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Ocean City has held races on the Boardwalk, over the causeway, on the beach, along the railroad tracks, and now through the downtown. Friday, Dec. 19th will mark the inauguration of our first DOWNTOWN HOLIDAY DASH starting 6 p.m.

Men, Women, Children and folks in Santa and Holiday garb will have the opportunity to participate. Non-racers will be able to enjoy the action while shopping and dining in the City’s Award winning downtown. Most businesses will be open until 8 p.m.

The Ocean City Track and Field Boosters Club, the City, Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Merchants have devised yet another Ocean City first to entertain the public.


Asbury Avenue will become a race course between 5th St. to just beyond 14th St.

A Children’s run is set for 5th to 9th Streets. There will be an awards ceremony at the 9th Street Gazebo following the races. Spectators should arrive by 6 p.m. as races will be run consecutively at close intervals.

Registration forms with details for runners are available at the Local Gym, 908 Asbury Ave. and the Sneaker Shop, 704 Asbury Ave. Online registration is available at www.oceancityvacation.com at the special offers page. Race Day-registrations will be taken at 4:30 p.m. at the 5th St. Asbury Ave. Parking Lot. Questions? Call (609) 398-8277.

(Dec. 18-20) The Ocean City High School Drama Club presents The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge, a comedy by Mark Brown. Shows are set for Thurs., Dec.18th and Fri., Dec. 19th, 7:30 p.m. and Sat., Dec. 20th at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes Center for the Performing Arts, 6th and Atlantic Ave. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. For tickets, call (609) 399-1290 ext.1442. The show is directed by Don Toal, Jr.

(Dec. 20-21) Free HORSE & CARRIAGE RIDES, noon to 3 p.m., Pick Up Area, 9th and Asbury Ave.

(Dec. 20-21) PHOTOS WITH SANTA, noon to 3 p.m. at the Music Pier, Fee $10.

Ocean City’s two Arts Centers continue presenting interesting exhibits. The City’s Fine Arts League, “Art on Asbury,” now offers its “Le Petite” Show that features unique miniature paintings through December by talented local artists. The Gallery is located at 608 Asbury Ave. and entrance to the exhibit is free.

In addition to the “Le Petite” show, the Center is exhibiting watercolors, glass, mixed media, pottery, photography, oil, acrylic, textiles, jewelry and sculpture. Its January Show will feature prize winning works that have been selected from shows during this past year. For information, call (609) 814-0308.

The Ocean City Arts Center, 1735 Simpson Ave., has scheduled a January 31 bus trip to the Park Avenue Armory in New York City for its Winter Antiques Show. The exhibition features furniture, Asian Art, American and European Silver, Jewelry, porcelain, glass, textiles and American Folk Art of the 20th Century. It provides visitors the opportunity to view and purchase exceptional work from 73 celebrated exhibitors. For more information, visit www.armoryonpark.org. Reservations are required. Call (609) 399-7628

(Dec. 21) A fun, kid friendly production of Humperdinck’s HANSEL AND GRETEL will be presented by Operafest International at the Flander’s Hotel Crystal Ballroom, 11th and Boardwalk, at 1:30 p.m. This perennial Christmastime favorite is part of a Flanders event for kids that includes a Gingerbread House Contest and a High Tea. Admission to Hansel and Gretel is $5 per person with tickets available at the door or via PayPal at www.foxvocalarts.com . Program length 45 minutes.

FREE CHRISTMAS DINNER: One of the hallmarks of Ocean City’s holiday season has been the annual free Christmas dinner held at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, 8th and Central Ave. It’s set for Christmas Day and includes a home cooked turkey dinner with all the trimmings “for anyone who needs it.” The dinner is held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The program was started 25 years ago by Mike and Peaches Lukens who ran it until a few years ago. Its theme has always been “All are welcome, rich and poor, young and old, in need or in need of giving, far from home or just around the corner.” Transportation can be provided for those who need it and take outs are available. St. Peter’s has disabled access and free parking.

In addition to the sumptuous buffet, there will be a gift table, desserts, live entertainment and the company of other people in the community. Holly Martinez, daughter of Mike and Peaches, now organizes the dinner with a committee of volunteers.  

Those who wish to support the dinner can make checks payable to the “Christian Community Circle” and mail to 300 Central Ave., Ocean City, N.J. 08226. Help is also needed for preparations on December 23. Donations for the gift table would be appreciated including gently used clothing, toys, books and household items. For more information call (609) 846-5151.

FIRST NIGHT: New Year’s Eve is just two weeks away! It’s time to buy your admission buttons for First Night, Ocean City’s gala celebration that offers 8 hours of entertainment plus fireworks for just $20 per button.

The evening is jam packed with family friendly excitement. Skate at the largest ice rink south of Rockefeller Center (skates provided). Enjoy pony rides, inflatables, Broadway performances, magicians, comedians, string bands, the Ocean City Pops and more. From the “Cat in the Hat” to the fabulous Grease Band, First Night offers entertainment for all ages.

Two legendary groups, the original Blue Notes and the Trammps will perform at the Music Pier. A Taste of the Jersey Shore will be provided by Ocean City Restaurants at Ocean City High School. Book reservations at www.eatinocnj.com.  There will be light Boardwalk Fare at many locations. All of this and more, capped by a spectacular fireworks display at Midnight.

Ocean City’s First Night is the best entertainment value at the Jersey Shore! Order admission buttons online at www.FirstNightOCNJ.com or call (609) 399-1412. Buttons are on sale at the Roy Gillian Welcome Center at the Bridge, 7 days a week, Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Sun. 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Buttons are also on sale at Gillian’s Downtown Stainton’s Square, 7 days a week starting at 10 a.m. and the City Hall Welcome Center.  Get them soon! First Night buttons have sold out in recent years!

There is an Angel Fund for those who cannot afford First Night admission. To apply for buttons or donate to the fund, call (609) 399-6111.