Reminders: First Night, First Day, Free Christmas Dinner & More

It’s time to get your FIRST NIGHT New Year’s Eve admission buttons. The popular holiday gala features over 70 entertainment programs at central locations from 4 p.m. till midnight for just $14. There are fireworks at midnight.

This safe, non alcoholic celebration is definitely the best and most economical New Year’s Eve entertainment program in the area, perhaps in the country, maybe the universe. Opening ceremonies are set for 4 p.m. at the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace. It will include a ribbon cutting with City officials, entertainment by the Main Stage Singers, face painters and a trinket give-away.

The City will unveil its new Martin Z. Mollusk costumed character that will represent the Hermit Crab in all parades and other functions. Free copies of Martin’s biography and toy shell hermit crabs will be given away while they last. There will be entertainment for every age group. First Night admission buttons will also entitle the bearer access to Wonderland Amusement Rides and miniature golf from 5 to 9 p.m. For the complete program of entertainment, access the First Night Website www.firstnightocnj.com.

The Ocean City Restaurant Assn. will offer a DINNER BUFFET that can be ordered when purchasing your First Night Buttons. Buttons are available seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Downtown Gillian’s, 838B Asbury Ave., 609-391-0060. You can order by phone or website with credit card.

FREE CHRISTMAS DINNER: Peaches Lukens has announced that a free home cooked dinner will again be provided to the community on Christmas day. The dinner will be available at the First United Methodist Church, 8th and Central Ave. The menu includes turkey with all of the fixings, plus plenty of desserts, music and a free table of clothing and gifts. The dinner is for all those who would like to spend time with a friendly group during the holiday. Doors open 11 a.m., Dec. 25. Take out and deliveries are available. Transportation is provided when needed. For a ride, general information, home delivery or to volunteer to cook, call 609-398-8781.

FIRST DAY AT THE BEACH PLUS: January 1st is a busy day at this family resort. The thousands of visitors who patronize First Night on New Year’s Eve and stay over in local accommodations will have plenty to do the first day of 2011.

Here’s what’s happening:.

There will be an ice sculpting display and entertainment starting 11 a.m. in front of the Music Pier.

The Martin Z. Mollusk character will pose for photos with children in a lifeboat in front of the Music Pier.

At 1 p.m. a 5K Boardwalk Run starts at the Music Pier. Entry fee is $20. All runners receive a T Shirt while they last. Registration begins at noon the day of the race at the site. Call Mike Givens, 609-861-0674 or contact runawayac@comcast.net.

First Night long sleeved commemorative shirts will be on sale for $20 in front of the Music Pier. Proceeds benefit First Night programs.

A First Dip in the Ocean is set for 2 p.m. at the Moorlyn Terrace Beach. About 400 enthusiastic bathers usually show up for a spirited and brief encounter with the ocean. All bathers receive a “Beach Nut” Certificate signifying they have braved the chill waters, signed by Martin Z. Mollusk, the City’s weather predicting hermit crab and mascot. Martin is being honored for 35 years of dedicated service to the City.

Shoppers will be able to kick-off the New Year during First Day in the city’s Asbury Ave. shopping district. Most stores will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Asbury Ave. features over 100 specialty stores and galleries. For information, call the Public Relations Office, 609-525-9300.

THE OCEAN CITY ARTS CENTER has scheduled a Bus Trip to New York for the popular Winter Antique Show at the Park Avenue Armory, 57th St. and Park Ave. The trip is $38 per person which does not include the $20 admission charge. The show is considered “the most prestigious in America” and features American and European Furniture, Folk Art, Ceramics, Jewelry and Faberge, Miniatures, books, manuscripts and more, 75 exhibitors in all. For information, call 609-399-7628. The Art Center will be closed through Jan 2 but a staff member will return your call.

The Arts Center will also begin its after school CHILDREN’S ART CLASSES the week of Jan. 10th. Choose from Drawing, Painting and cartooning with local artist Nancy Palermo, Arts and Crafts for Kids with artist Phyllis London or the Kids Art Club with Rob Gummel. There will be instruction in Ballet and Tap for children plus Teen Jazz, Intro to Dance and Hip Hop. Sign up for Mommy and Me and spend a quality and fun class with your toddler. Art Center Winter Adult Classes also begin on January 10.For further information, call 609-399-7628 or visit www.oceancityartscenter.org.

The Sentinel recently published a photo of the Howard Stainton Senior Center being dedicated in 1976. Shown in the picture were Howard S. Stainton, former mayor Roy Gillian and a third person who was not identified. This was the late B.THOMAS WALDMAN, Ocean City Mayor in the 60s and 70s. Among Waldman’s achievements were the limiting of high rise construction and bringing Ocean City back from a disastrous flood in time for the tourist season.

Please support two outstanding Ocean City Charities, the FOOD CUPBOARD AND HUMANE SOCIETY. To donate to the Food Cupboard send a check made payable to OC Ecumenical Council, PO Box 1001, Ocean City, N.J. 08226. Mail the Humane Society check to PO Box 1254, Ocean City, N.J. 08226.

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