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What's Happening in Ocean City, NJ 12/21/16

BUY YOUR FIRST NIGHT BUTTONS NOW! All-inclusive admission buttons to this popular New Year’s Eve event have sold out in recent years. First Night is our gala New Year’s Eve Celebration that has provided professional, family entertainment here for 25 years.

First Night Ocean City offers a wide variety of family entertainment from 4 p.m. until midnight. The night concludes with a spectacular fireworks display over the ocean. There are more than 70 programs available including a Neil Diamond Tribute, rides at Wonderland Pier, ice-skating, children’s shows, Abbott and Costello impersonators, nationally acclaimed magician Chad Juros, the Ocean City Pops Orchestra, Sounds of Broadway and the list goes on and on. Enjoy a wonderful evening in a non-alcoholic environment.

The pool at the Ocean City Aquatics and Fitness Center and the new skateboard park at Fifth Street and Asbury Avenue will both be open to button-holders.

Buttons are available for $20 at the City Hall Welcome Center (9th Street and Asbury Avenue), the Roy Gillian Welcome Center on the Route 52 Causeway, and at Stainton’s (810 Asbury Avenue). A printable version of the full schedule of activities and venues is available at www.firstnightocnj.com, where you also can purchase buttons online. Call 1-800-BEACH-NJ for more information.


(Dec. 25) CHRISTMAS DINNER: In a tradition of more than 25 years, volunteers provide a free home-cooked turkey dinner for those who don’t have anyone to spend Christmas with or those in need. The dinner is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, 8th Street and Central Ave.  Open to the community.

(Jan. 1) 5K BOARDWALK RUN: The race travels north this year and extends beyond the boardwalk (due to a boardwalk reconstruction project). The race starts at 1 p.m. Pre-register for $20 through 9 p.m. Dec. 30 at jbsportstiming.com.  Race day registration ($30) is 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Ocean City Civic Center, just off the boardwalk at Sixth Street. This year’s event includes chip timing. For more information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ.

(Jan. 1) FIRST DAY AT THE BEACH: Features the first dip in the ocean at 2 p.m. near the Ocean City Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace.  Visit herocampaign.org to reserve your commemorative long-sleeved T-shirt with a $20 donation to the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers and to learn more about how to help the campaign. Event-day registration starts at noon at the Music Pier. Free parking is available at Eighth Street and at Moorlyn Terrace. Register and get your BEACH NUT CERTIFICATE that certifies that, “Yes! You have plunged into the waters on New Year’s Day!” You also can take part in the HERO plunge/pledge for designated drivers.

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

(Jan. 14) DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. CEREMONY:  1 p.m. at the Bill and Nancy Hughes Performing Arts Center at Ocean City High School. Please use the Sixth Street entrance. Immediately following the ceremony, stay and enjoy a free Soul Food Dinner. The Southern style comfort menu will include fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, corn bread, collard greens and more. For information, call 609-399-6111.

This ceremony was started soon after Dr. King’s assassination by Rozelia Cobb, a teacher at the Ocean City Intermediate School. Her hard work and guidance established the Ocean City ceremony.

(Jan 16) DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY OF SERVICE: You are invited to contribute to a day of service in Dr. King’s honor. The event consists of a city-wide clean up from 9 a.m. until noon. Sign up for supply distribution and lunch at the Howard Stainton Center, located at the Community Center, 18th and Simpson Ave. To participate or for more information, call (609) 399-6111.

Speaking of the COMMUNITY CENTER, there are many programs that will keep you pleasantly occupied there during the winter. This building is the home of the Ocean City Free Public Library, Ocean City Historical Museum, the Arts Center, Aquatic and Fitness Center and Senior Center.

The ARTS CENTER features monthly exhibits by talented artists, classes in painting, pottery, dancing, guitar, and much more to stimulate your imagination. Call (609) 399-7628.

Note: The Ocean City Fine Arts League, 608 Asbury Ave., also offers monthly exhibits and the work of fine area artists for sale. Call (609) 814-0308.  

The HISTORICAL MUSEUM provides a unique journey into Ocean City’s past with nostalgic exhibits including an array of treasures salvaged from the Sindia, the famous windjammer that grounded on Ocean City sand over 100 years ago. There is a new book, “Sindia, the Final Voyage,” by Harry Allen Wenzel, that provides a detailed and fascinating account of the wreck and background on                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              the crew members. It is available at Sun Rose Book Store on Asbury Ave.                       

 The Museum offers a lecture series on Ocean City’s past, programs that determine the value of your treasured keepsakes, holiday tours, special meetings featuring Ocean City notables and much more. Call (609) 399-1801 for more information.

The AQUATIC AND FITNESS CENTER has a 25-meter swimming pool, exercise rooms, and offers an array of fitness programs including Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates, you name it. Child care is available to members while they are working out.  For information on all of the Center’s programs, call (609) 398-6900. Keep in shape and stay healthy at the Aquatic and Fitness Center.

The OCEAN CITY FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY provides free entertainment and educational programs to the public year-round. The library shows classic and current films, offers the celebrated “TED Video and Discussion Series,” computer instruction, cooking classes, musical programs featuring jazz, classical music, contemporary pop, The Best of Broadway, plus special programs for children from tots to high school age. To learn more about all the library has to offer, call Julie (609) 399-2434, ext. 5222.

The HOWARD S. STAINTON SENIOR CENTER located at the Community Center offers Bingo, Exercise Programs, Crafts and Jewelry Making, Cards, Ma Jong,  Tai Chi, and lunches provided by the county. It’s an ideal place for seniors to meet and enjoy the day. Call (609) 399-0055 for more information.