Ocean City marks the 27th anniversary of its popular family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration this year, and as many as 10,000 are expected to attend. First Night offers more than 70 opportunities to catch more than 30 different shows and activities at 22 venues throughout town. The lineup includes entertainment to satisfy every taste and age group. A fireworks display rings in the New Year at midnight.
Some of the new entertainment for this year’s lineup includes The Spinners (with six Grammy nominations for hits like “Then Came You,” “Working My Way Back to You” and “The Rubberband Man”), Disney Junior’s Choo-Choo Soul with Genevieve, an interactive science show from the Franklin Institute, a slapstick comedy dog show called “Johnny Peers & the Muttville Comix,” and Vocal Trash, which is described as “Glee Meets Stomp.” A Choo Choo Train will run between Sixth Street and Eighth Street on the boardwalk between 4 and 10 p.m. Traditional favorites including ice-skating, a “Rockin’ New Year’s Eve with the Ocean City Pops,” the Fabulous Greaseband and midnight fireworks.
Due to the forecast, ice-skating at Ocean City’s First Night New Year’s Eve celebration has been moved from the Civic Center basketball courts to the Ocean City Intermediate School’s all-purpose room (1801 Bay Avenue). This stop will be part of the route for free jitney transportation between all events.
First Night events run 4 p.m. to midnight on Monday, Dec. 31. Buttons ($20) are good for all events. Children age 2 and under are free. They are on sale now at www.firstnightocnj.com/buyabutton, (609) 399-6111, the Welcome Center on the Route 52 causeway, City Hall (861 Asbury Ave.) and the 46th Street Welcome Center (46th & West).
All municipal parking lots and metered parking spots are free. Jitneys will provide free transportation from 5 p.m. until midnight for button-holders, operating continuously between sites starting at the Ocean City Transportation Center (Ninth Street and Haven Avenue) and Seventh Street Parking Lot (Seventh Street and Central Ave.).
See the full schedule of events and activities at www.firstnightocnj.com/schedule.
The fun continues on New Year’s Day with First Day at the Beach, including a 5-kilometer run on the boardwalk, the wildly popular First Plunge into the Atlantic Ocean and an all-day shopping extravaganza.
The 5-kilometer Boardwalk Run starts at 1 p.m. in front of the Ocean City Music Pier. Race-day registration begins 11 a.m. at the Music Pier at Moorlyn Terrace. Those who pre-register receive shirts while supplies last. Refreshments are available after the race. Entry fee is $30. For online registration, visit www.firstnightocnj.com.
The First Plunge starts at 2 p.m. on the beach adjacent to the Music Pier. Participants should register inside the Music Pier before heading to the beach. Registration is free, but all participants must sign a waiver. First Day at the Beach shirts will be on sale at the Music Pier for $20.
There will be an all-day Shopping Extravaganza happening with discounts at stores on Asbury Avenue and the boardwalk from 5th to 14th streets.
For more information on any of these events, visit www.firstnightocnj.com.