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WHAT’S HAPPENING IN OCEAN CITY 12/7/22

Admission Buttons on Sale for First Night Ocean City - Theatre Company Youth Perform ‘Willy Wonka Jr.’

Come celebrate a family-friendly New Year's Eve in Ocean City, N.J. First Night offers more than 70 opportunities to catch 30 different shows and activities at 21 venues throughout town. You will find entertainment that satisfies every taste and age group. 

First Night was founded 30 years ago and modeled after an alcohol-free New Year's Eve celebration in Boston that marked the nation's bicentennial in 1976. The first celebration in Ocean City included 25 entertainment acts at five different locations with about 800 people attending. While other First Night events have faded, Ocean City's has only grown more popular with families making it an annual tradition for a safe New Year's Eve. Today, attendance is capped at 10,000 with admission buttons selling out year after year.

 


All-inclusive admission buttons are on sale now. One price ($20) is good for all events. For more information and to purchase buttons, visit firstnightocnj.com, call 609-399-6111 or stop by the City Hall Welcome Center or the Roy Gillian Welcome Center near the Ninth Street Bridge.

‘WILLY WONKA JR.’ AT THE MUSIC PIER

The Ocean City Theatre Company’s next student production, “Willy Wonka Jr.,” will be performed at the Ocean City Music Pier on December 10 and 11. The talented cast will be comprised of students in grades 3 to 8. 

Roald Dahl’s classic story follows enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka, the world-famous inventor of the Everlasting Gobstopper, as he stages a contest by hiding golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. This production will feature innovative, in-the-round staging and a modern take on the charming tale that has been a worldwide favorite for decades.

For over 50 years, Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” has captivated audiences in a world of pure imagination. Featuring the enchanting songs you know and love from the 1971 film and a host of fun new songs, this performance is a scrumdiddlyumptious musical guaranteed to delight every audience member’s sweet tooth. 

Shows will be at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11. Tickets are $15. Purchase at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice, by calling 609-399-6111, or in-person at the City Hall Welcome Center (9th Street and Asbury Avenue) or the Roy Gillian Welcome Center (on the causeway leading to Ninth Street).

COMING UP

Free Horse and Carriage Rides (weekends through Dec. 17-18): Noon to 3 p.m. with boarding at Sixth Street and Asbury Avenue. For more information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ.

Visits With Santa (weekends through Dec. 17-18): 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. 17-18): 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ocean City Music Pier. For more information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ.

Ocean City Holiday Spectacular (Dec. 16-18): A cast of professional singers and dancers will present a high-energy, family–oriented, song-and-dance tribute to the holidays. The Ocean City Theatre Company show will feature dazzling costumes, familiar songs, special guests, toe-tapping numbers and special effects in a musical journey through seasonal favorites. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17; and 2 p.m. Dec. 18 at the Ocean City Music Pier. More information and online ticket sales are available at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice or by calling 609-399-6111.

First Night New Year’s Eve Celebration (Dec. 31): Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the entire family. The 30th anniversary of this Ocean City event will feature traditional favorites like rides, ice-skating and magicians, along with headline entertainment including the Chicago tribute band Brass Transit and the Bee Gees tribute band Stayin’ Alive. For a complete schedule and to purchase all-inclusive admission buttons, please visit firstnightocnj.com.

First Day Celebration (Jan. 1, 2023): Activities include a 1 p.m. 5K run on the Boardwalk (pre-register at www.ocnj.us/race-events), a 2 p.m. First Dip polar plunge, and an all-day Shopping Extravaganza. Visit firstnightocnj.com for more information.