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Whoosh! That was fast! Here we are in mid December with just two weeks left until New Year’s Eve. Are you still holiday shopping? Be sure to check out Ocean City’s Downtown. You’ll find over 100 stores offering quality gifts at reasonable prices.

Have you made plans for New Year’s Eve? If not, Ocean City’s 22nd Annual First Night would be an excellent choice. Over 60 programs offered from 4 p.m. till midnight, capped by a colorful Fire Works display. We believe First Night is the best New Year’s Eve entertainment value on the Jersey Shore or anywhere else. It keeps families and individuals together and off the roads in a pleasant environment. It’s a safe bet that you will have a great time.

First Night admission buttons are available on line at www.firstnightocnj.com, can be ordered by credit card by calling (609) 399-1412 and are available at Stainton’s Square, 8th and Asbury Ave., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week.


(Dec. 25) A free Christmas Dinner will be offered at St. Peter’s Methodist Church, 8th and Central Ave. It will be a buffet and include home cooked Turkey and Ham with all the trimmings. It will be served from 11a.m. to 3 p.m.

All are welcome, “Rich or Poor, Young or Old, In need of or In Need of Giving, Far From Home or from Just Around the Corner.” There will be entertainment. Take Outs are available. Transportation can be provided. There is Handicap access and Free Parking. You can thank Peaches Lukens who has spearheaded this humanitarian event for many years. It is sponsored by the Christian Community Circle and many generous contributions from Ocean City and the surrounding area. Call (609) 398-8781 for information and/or assistance.

(Dec. 21) A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol presented by the Ocean City Theatre Co., 2 p.m. and 7: 30 p.m. at the Music Pier. All tickets $10, call (609) 525-9300 or visit www.ocnj.us/boxoffice. Everyone’s favorite holiday tale gets the fractured fairy tale treatment. A unique and entertaining adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic performed by 3rd to 8th grade members of the Theatre Co.

(Dec. 21) Breakfast with Santa Claus, 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Jon and Patty’s, 637 Asbury Ave., (609) 399-3377.

(Dec. 21-22) Free Horse and Carriage Rides, noon to 3 p.m. starting from in front of City Hall, 9th and Asbury Ave.

(Dec. 21-22) Photos with Santa in a Lifeguard Boat, noon to 3 p.m. at the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace, $10.

(Dec. 22) Breakfast with Santa Claus, 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Yanni’s Café, 841 Asbury Ave., (609) 391-1113.

(Dec. 27, 29)   Fox Vocal Arts Presents Humperdink’s Hansel and Gretel. Enjoy the magical, musical adventure of two children, a gingerbread house and a heroic escape from an evil witch! Free admission! At the Ocean City Library’s Lecture/Hall Theatre, 1735 Simpson Ave., Fri., Dec. 27 at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 29 at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.                                                                                    

(Jan. 1) First Day at the Beach: 5k Boardwalk Run starts 1 p.m.; First Dip in the Ocean at 2 p.m. Register for both events by the Music Pier. There will be First Day Shopping Bargains all day at Downtown Asbury Ave. Call (609) 525-9300 for information.

BEACH TAGS: 2014 Beach Tags, with a design that commemorates the 100th anniversary of City Hall, are now available for $20 at the Following locations: the Aquatic and Fitness Center, 1735 Simpson Ave.; Roy Gillian Welcome Center, Route 52 Causeway; the Henry S. Knight Building, 115 12 St. and City Hall, 861 Asbury Ave. To purchase tags online access www.ocnj.us/beachtags. Mail order forms are also available on line.

(Through Jan.) The work of popular Cape May County artist, Wanda Kline, will be featured Jan. 6-31 at the Ocean City Arts Center, 17th and Simpson Ave. A “Meet the Artist” reception will be held on Fri., Jan. 10 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Ms. Kline has exhibited her work throughout New Jersey and conducted workshops in Santa Fe, New Mexico, San Francisco, in Maine, Massachusetts, Italy and the Antibes. For information, call (609) 399-7628.

(Through Jan.) The Ocean City Fine Arts League, “Art on Asbury,” 608 Asbury Ave., will feature a Judges Show, work selected as outstanding by judges from previous shows. The League has released the themes for their monthly shows for 2014. Scheduled themes are Yellow for February, Inspiration From My Travels-March, Buildings from Rural to Urban-April, Light and Shade-May, Flower Show-June, Jersey Shore, July-August, Trees-September, Tribute to Favorite Artist-October, Anything Goes-November and Petite Show-December. Receptions for each show are second Friday of the month. For information call (609) 814-0308.

(Through Jan. 15) Leave Your Mark in Ocean City! Visit Glazed Over Studios, 854 Asbury Ave., and paint a tile with any design or your family name. Tiles will be assembled into an art installation placed in a central Ocean City location. Prices are $20 per tile or 2 for $35. Access www.communityartprojects.com or call (609) 425-2687.

NOTE: You can help people in the Philippines devastated by the Killer Typhoon Yolanda by sending a donation to OCNJ C.A.R.E., PO Box 807, Ocean City, N.J. 08226. Please specify it is for Philippine Relief.

The Ocean City Food Cupboard is in need of donations and food this holiday season. You can drop off non-perishable foods or send a check to the Cupboard, 501 E. 8th St., Ocean City N.J., 08226 located at the Methodist Church. The Cupboard is open Mon.-Friday from 1 to 3 p.m.

Waves of Caring continues to collect new toys for needy youngsters from new borns to 14 years. Checks to support this drive which also supports families in need of financial support, may be sent to Waves of Caring, 550 Asbury Ave., Ocean City, N.J. 08226. Contributions are tax deductible. Drop off locations for new toys include the 6th St. Fire House, Ocean City Library, Ocean City Airport Diner, Flanders Hotel, Port O’ Call Hotel and numerous other locations. For the drop off point nearest you, call (609) 525-9300.

NOTICE: Please be advised that Dec.16 through Jan. 31, 2014 the first floor of City Hall and elevator will not be available due to construction and renovation. Services normally offered at City Hall such as Tax Payments, Beach Tags, Dog Park Passes and other City services will be available at the Henry S. Knight Building, 12th and Haven Ave., Mon.-Fri, 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For personalized Tax Assessment or Tax Payment inquiries, please call (609) 399-6111 to arrange for an appointment. For further information, call (609) 399-6111. Construction updates will be posted on www.ocnj.us and the City’s government access Channel 2.