtastic Tuesdays: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on downtown Asbury Avenue. Entertainment, face painters, balloon sculptors and more.Mummers Nights: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays on the boardwalk (starting July 11). String bands strut the boards between Sixth Street and 14th Street. Sponsored by: Shirt Shack, Preps, Ocean Treasures, Henry’s Fine Jewelry.Beach Walks: South end location at 59th Street and Central Avenue (entrance to Corson’s Inlet State Park) Tuesdays at 9 a.m., Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. North end location at OC/Longport Bridge parking lot Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m, Wednesdays at 9 a.m. Tickets may be purchased on-site. Adults $1, children 50 cents.Farmers Market: Ocean City’s popular weekly Farmers Market opens for the season 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 28. It returns every Wednesday through Sept. 6 on the grounds of the Ocean City Tabernacle on the 500 block of Asbury Avenue. Crafters set up on the street adjacent to the Farmers Market.Wacky Wednesdays: Use your creativity to shape and sculpt salt water taffy into your very own unique masterpiece on June 28. The contest is free and open to all ages. Start time is 10:30 a.m. at the Ocean City Music Pier, Boardwalk at Moorlyn Terrace. Sponsored by Shriver’s Salt Water Taffy. This year, the traditional “July Jubilee” and “Weird Week” contests will be held weekly on Wednesdays throughout the summer with a different theme each week.Market Days: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays on downtown Asbury Avenue. Entertainment, face painters, balloon sculptors and more.Family Nights: 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursdays on the boardwalk. Different bands and entertainers set up between Sixth Street and 14th Street. Sponsored by: Shriver’s, Playland’s Castaway Cove, Johnson’s Popcorn, Gillian’s Wonderland Pier.Historic Tours: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays. Pick-up at 7th Street and Central Avenue.COMING UP IN JULYWACKY WEDNESDAY (July 5): Celebrate America with a good old-fashioned apple and cherry pie eating contest. No hands allowed! Contest is free. Open to all ages. Pies provided by Tastykake. Limited to 150 participants. Start time: 10:30am at the Music Pier.SUPER DIAMOND: THE NEIL DIAMOND TRIBUTE BAND WITH THE OCEAN CITY POPS (July 5): Good times never seemed so good. A tribute to the beloved pop icon Neil Diamond features classic hits such as “Sweet Caroline,” “America,” “Cracklin’ Rose,” “Song Sung Blue” and many more. Show begins at 8 p.m. at the Ocean City Music Pier. Tickets are $35/$25. Visit oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice or call 609-399-6111.SAND SCULPTING CONTEST (July 6): Registration is free and begins at 9:00 a.m. at the Sixth Street Beach. Judging for the first contest of the season takes place by 11 a.m. For more information, call 609-399-6111.SOUNDS LIKE FUN: KIDS FREE CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT (July 6): Meet the Ocean City Pops Woodwind Quintet during a concert of favorites from television and film featuring “The Unhappy Aardvark,” an enchanting tale with a happy ending. The concert begins at 10:30 a.m. and takes place at the Ocean City Music Pier. Free admission for concert of about 45 minutes.ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES FAIR (July 8): The Ocean City Historical Museum invites everybody to the Senior Center within the Ocean City Community Center (1735 Simpson Ave.) to shop from the best known antique and collectible dealers in the region. Admission is free and hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Look for china, glass, furniture, vintage collectibles, postcards, jewelry, textiles and more. For more information, call 609-399-1801.BROADWAY SALUTE WITH THE OCEAN CITY POPS (July 9): Featuring Vocalists Jennie Eisenhower and Dominic Inferrera. The Pops plays favorites from “Oklahoma,” “West Side Story,” “Les Miserables,” “The Phantom of the Opera” and more. Start time 8 p.m. at the Ocean City Music Pier. Tickets are $20/$15. Visit oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice or call 609-399-6111.SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY & THE ASBURY JUKES (July 10): Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes rose to prominence in the mid-1970s, emerging from the same Jersey Shore music scene that boasted his legendary contemporary and friend Bruce Springsteen. With their classic blend of rhythm-and-blues, and street-level rock, molten grooves, soulful guitar licks and blistering horn section, Johnny and his Jukes continue to put their unique stamp on the Jersey Shore sound. The concert begins at 7 p.m. at the Ocean City Music Pier, 825 Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace. Tickets start at $42. For tickets, please visit www.ticketmaster.com, call 1-800-745-3000 or stop by the Ocean City Music Pier box office. Fireworks on the Fourth of July in Ocean City, NJ are fired from a barge anchored off the Ocean City Music Pier near Ninth Street. They go off at 9:15 PM.