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Train Show, Santa Paws This Weekend, Holiday Concerts Set

This is the busiest holiday season in my memory for special events and music in Ocean City. The downtown Christmas celebration last Friday with Santa descending from the roof of City Hall was a huge hit. Children cheered (well more like screamed) at the sight of the airborne elf.

Wonderland’s free train rides at City Hall Annex were crowded all day and will be open again this weekend. There will be free horse and carriage rides again from noon to 3 p.m. on weekends till Dec. 20-21 leaving from in front of City Hall. There will be photos with Santa in a lifeboat at the Music Pier the same weekends for a charge from noon till 3 p.m.

Our colorful CHRISTMAS PARADE is yet to come! It’s set for Sat., Dec. 13th starting 10:30 a.m. The route is from 6th to 11th Sts. on Asbury Ave. Santa will ride in the event and afterwards will pose for photos and give treats to children in Stainton’s Lobby, 8th and Asbury Ave. Shop downtown Ocean City this season for great values, fun and lots of personal service.

This weekend’s major attraction is our popular TRAIN SHOW at the Music Pier, Saturday and Sunday (Dec.6-7). Show hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sat. and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sun. This is an interesting and fun event for all members of the family. Two large working exhibits will keep the kids fascinated. A 20 ft. display by the South Jersey S Gaugers in the Solarium of the Pier will feature five trains running simultaneously. The stage of the Music Pier will be completely covered by a running exhibit from the South Jersey Garden Railroad Society. Children can sit on the stage and watch the large trains travel through woodland settings. Youngsters will be permitted to take over the controls of the exhibit under the supervision of Society members.

The center of the Music Pier auditorium will feature vendors of trains, train parts, memorabilia and holiday railroad ornaments. Dick Yard, an expert technician, will provide on-the-spot repair service. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children. Proceeds benefit Ocean City special events. There is plenty of free parking at City lots close to the boardwalk. For information, call Public Relations, 609-525-9300.

The Annual SANTA PAWS celebration is set for the Ocean City Humane Society, Sat., Dec., 6th from 10 a.m. till noon. Have your pet’s picture taken with Santa for a $10 donation to this nationally recognized, no-kill shelter. The Humane Society is located at 1 Shelter Rd. off Bay and Tennessee Aves., call 609-399-2018 or visit www.hsoc.petfinder.org.

OUR OCEAN CITY POPS ORCHESTRA highlights an impressive series of musical programs during the holidays. JOY TO THE WORLD is set for 7:30 p.m. on Fri., Dec.12 at the Bill and Nancy Hughes Performing Arts Center. Bill Scheible will conduct a program that includes carols, works by Mozart, scenes from the Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky, an appearance by the Canadian Brass, the Cape Shore Chorale directed by Scott Breiner and the Angelus Chorus, directed by Richard Stanislaw. Stanislaw, CEO of the Ocean City Tabernacle, will also be the host for the evening. The program is made possible by the sponsorship of Norman and JoAnne Schaut. Tickets are $15, available at City Hall Annex, call 609-525-9300 or online at www.ocnj.us.

THE GEORGE WINSTON WINTER SOLSTICE Concert will be held on Mon., Dec.8 at 8 p.m. at the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace. The renowned pianist will play his famous piece. Tickets are $30 general admission, $25 for seniors. Stockton State College presents the concert. Buy tickets at City Hall Annex or online.

TIS THE SEASON, a spectacular holiday show by the Ocean City Theatre Company directed by Michael Hartman is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Dec. 19th; 2 p.m., Dec. 20th and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21st. in the Music Pier. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children, available at City Hall Annex or online.

CHRISTMAS AT THE TABERNACLE will be held with shows at 4 and 7 p.m. Sat., Dec. 13 at 5th and Wesley Ave. The program features John Taylor, the Angelus Chorus and New Jersey Brass, call 609-399-1915. THE MASTERWORKS CHOIR of St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, 8th and Central Ave.,will present the Mass of the Children on Sun., Dec.7 at 4 p.m. The Church’s Junior Choir and Young Cape Singers directed by Gail Roger will also be featured. Soloists include Nancy Fox and Robert Snodgrass. A chamber orchestra will accompany the choir. John Gregory Bate, Musical Director of the Masterworks Choir, will conduct. There will also be a Carol Sing-Along.

The City’s annual CAROLFEST, sponsored by Dietz and Watson, is scheduled for Sat., Sept. 20 starting 7:30 p.m. at the Music Pier. The program features Ted Prior, holiday folk band, Early Morning Reign and soprano Nadine Nelson. There will be a carol sing-along. Admission is free. The audience is asked to bring canned or dry food for the Ocean City Food Cupboard. Santa will stop by at the end of the show to greet children, give out treats and pose for photos.

The 4th Annual HOLIDAY VARIETY SHOW is set for 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 13 at the Music Pier. The show benefits Gilda’s Club of South Jersey and features, Dave Carr, ventriloquist, Jim Daly, magician, Kenny Ray Walker, comedian who has appeared on the Jay Leno Show, Mike Rage, host of America’s Funny Man, guest performances and more. Tickets are $15, children five and under are free, available at City Annex, 901 Asbury Ave., 609-525-9300.

WE LOVE OUR CHILDREN: The Ocean City Arts Center presents its annual We Love Our Children Art Show during the month of December. Local school children from the area including Ocean City, Upper Township, Egg Harbor City, Ventnor, North Wildwood, Richland and Cape May Court House will be represented. There will be an opening awards reception for the young artists on Fri., Dec. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Center, 17th and Simpson Ave. Admission is free.

REMINDER: Get your FIRST NIGHT Admission Buttons now at DOWNTOWN GILLIAN’S, 838B Asbury Ave., 609-391-0060 or visit www.firstnightocnj.com.

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