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First Night Offers Entertainment for all Ages and Groupings

First Night, Ocean City’s popular New Year’s Eve celebration, offers an economical, eight hour celebration for all ages for just $14. Over 60 entertainment programs at 11 central locations are scheduled from 4 p.m. till midnight.

“We provide a program that just about everybody can enjoy,” says Michele Gillian, First Night Director who also heads the Chamber of Commerce. “There are events for children early on and many shows that families and adult groupings will appreciate.”

First Night kicks off at 4 p.m. with opening ceremonies at the Music Pier featuring the Harmony Show Choir, a high energy group of young adults whose talent appeals to all ages. There will also be face painters for the children and New Year’s give-aways.

Children will be able to enjoy the rides at Wonderland Pier from 5 to 9 p.m. and bounce Inflatables at the Sports and Civic Center, 6th St. off Boardwalk from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Gillian’s Adventure Golf will be open to First Night button holders from 4 p.m. till midnight. There will be a fireworks display at midnight to welcome the New Year.

Entertainment programs geared for children include the Magic of Chad Juros, the Jungle John Animal Show, Paper Moon Marionettes, Story Teller Jim Albertson, the Turtle Singers, the Give and Take Jugglers, Kids at Heart and the Allo magic show.

Shows that should appeal to both youngster and adults include Michael Hartman’s Holiday Spectacular, the Dave Smith Juggling and Vaudeville Show, Trout Fishing in America, the Harmony Show Choir, the Hegeman String Band, the Harmony Show Choir and 1-2-3 Draw, a popular young Rock group.

Entertainment for adults includes the legendary Coasters, the Grease Band, Broadway by Request, the Bob Ferris Big Band Dance, Japanese Drummers, Irish Dancers, the El Live Show, the Ocean City Pops Orchestra, the Johnny Cash Experience, a Gospel Choir, Cape Shore Chorale, Barbershop Favorites, The Norristones Doo Woop Singers, Andrew Hink, pianist and Carl Howell, singer of folk and popular music.

“That’s not to say children won’t like the adult programming and visa versa,” said Gillian. “But this will give you and idea of the variety that we offer.”

First Night Admission buttons are available at Downtown Gillian’s, 838 Asbury Ave., seven days a week from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. Complete schedules are included with buttons making it easy to plan the evening.

A buffet dinner prepared by local restaurant is available at the High School Cafeteria, 6th and Atlantic Ave., from 4 to 9 p.m. and may be ordered when purchasing admission buttons. Price is $20 for adults and $8 for children.

First Night has an Angel Fund for those who cannot afford buttons. Call 609-525-9300 for assistance or to contribute to the fund.

First Night will be followed by First Day at the Beach and First Day in the Downtown on January 1st. Stores will be open on the Asbury Avenue Shopping District during the day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be a 5K Run on the Boardwalk starting at the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace at 1 p.m. and a Ocean Plunge at 2 p.m.

The plunge is free and all who enter will be awarded Beach Nut Certificates. Participates are asked to bring a “message in a bag” to the beach. The bag should contain donations of canned or dried food for the City’s Food Cupboard. The implied message is that “Ocean City cares for people in need.”