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Ocean City’s gala New Year’s Eve celebration, FIRST NIGHT, is just three and a half weeks away. First Night admission buttons are now on sale for $15. The price will be raised to $20 on December 15. The event offers professional family entertainment from 4 p.m. until midnight with a giant fireworks display scheduled to welcome the New Year.

This is the BEST ENTERTAINMENT VALUE AT THE JERSEY SHORE. Admission buttons are available now at: the City Hall Welcome Center, 9th and Asbury Ave.; the Roy Gillian Welcome Center on the Ninth Street Causeway; and at Stainton’s, 810 Asbury Ave.  Welcome 2017 in a safe non-alcoholic environment. For information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ or access www.firstnightocnj.com, where you will find the entire entertainment schedule and also be able to purchase buttons online.

Entertainment includes Salazar Magic and a tribute to Neil Diamond at the Music Pier, inflatables and the Fabulous Greaseband at the Civic Center, and rides at Wonderland Pier. The lineup also includes ice skating adjacent to the Civic Center, Pinkalicious and Let’s Rock  in the Ocean City High School auditorium, Japanese Drummers and the Juliano Brothers in the high school gym, popular magician Chad Juros in the high school auxiliary gym, Andrew Hink, the Billy Tucker Trio and Carl Howell’s folk and rock music in the high school Community Room.  The high school observatory will be open for the public to view the night sky.

New this year: the skate park will be open with a DJ playing music (safety equipment required).

The Primary School will feature the One Man & One Dog Comedy Show and Jungle John. St. Peter’s Sanctuary will showcase the Cape Shore Chorale and Sounds of Broadway.  In St. Peter’s Stainton Room, Chanteuse and Abbott & Costello will be featured. The Aquatic and Fitness Center’s pool will be open. The Library Community Room will present Ocean City History, the Horse Play Game Show, and the St. Augustine’s Prep Boys Choir. The Ocean City Historical Museum will also have an open house.

The Ocean City Senior Center will feature Keith Hickman with dance music from line dancing to Sinatra and mentalist Dan Cain. The Ocean City Tabernacle will present the Harmony Show Choir and the Ocean City Pops Orchestra. The Tabernacle’s Kull Youth Center lists the Allo Puppets with magic and fun and the Give and Take Jugglers. The film Little Red Riding Hood will be shown at the Moorlyn Theatre.

All First Night button holders will be given programs with complete information on entertainment locations, food availability, parking, and free jitney transportation. First Night has an Angel Fund to assist those who cannot afford buttons. Contact Mark Soifer, Room 214 at City Hall, (609) 399-6111.

(Now through Dec. 9) WINTER CLOTHES DRIVE by the Ocean City Board of Realtors. They are collecting coats, sweaters, blankets, snow boots, hats, scarves and more. The winter drive will gather new or gently used items to be donated to the Ecumenical Council Clothes Closet. Of special need are children’s coats, children’s snow boots and ladies and men’s sweatshirts and pants. Funds will be accepted to purchase items requested. The Realtors Committee will shop for you. Donations may be dropped off at the Board of Realtors Office, 405 22nd St. (Office hours, Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)  For pickup, please call the office (609) 399-0128 or contact  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

(Dec. 8) DAN SKELDON talks about the upcoming winter weather and what to expect at 6:30 p.m. in the Chris Maloney Lecture Hall of the Ocean City Free Public Library, 17th and Simpson Ave. Program is free.

(Now through Dec. 23) DOWNTOWN ASBURY AVENUE STORES are open Friday nights till 8 p.m.

(Dec. 10-18) FREE HORSE-AND-CARRIAGE RIDES from noon to 3 p.m. on Sat. and Sun. in front of City Hall on the following dates: Dec. 10-11 and 17-18. For more information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ.

(Dec. 10-18) PHOTOS WITH SANTA IN A LIFEBOAT will be available between at 6th Street on the boardwalk from noon to 3 p.m. for $10 on these dates: Dec. 10-11 and 17-18. Call 1-800-BEACH-NJ for more information.

(Dec. 10-18) BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: Sat. and Sun. 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (Dec. 10) Jon & Patty’s Coffee Bar & Bistro, 637 Asbury Ave. (Dec. 11) Yianni’s Café, 841 Asbury Ave. (Dec . 17) Arlene’s on Asbury, 624 Asbury Ave. (Dec. 18) Jon & Patty’s Coffee  Bar & Bistro, 637 Asbury Ave.

(Dec. 9) ASTRONOMY FOR EVERYONE is a virtual journey through the cosmos at 6:30 p.m. This free program will be held in the Chris Maloney Lecture Hall of the Library.

(Dec.9-11) AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS is a family opera appropriate for all ages and an inspirational Christmas favorite. Shows are at Moorlyn Family Theatre, Moorlyn Terrace and the Boardwalk at 7 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission $5 for children 11-and-under, $15 for adults and $10 seniors. For information, call (609) 399-7291.

(Dec. 10) CHRISTMAS TROLLEY TOUR AND CAROL SING: Join the Ocean City Historical Museum on a trolley tour at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy the City’s decorations while singing carols and visiting the historic homes of Peter and Ellen Pospiech (312 Central Ave.) and the Northwood Inn Bed and Breakfast (401 Wesley Ave.) After the tour, refreshments will be served at the museum. Tickets are $20 for members, $25 for the general public. Call (609) 399-1801 or visit the museum at the Community Center, 1735 Simpson Ave. 

(Dec. 10) POSTAL SERVICE FOOD DRIVE to benefit the Ocean City Food Cupboard. Suggested donations are canned meats, canned vegetables, canned fruit, soup, cereal, tuna, pork and beans, juice, jelly, peanut butter, Jell-o, microwave meals and personal products. Leave your donation at your mailbox or bring it to the post office at 9th and Ocean Ave by noon.

(Dec. 10)  LIVE NATIVITY AND CONCERT at Ocean City Tabernacle, 550 Wesley Ave. Nativity is outside from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The 4 p.m. concert features the 65-voice Angelus Chorus directed by Dr. Richard Stanislaw. Also featuring John Taylor tenor, Sandy Millers Tapestry Strings, Jan Schopfer’s Bells, and local soprano Treasa Hayes.  A free will offering will be taken.

(Dec.16-17) 2016 HOLIDAY SHOW: The Ocean City Pops and the Ocean City Theatre Company will present “A Very Ocean City Christmas” at the Ocean City Tabernacle, 550 Wesley Ave. This will be a high-energy, family-oriented song-and-dance tribute to Christmas. The holiday will come to life with a brand-new journey through seasonal favorites Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for children 12 and under, $18 for seniors, $20 for adults. All tickets are general admission. Available at the City Hall Welcome Center, 9th and Asbury Ave. or at www.ocnj.us/boxoffice or call (609) 399-6111.

(Dec. 18) 12 FLUTES OF CHRISTMAS featuring Pamela Whitman. The 2 p.m. concert is in the Chris Maloney Lecture Hall of the Library. This is a free event.

Dec. 31) FIRST NIGHT CELEBRATION: Ring in 2017 in Ocean City.

(Jan. 1) 5K BOARDWALK RUN: 1 p.m. Pre-Register at www.jbsportstiming.com. For information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ.

(Jan. 1) FIRST DAY AT THE BEACH featuring first dip in the Ocean, 2 p.m. at Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace. Registration starts at noon. For information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ.

(Jan. 1) FIRST DAY SHOPPING EXTRAVAGANZA: Downtown shopping specials plus free horse-and-carriage rides, noon to 3 p.m. at City Hall.

(Pottery Exhibit) The OCEAN CITY ARTS CENTER, 17th and Simpson Ave., will feature the pottery of more than 25 artists through Dec. 17. The featured artists are long-time students at the Center and will sell unique Ocean City-themed items. The Center will be closed Sun., Dec. 18 through Mon., Jan.1 It will reopen on Jan. 2 with an exhibit by upper Township artist Alisa Harris. Call (609) 399-7628.

(Le Petite Exhibit) The OCEAN CITY FINE ARTS LEAGUE, 608 Asbury Ave. through December features an array of small artwork for sale. There will be a “Meet the Artist” reception on Fri. Dec. 9 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Call (609) 814-0308.