• directions

First Night, Ocean City’s alcohol-free celebration of the New Year, will offer a selection of 60 shows from 4 p.m. till midnight. The volunteer Committee of the Chamber of Commerce that runs this program calls First Night the Best Entertainment Value at the Shore.

And they are right. Where else can you enjoy all this professional family entertainment capped by Fireworks at Midnight for just $15 per person. And, oh yes, an admission button also includes rides a Wonderland Pier from 5 p.m. till 9 p.m. plus miniature golf at Gillian’s Adventure Golf from 2 p.m. till 9 p.m.

First Night celebrates its 21st Anniversary this year. It began in 1991 when 1,000 people attended the event. Today the City hosts over 10,000 visitors with shows at ten central locations, many with multiple auditoriums.

“First Night is a safe, economical way to spend New Year’s Eve in Ocean City, a resort that continuously receives national and international recognition for its devotion to hosting families and all vacationers,” notes Mayor Jay Gillian. “Our aim is to provide family friendly entertainment at an affordable price.”

The 60 program entertainment list ranges from popular children’s shows featuring magicians, jugglers and puppeteers to Broadway Shows, a big band dance, the Award Winning Trout Fishing In America, the Grease Band, Michael Hartman musical and dance productions, Japanese Drummers and more.

The Ocean City Restaurant Assn. will again offer its popular Taste of the Jersey Shore at the High School Cafeteria. You can check out the entire menu at the First Night Website, www.firstnightocnj.com and make reservations at www.eatinocnj.com . First Night buttons may be purchased at the Wonderland Kiosk in Stainton’s, 8th and Asbury Ave., at

Chamber of Commerce headquarters, 9th St. across from TD Bank, (609) 399-1412 or online at www.firstnightocnj.com.

There is free jitney service to venues from 5 p.m. till midnight, operating continuously between sites starting at the Transportation Center, 9th and Haven Ave. and the 7th St. Parking Lot, 7th and Central Ave for button holders. Street parking is free and there are numerous City Parking lots available for free parking.

In addition to the Taste of the Jersey Shore at the High School that will also have a pretzel stand, there is additional food at the Sports and Civic Center, 6th St. off Boardwalk featuring Dell’s Grille, light boardwalk fare, Ocean City Senior Center, 17th and Simpson Ave, with Yanni’s specialties, The Primary School, 5th and West Ave. with light boardwalk fare and St. Peter’s Church, 8th and Central Ave. light boardwalk fare.

Stay until midnight and join the countdown celebrations at the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace, Civic Center, 6th Boardwalk, High School, 6th and Atlantic Ave., Ocean City Tabernacle, 5th and Wesley Ave., and the Community Center, 17th and Simpson Ave. then step outside to enjoy a fireworks display from 6th St., off boardwalk.

A chart will the entire first night entertainment schedule is available at www.firstnightocnj.com