First Night, First Day at Beach Ring in New Year

Ocean City’s popular FIRST NIGHT on Dec. 31 followed by FIRST DAY AT THE BEACH on Jan. 1 are two economical ways to ring in the New Year.

First Night, which features over 75 entertainment programs at nine locations, is priced at just $14 an admission button. First Day at the Beach is free unless you’re running the 5K and then there’s a $20 charge, but you receive a T Shirt at registration.

First Night was initiated at Boston in 1976 as a safe, non-alcoholic way to keep families and individuals together on the holiday. Ocean City began First Night 17 years ago. That first year there were over 1,000 visitors, which we thought was astounding. Last year there were 10,000.

Two additional locations have been added this year. Gillian’s will open its miniature golf Course at Plymouth Place and Boardwalk from noon right on through the evening. The Tabernacle will feature entertainment in its new Richard and Mary Ann Kull Youth Center as well as the main building, 5th and Wesley Ave.

If you decide to go to First Night but have not ordered your buttons, call Downtown Gillian’s at 609-391-0060 or stop at their store, 838 Asbury Ave., diagonally across from City Hall. There still may be a few buttons left.

First Day at the Beach entertainment begins at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 1 with lively music by Ted Prior’s EARLY MORNING REIGN folk band in front of the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace. The 5K Race starts at 1 p.m. in front of the Music Pier. Register the day of the race starting at noon.

At 2 p.m. we present our annual BEACH NUT plunge into the Ocean at the 9th Street Beach opposite the Music Pier. Participation is free. All who venture into the Ocean receive the coveted Ocean City Beach Nut certificate documenting their courage and endurance. Dippers must register and sign a release form in front of the Music Pier. This popular plunge is also a spectator sport. Hundreds watch the spectacle from the Boardwalk.

Also on Jan. 1, DOWNTOWN ASBURY AVE. SHOPS will open from 11 a.m. till 4 p.m., some earlier at 10 a.m. Asbury Avenue is noted for its many, unusual specialty stores and galleries.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all City employees who participated in our Third Annual WREATH CONTEST. This year’s entries were more imaginative than ever. Folks who visited City Hall offices and other locations appreciated the variety and the humor. The First Place winners were the Purchasing Office with a dazzling array of decorations and the Aquatic and Fitness Center for their imaginative display “Just Add Water,” a Christmas tree decorated like a swimmer. Both offices received a $25 Downtown Gift Certificate from Mainstreet Ocean City. The Personnel Office won for Most Christmassy featuring traditional holiday music. Most Original Wreath went to Code Construction for its graphically pleasing, enhanced paper display. The Mayor’s Office was elected the Most Dignified Wreath while Accounting scored with decorations honoring the World Champion Phillies. Public Assistance added Christmas excitement with a wreath surrounded by mechanical Santas and other mobile decorations. The IT office created a unique, abstract display featuring intricate wiring. Georgia Arnold’s Office won for the Best Use Of No Materials, a cryptic comment on the economy. The Community services wreath was judged Most Pop-ular thanks to its tribute to the Ocean City Pops Orchestra. Finance was credited with the Best Use of Dough and the City Clerk’s Office with Best Use of Materials Explaining its Operation. Zoning won for the Most Official because the Zoning Office has lots of Officials, (we admit this was a stretch). Tax Assessment was Estimated to be among the Best while Tax Collection won for its creative use of Photography.

THE MISS NEW JERSEY Outstanding Teen Pageant is set for 7 p.m., Sat., Jan. 10 at Millville Senior High School, 200 Wade Blvd., Millville. Tickets are $25. Theme is Juke Box Fever. Fifteen young ladies, 13-17 years of age, from throughout the State will compete. The contest is affiliated with the Miss America organization and the Miss New Jersey Pageant held every year in June at the Music Pier. For advanced ticket information contact Joan Cooper, 856-825-6937 or buy tickets at the door.

I’d like to conclude the year an appropriate, end of the year poem:

Advice for December 31st.

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….


————- Happy New Year from the Public Relations Division!

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