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FIRST NIGHT is a unique opportunity for families and individuals to obtain eight hours of professional entertainment on New Year’s Eve.  for just $15 per person. It is definitely the Best Entertainment Value at the Jersey Shore providing over 70 entertainment programs and fireworks at midnight. Also included are rides at Wonderland Pier from 5 to 9 p.m., plus miniature golf at Gillian’s Adventure Golf from 2 to 9 p.m.

The program is varied and appeals to all ages. There will be magic shows, musicals, comedy, a Mummers’ string band, Broadway music, the Grease Band, Trout Fishing in America, Michael Hartman specials and much more. The Ocean City Science Club directed by John Herrmann will offer First Night button holders the opportunity to observe and see the “real stars” at the High School’s new astronomy observatory.

You can obtain buttons at the following locations: The Wonderland Store at Stainton’s Complex, 8th and Asbury Ave., the Chamber of Commerce Offices, 9th St. across from TD Bank. You can also check out the program and order buttons at www.firstnightocnj.com. Call (609) 399-1412.

The Ocean City Restaurant Assn. will offer its TASTE OF THE SHORE dinner at the High School Cafeteria, 6th and Atlantic Ave., during First Night. The complete menu is printed on line at www.firstnightocnj.com. The price is $20 for adults and $8 for children with hourly seating from 4 to 8 p.m. Book reservations on line at www.eatinocnj.com.

First Night has an ANGEL FUND for those who cannot afford buttons. Call (609) 525-9300 to receive buttons or contribute to the fund. After hours, call (609) 364-4010.

FIRST DAY AT THE BEACH: Thousands of visitors who patronize the City’s First Night celebration  and stay overnight  will have plenty to do on New Year’s Day.

A 5K Boardwalk Run/Walk begins 1 p.m. at the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace. Registration starts 11:30 a.m. Entry fee is $20 with shirt while they last. Contact race director, Mike Givens, at (609) 861-0674 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A First Dip in the Ocean is set for 2 p.m. All participants should report to the registration area in front of the Music Pier where they will sign a waiver form and receive a Beach Nut Certificate proclaiming they have bravely negotiated the waters on New Year’s Day in Ocean City.

First Night long sleeved T Shirts will be on sale for $20 in front of the Music Pier. The shirts feature a replica of every First Night Button since the event started 21 years ago. All visitors will be able to make a donation to OCNJ CARE the outstanding organization that is helping those still recovering from the recent storm. REMINDER: If you’re not coming to First Day at the Beach you can mail your donation to OCNJCARE, PO Box 807, Ocean City,N.J. 08226.

Also, representatives  from CLAM DRAIN, the new Clam Shell game developed in Ocean City, invite you to join them between the 9th and 10th St. Beach for some friendly competition from 1 to 4 p.m. Bring your Clam Drains. If you don’t have a set,there may be one available at the beach. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Shoppers are invited to kick off the New Year at FIRST DAY IN THE DOWNTOWN on Jan. 1 along the Center City, Asbury Ave., Business District. Most stores will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., some earlier at 10.am. Asbury Ave. is noted for its over 100 stores, galleries and restaurants.

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2013:  The CAPE SHORE CHORALE will present an EPIPHANY CONCERT featuring the music of Bach and Vivaldi on Sun., Jan 6th at 3 p.m. in the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 30th and Bay Ave. , Ocean City. There will be a free will offering. For information, visit www.capeshorechorale.org.

And now a parting thought:

Advice for December 31 st

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…

 

By Mark Soifer

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