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25th Annual First Night Ocean City Set For Saturday

What’s Happening in Ocean City, NJ 12/28/16

It’s the best and most economical New Year’s Eve entertainment value at the Jersey Shore. Continuous, professional family programs from 4 p.m. till midnight for just $20 per person. First Night includes more than 75 shows and activities all at convenient Ocean City locations. And it will be capped off by a spectacular fireworks display over the ocean to ring in the New Year.

Enjoy the rides at Gillian’s Wonderland Pier, a musical tribute to Neil Diamond at the Ocean City Music Pier, children’s shows by the Ocean City Theatre Company, outdoor ice-skating near the Ocean City Civic Center, nationally acclaimed magician Chad Juros and Japanese Drummers at Ocean City High School, and a “One Man and One Dog Comedy Show” at Ocean City Primary School. The lineup also includes a chance to view the night sky from the telescope at the High School Observatory, Sounds of Broadway, the premier Abbott and Costello impersonators, jugglers, puppets, the acclaimed Ocean City Pops Orchestra, Jungle John, live dance music, swimming in the Aquatic and Fitness Center Pool, mentalist Dan Cain, an open house at the Historical Museum, the Horse Play Game Show and St. Augustine’s Boys Choir Show Choir, live dance music and much more. Experience a wonderful evening in a safe, non-alcoholic environment.

Buttons are available until sold out for $20 at the City Hall Welcome Center (9th Street and Asbury Avenue), the Roy Gillian Welcome Center on the Ninth Street causeway, and in the Wonderland kiosk at Stainton’s (810 Asbury Avenue). Visit www.firstnightocnj.com to purchase buttons online and to view and print a full schedule. For information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ.

(Jan. 1) 5K BOARDWALK RUN: The race travels north this year and an out-and-back course extends beyond the boardwalk. The race starts at 1 p.m. Pre-register for $20 through 9 p.m. Dec. 30 at runsignup.com/Race/NJ/OceanCity/FirstDay5KBoardwalkRun. 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 609-861-0674.

(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. The plunge this year will take place in the ocean off Eighth Street north of the Music Pier.

(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 includes a recitation of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, music, and reflections on King’s life and legacy. Everybody is encouraged to attend this free community event.

(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 cleanup from 9 a.m. until noon. Sign up and pick up supplies at the Howard S. Stainton Senior Center, located within the Community Center at 18th Street and Simpson Avenue. A complimentary lunch at the Senior Center follows the cleanup. Call (609) 399-6111 for more information.

This will be my last “What’s Happening” column. I will be retiring at the end of December. In 1971, I contacted Vince Michelette, then editor of the Sentinel Ledger, and asked if I could provide a weekly report about Ocean City events. He said okay. Since then, I have written more than 2,400 columns. Thanks for reading some of them. Have a happy and healthy New Year!

And in conclusion, here is some advice for the New Year:

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
Records the things you have to do
Your calendar will see you through
Another year of being you

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