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What's Happening in Ocean City, NJ 12/15/21

Admission Buttons on Sale for 2022 First Night - Celebrate New Year’s Eve With the Entire Family

It’s not too early to think about making plans for a family-friendly New Year’s Eve in Ocean City. The popular non-alcoholic New Year’s Eve celebration features more than 70 entertainment programs at 20 different locations in Ocean City from 4 p.m. till 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31. A fireworks display rings in the New Year at midnight.

All-inclusive admission buttons for Ocean City’s First Night celebration are on sale for $20. Purchase them online at firstnightocnj.com or by calling 609-399-6111. They are also available for purchase:

  • At our City Hall Welcome Center at 861 Asbury Avenue (9th Street entrance): 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
  • At the Roy Gillian Welcome Center (9th Street causeway): 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday

The headliner for First Night 2022 is the Grammy-winning group Tavares. Top hits from Tavares include “It Only Takes a Minute," "Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel,” "Don't Take Away the Music” and "More Than a Woman." The kids will love Grammy-nominated children’s artist Tim Kubart, who will be joined on stage for an interactive show by his band, the Space Cadets.

The rides at Wonderland Pier will return this year, and other returning favorites include the ice-skating rink, inflatables, the Harlem Wizards, a karaoke party, magician Chad Juros, a Country Line Dance Experience and the Legacy Band.

The Ocean City Arts Center will join the fun this year with a social music listening activity called “Hear Here!” That will make the Ocean City Community Center a special for activities with events under the same roof at the Free Public Library, Aquatic & Fitness Center, Historical Museum, Library Atrium and the Senior Center.

The celebration will continue on New Year’s Day with the First Day 5K boardwalk run, the annual First Plunge in the icy Atlantic Ocean and the First Day Shopping Extravaganza. Registration is open for the First Day 5K at ocnj.recdesk.com

For more information and schedule updates, visit firstnightocnj.com.


The Ocean City Theatre Company Junior Company this weekend will perform a musical based on the beloved holiday comedy film “Elf.” “Elf: The Musical JR.” features more than 25 students in grades 3 to 8 from across Cape May and Atlantic counties.

The show is based on the 2003 New Line Cinema hit and features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar  and Chad Beguelin. The musical tells the story of a young orphan who mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is given the name Buddy and raised by elves in the North Pole. Buddy lives happily unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at the Ocean City Music Pier. Tickets are $15. Call 609-399-6111, visit oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice, or stop by the Music Pier Box Office on the days of the shows.


Free Horse and Carriage Rides (weekends through Dec. 18-19): Noon to 3 p.m. with boarding at Sixth Street and Asbury Avenue. Please be aware that riders may have to queue up well in advance of 3 p.m. For more information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ.

Visits With Santa (weekends through Dec. 18-19): 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Mark Soifer Park (Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue). For more information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ.

Photos With Santa in an OCBP Lifeguard Boat (weekends through Dec. 18-19): Noon to 3 p.m. at the Ocean City Music Pier. For more information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ.

First Night (Dec. 31): Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the family in Ocean City. The annual event features more than 70 shows and activities and venues throughout town. Fireworks ring in the new year at midnight. For admission buttons, schedules and more information, visit firstnightocnj.com or call 609-399-6111.

First Day Shopping Extravaganza (Jan. 1): Welcome the New Year by shopping for tremendous bargains in downtown Ocean City, Asbury Avenue from Sixth Street to 14th Street. For more information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ.

Free Horse & Carriage Rides (Jan. 1): Noon to 3 p.m. with boarding at Sixth Street and Asbury Avenue.

First Day Boardwalk 5K (Jan. 1): Race starts at 1 p.m. at the Ocean City Music Pier. Pre-register at ocnj.us/race-events. Race-day registration opens at 11 a.m. at the Music Pier.

First Day at the Beach (Jan. 1):  Featuring Ocean City’s first dip in the ocean for the New Year at 2 p.m. On the beach adjacent to the Music Pier. For more information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ.