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A new feature has been added to First Night thanks to the Ocean City High School Science Club and Dr. John Herrmann, its Astronomy teacher.

All visitors to First Night, our outstanding New Year’s Eve Celebration, will have the opportunity to see the “real stars” at the High School’s new observatory located on the 5th St. side of the school grounds near the football field.

The Observatory will be open to all FIRST NIGHT Button Holders from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Visitors will be able “to enjoy the wonders of the heavens during the holiday season,” says Dr. Herrmann.

The Science Club will offer First Nighters telescope observations and photography of Jupiter and its moon, the waning of the gibbous moon and other celestial wonders. Who knows, we may even get a glimpse of that athletic cow which frequently jumps over the ancient, lunar oval.

This is a unique opportunity for children and adults. It’s all included in the eight hours of professional entertainment that First Night offers. And for just $15 a person.

First Night is definitely the Best Entertainment Value at the Shore offering over 60 programs with 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 and much more.

You can review the complete program before purchasing your buttons at the following locations: the Wonderland store at the Stainton’s Complex, 8th and Asbury Ave. and Chamber of Commerce Offices, Ninth Street across from TD Bank. You can also check out the complete program and buy buttons at www.firstnightocnj.com. and order your buttons on line at that website.

The Ocean City Restaurant Assn. will offer its tasty “Taste of the Jersey Shore” dinner in the High School Cafeteria, 6th and Atlantic Ave. The complete menu is printed on line at www.firstnightocnj.com. Book reservations on line at www.eatinocnj.com. Price is $20 for adults and $8 for children with hourly seating 4 to 8 p.m.

First Night has an Angel Fund for those who cannot afford buttons. Call (609)-525-9300.

Speaking of Angel Fund Programs, Peaches Lukens is offering her FREE CHRISTMAS BUFFET for the 23rd year on Tuesday, December 25th,  from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Peters Methodist Church, 8th and Central Ave. No reservations are required. The home cooked meal is free to all who need company, a good meal, and holiday cheer, says Peaches.

There will be live entertainment. Take outs and deliveries are available. Transportation to and from dinner can be provided. For more, call information (609) 398-8781.

The OCEAN CITY FREE Public Library is offering many programs during the Holiday Season. Programs include a free Christmas Concert by the Good Timers, Wed., Dec. 12 at 2 p.m. in the Senior Center; A TED Talk (Ideas Worth Spreading) featuring Susan Cain, “The Power of Introverts, a lecture followed by a group discussion, Dec 13 at 11 a.m. in Room N116; a free Saturday afternoon movie, “The Dark Knight Rises,” Sat., Dec.15 from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

The following free Young Adult Programs will be offered: the Duct Tape Club, Tues, Dec. 11 from 3 to 5 p.m.; An After School Movie, “The Muppet Christmas Carol” (G), Wed., Dec. 12 from 4 to 6 p.m.; the High School Book Club, Thurs., Dec. 13 from 4 to 5 p.m. For More Information, call (609) 399-2434 or access www.oceancitylibrary.org.                            

Also call the Library about its free Computer Workshops through Dec.16.

(Dec. 14-16) HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR: The annual production produced and directed by Michael Hartman, returns to the Music Pier with a new show and a cast of professional singers and dancers. Spectacular costumes, outstanding talent and high energy choreography combine for a memorable performance. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for Senior Citizens and children under 12. Special discounted rates are available for the morning show on Dec. 14 at 10:30 a.m. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Shows will be Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 15 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. Call (609) 525-9300 for tickets.

(Through the Holidays) Every weekend through Dec. 23, photos with Santa in a Lifeguard Boat will be available noon to 3 p.m. in front of the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace; plus free Horse and Carriage Rides these same hours starting at City Hall, 9th and Asbury Ave.

Hospitality Nights are set for the Downtown on Fridays, Dec. 14 and 21 from 5 to 8 p.m. There will be Breakfast with Santa every weekend through Dec. 23 at a different downtown restaurant, 8:15 to 11:15 a.m.  Call (609) 398-4662 for locations and information.

(Dec. 22) The Ocean City Theatre Company presents “Yours Truly, Jack Frost,” at the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace. Tickets are $10. Show times are 2 and 7:30 p.m. Jack Frost outwits the evil Evilna. A fully staged production featuring children from third to 8th grades. Tickets available on www.ocnj.us or call (609) 525-9300.

OCEAN CITY ARTS Center Winter Classes Semester begins Mon., Jan. 7. To view a list of available classes access the Center’s Website www.oceancityartscenter.org or call (609) 399-7628 to have a class schedule sent to your home.

Class registration may be made by telephone or by stopping at the Arts Center, 1735 Simpson Ave. from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mon. through Fri. or 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sat.

Please note the Center will be closed from Tue., Dec.18 through Tues., Jan. 1 and will reopen on Wed., Jan. 2.

Please reserve your class as soon as possible as many fill up quickly especially children’s art and dance programs.

The Ocean City Arts Center pays tribute to the Ocean City Fishing Club’s 100th anniversary with an exhibition of new paintings featuring the Pier and Club House, 14th St. and the Beach.

The paintings are the work of the South Jersey Plein Air group consisting of local artists who paint outdoors at a designated location within the region. The exhibit will run through January.

Ocean City Board president, Jack Devine, initiated the exhibit after discussing the Centennial with Fishing Club trustee, Don Smedley. The Fishing Club is the oldest, continually operating fishing club in the country and fortunately was not damaged during the recent storm.

OCNJCARE continues to work for those in need of assistance because of the storm. To help those in need during the holidays send a check to OCNJCARE, PO Box 807, Ocean City,N.J. 08226 or drop your donation off at Ocean City Home Bank, 10th and Asbury Ave., Ocean City. For information about OCNJCARE access www.ocnjcare.org.

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