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                       Items of interest from now through New Year’s Day:


1. ( New Year’s Eve) Ocean City’s First Night Celebration starts 4 p.m. and ends at midnight with an impressive Fire Works Display. The fireworks will be visible from the Boardwalk. There is quality entertainment for families and individuals alike. This is a safe, economical way to spend the evening with over 50 entertainment programs to choose from. An ice skating rink will available from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 6th off boardwalk in the basketball court in back of the Sports and Civic Center. This rink will accommodate 100 skaters at a time. Skates will be available. Or bring your own.



First Night admission buttons may be purchased by accessing www.firstnightocnj.com, can be ordered by credit card by calling (609) 399-1412 or are bought at Stainton’s Square, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week.


2. (Wed., Dec. 25) Don’t Spend Christmas Alone. Enjoy a free Christmas Dinner at the Methodist Church Eighth and Central Ave. from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. All are welcome. There will entertainment, take outs are available, free transportation, free parking and facility is handicapped accessible. Call (609) 398-8781 for information and/or assistance.


3. (Fri., Sun., Dec. 27-29) The Children will love this free show, so will their elders. Celebrated soprano, Nancy Fox and a cast from Fox Vocal Arts present Hansel and Gretel. This is a musical adaptation of Humperdinck’s Fairy Tale featuring two inquisitive children, a Gingerbread House and ofcourse an evil witch plus an heroic escape. All’s Well that Ends Well at the Ocean City Library’s Lecture Hall/Theater, 1735 Simpson Ave., Fri., Dec. 27 at 2 and 7 p.m., Sun., Dec. 29 at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.


4. ( Wed., Jan. 1) First Day at the Beach: 5K Run/Walk starts 1 p.m.; First Dip in Ocean at 2 p.m. Run/Walk registration begins 11:30 a.m. in front of the Music Pier at Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace. Entry fee $20 pre registration, $25 day of race. Walkers $20 with shirt, $10 no shirt. Call Mike Givens, (609) 602-4497 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

There is no fee for First Dippers. But they must register before 2 p.m. in front of Music Pier and sign a waiver. All First Dippers receive a Beach Nut Certificate certifying that they have braved the chill waters.


5. (Wed., Jan. 1) First Day, Downtown Asbury Ave., features shopping bargains all day, call (609) 525-9300. for information.

COMING LATER (March 22) The World’s First Mr. Mature America Pageant for men 60 plus.


MR. MATURE AMERICA, Save the Date! By now you may have heard that Ocean City will present the first Pageant in the United States for men 60 years and over. It will be held on Sat. March 22 at the Music Pier and be a fund Raiser for the Ocean City food Cupboard and the Philippine Relief Fund.


Events will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a performance by the Bubba Mac Blues Band, all of its members are at least 60 years of age. The Pageant will start at 7 p.m. It will include production numbers with contestants in old time bathing suits and special guests. A talent, poise, and question session will be included in keeping with traditional pageant formats.


In addition, there will be an “I Remember When” segment. All contestants will take the microphone and talk about how it felt to grow up in their particular era. These talks will be humorous, nostalgic and informative. The pageant format will include singers, instrumentalists, hobbyists, story tellers, whatever. At the same time, the Pageant is designed to emphasize the contributions of senior citizens, many of whom are still working and retirees who constitute a huge volunteer resource for local organizations including the City.


You will hear what it was like to grow up before World War ll during the Great Depression and how neighborhood folks helped each other. This was a time when ice cream cones were five cents a dip and you could buy chocolate “Grade A” candy for a penny. You will hear from more contemporary seniors and their opinions of life in these mille-second times. This will be a unique evening full of relevance, nostalgia and laughter.

If your organization would like a speaker to come to your meeting, we will provide one to discuss the event and can also add a poetry program geared to seniors. Call Mark Soifer at the City Public Relations Office, (609) 525-9300. If you would like to be a contestant in this landmark event call the preceding number or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


And now, Happy New Year plus my unsolicited Advice for December 31st:


Throw old calendars away

Begin a new one, don’t delay

You can’t afford to miss a day-


Print neatly in the open spaces

The times, the places, specifications

And don’t forget your obligations-


Record the things you have to do

Your calendar will see you through

Another year of being you…


Mark Soifer