There have been years that First Night has sold out! So buy your admission buttons now. Don’t take a chance on being disappointed. Admission buttons are available for just $15 online at www.firstnightocnj.com, can be ordered by credit card by calling (609) 399-1412 and are available at Stainton’s Square, 800 block of Asbury Avenue, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
The first First Night began 22 years ago and attracted 1,000 visitors. The event grew rapidly over the years and now is capped at 10,000 visitors. The program is geared to entertain all ages with a special emphasis on families.
Children will be delighted with events at the football field, 6th St. Off Boardwalk and adjacent Sports and Civic Center including the world’s tallest snowman, a 30 ft. tall bouncy, the Dixie Dragonfly Swing Ride, fun for all ages 5 and up, Trackless Train Ride, the Peanut Elephant Ride and pony rides from 5-9 p.m.
The Sports and Civic Center will feature a 4 Lane Horse Derby Inflatable, Polar Extreme Obstacle Course, Jungle World Play Center and Circus Train Adventure. There will be a Dinosaur Zoo at the Ocean City High School featuring Museum Quality life size Dinosaur fossils and other prehistoric items to see and touch.
As a special feature, there will be an 80x40ft ice skating rink located in the 5th St. Parking Lot. It is the largest ice rink south of Rockefeller Center. It accommodates up to 100 skaters at a time. Skates are supplied or your can bring your own. Note: Wonderland Pier will be closed for construction this year.
Among the First Night headliners will be the Original Blue Notes and the Trammps scheduled for the Music Pier. Entertainment includes the Broadway hit, Smokey Joe’s Café, Children’s Show, Rapunzel, Magician Chad Juros, Juggler Chris Ivey, the Ocean City Pops Orchestra, The Grease Band, the Jungle John Animal Show, Norristones Doo Wop performers, Abbott and Costello performers, Big Band Dancing, Bubba Fan Gospel Group, Lucky Guess Game Show, the Mainstage Singers, Dan Chain, Mentalist, Allo Magic and Fun, The Paisley Pickles, telescope observation of the skies at the High School Planetarium, the Veggie Tales and Disney Pixar movie show hourly at the Moorlyn Theater from 6 to 11 p.m. and more. Access www.firstnightocnj.com for complete schedule and information.
The Ocean City Restaurant Assn. will again offer “A Taste of the Jersey Shore,” with hourly seating from 4-8 p.m. in the High School Cafeteria. For reservations and menu, access www.EatInOCNJ.com.
First Night will also preview Fred and Susan Miller’s latest Ocean City history book 5 p.m. in the Community Room of the Library, 17th and Simpson Ave. The Book will feature “Ocean City’s Historic Hotels.” It will be released by Arcadia Publishing and be available May 24, 2014. This is the sixth history book about Ocean City the Millers have written for Arcadia.
First Night will be followed by First Day at the Beach featuring a first dip in the Ocean at 2 p.m., preceded by a 5K run at 1p.m. beginning at the Music Pier on the Boardwalk. Plus there will be First Day Shopping Bargains all day at Downtown Asbury Ave. For information, call (609) 525-9300.
— News release from Ocean City Public Relations Director Mark Soifer