Friday, August 5 2022

Doug Bergen Public Information OfficerSubmitted

Ocean City’s popular New Year’s Eve event will return for the 29th time this year, and families across the region are ready to celebrate. First Night offers more than 70 entertainment programs in 20 different locations across the city. Programming includes entertainment and activities to suit all tastes and age groups. Fireworks ring in the New Year at midnight. The fun continues on New Year’s Day with a 5 kilometer run on the boardwalk and the first dip in the Atlantic Ocean.

The headliner for First Night 2022 is Grammy-winning band Tavares. Tavares’ top hits include “It Only Takes a Minute”, “Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel”, “Don’t Take Away the Music”, and “More Than a Woman”. Kids will love Grammy-winning children’s entertainer Tim Kubart, who will be joined on stage for an interactive show by his band, the Space Cadets.

Wonderland Pier’s rides will return this year, and other returning favorites include the skating rink, inflatables, Harlem Wizards, karaoke night, magician Chad Juros, a Country Line Dance Experience and the Legacy Band.

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The Ocean City Arts Center will join the party this year with a social music listening activity called “Hear Here!” This will make the Ocean City Community Center a special place for activities with events under the same roof at the Free Public Library, Aquatic and Fitness Center, Historical Museum, Library Atrium and center for the elderly.

Here is our guide on how to enjoy the first night and the first day in Ocean City.

WHEN: First Night events run from 4 p.m. to midnight on Friday, December 31. First Day 5K begins at 1 p.m. and First Plunge at 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 1, 2022.

ADMISSION BUTTONS: Buttons ($20) are good for all events. Children under 2 years old are free. Buttons are on sale now.

Online: Visit firstnightocnj.com.

By phone: Dial 609-399-6111.

At our City Hall Visitor Center at 861 Asbury Avenue (9th Street entrance): 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (except 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day) Christmas and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve).

At the Roy Gillian Visitor Center (9th Street Road): 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

At the 46th Street Welcome Center (4500 block of West Avenue): 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Christmas Eve and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. New Years Eve.

Unlimited pickup will be available daily at the City Hall Visitor Center (Ninth Street entrance). The sale of buttons and pick-up calls will be at the City Hall Welcome Center from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the day of the event (December 31).

FULL SCHEDULE: The full schedule of events and activities and a printable grid are available at firstnightocnj.com. Descriptions of all entertainment programs are also available at firstnightocnj.com.

PARKING AND TRANSPORT: All municipal parking lots and metered parking spaces are free. Jitneys will provide free transportation from 5:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. for button holders, operating continuously between all locations from the Ocean City Transportation Hub (Ninth Street and Haven Avenue) and Seventh Street Parking Lot (Seventh Street and Central Ave.). For a route map and complete information, visit firstnightocnj.com.

CATERING AND SHOPPING: Food and drink will be on sale at Ocean City High School (Sack O’ Subs), Wonderland Pier (6th Street Pizza and Grill) and Ocean City Community Center (at the cafe) with snack stands at the United Methodist Church St.Peter.

TO START UP: Everyone is invited to Ocean City Music Pier at 3:45 p.m. for the official opening of the 2022 festivities.

OTHER FUN ACTIVITIES: Stop at the Music Pier to see the First Night ice sculpture. Interactive photo booths will be set up in the Ocean City High School cafeteria, Community Center and Civic Center.

COVID PRECAUTIONS: In accordance with the latest CDC and state guidelines, face masks are strongly recommended for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in indoor settings. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available at all sites.

RACE OF THE WALK: A 5 kilometer race starts at 1 p.m. in front of the Ocean City Music Pier. Race day registration begins at 11 a.m. at the Music Pier in Moorlyn Terrace. Winter hats will be given to all those who register in advance and while supplies last. The race day registration fee is $35 ($25 if you register before December 24 and $30 if you register before December 30). For complete information, links to online registration and printable forms, visit ocnj.us/race-events.

FIRST DIVE: The dip in the ocean begins at 2 p.m. on the beach adjacent to the Music Pier (on the Eighth Street side). Participants must 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.

EXTRAVAGAN SHOPPING: There will be an extravagant shopping day with discounts at stores on Asbury Avenue and the 5th-14th Street Promenade. Free carriage rides through downtown Asbury Avenue will be available from noon to 3 p.m. on January 1. Board at Sixth Street and Asbury Avenue.

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