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Three events are scheduled for this weekend in Ocean City: The Trail of Two Cities 5K Race/Walk across the Causeway, The Earlier than the Bird Shopping “Extravaganza “ and a Tribute to Ted Prior, Ocean City’s legendary Elvis performer.

That we are once again able to hold our events, that people were walking, jogging and cycling on the Boardwalk on Saturday is a good sign. We are gradually returning to normal. But there are still plenty of people in the community in need of assistance.

OCNJCARE is a group of community volunteers with partner organizations that continues to help residents obtain the resources they need to recover. At this point the pressing need is for cash donations to assist people find temporary housing and to cover disaster related injuries. You can help by sending a check to OCNJCARE. Mail it to PO Box 807, Ocean City, N.J. 08226 or drop it off at Ocean City Home Bank, 10th and Asbury Ave. or access www.ocnjcare.org.

(Nov.17) The popular TRAIL OF TWO CITIES 5K originally scheduled for Nov. 3rd is set for this Saturday starting at 8 a.m. at the Ocean City Transportation Center, Tenth Street and Haven Ave. For Information call (609)525-9300 or, (609) 927-2053 Ext. 3101. Same day registration starts 7 a.m. at the Transportation Center.

(Nov. 17) A Tribute to Elvis performer, TED PRIOR will be held in the Green Room , second floor of the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace, at 1 p.m. Please enter at the Music Pier front door on the boardwalk. The door will be marked. Prior performed in Ocean City for over 15 years, often donating his time to the community’s special events including the Humane Society’s Barks on the Boards. There will be tributes to Prior, his music will be played and his friends and fans will have an opportunity to comment. A star will be placed near his favorite dressing room in the Green Room. For information, call 609-525-9300.

(Nov. 17) EARLIER THAN THE BIRD: The City’s 4th Annual Earlier than the Bird Shopping Extravaganza will go on this year even after Hurricane Sandy has wreaked havoc on downtown shops, reports Marcia Shallcross, director of Main Street Ocean City. Merchants have been busy cleaning up, remodeling and merchandising to be ready for holiday shoppers. Those unable to be back in their stores may offer “Sandy SideWalk” Sales or the opportunity to buy store gift certificates. Many have asked how they can support their favorite stores and the answer is to shop and dine In OC, says Shallcross.

This will be a fun shopping day. The event begins at 7 a.m. and ends at noon. Those who shop in their pajamas will have the opportunity to win a free turkey. There will be free coffee, give- aways and many early bird specials. Santa will be roaming the Avenue. Shoppers will be able to sign up in stores to win $25 gift certificates. Visitors may drop off canned or non perishable food for the Ocean City Food Cupboard.

From noon to 3 p.m., there will be free horse and carriage rides, face painting and photos with Santa. Earlier than the Bird is brought to you by Main Street Ocean City and is sponsored by Sturdy Savings Bank and the Ocean City Tourism Commission.

Earlier than the Bird kicks off free events held every weekend in downtown Ocean City during the holiday season including free horse and carriage rides from noon to 3 p.m. starting at 9th and Asbury Ave. The Downtown will also offer Friday Evening HOSPITALITY NIGHTS Dec. 14 and 21 from 5 to 8 p.m., including evening shopping specials, entertainment, free horse and carriage rides, Santa and more. The annual CHRISTMAS PARADE will be held Fri., December 7 at 7 p.m. through the downtown. Breakfast with Santa will begin Nov. 24 and run through Dec. 23. For more information on the downtown, call (609)398-goOC or log onto www.downtownOCnj.com.

(Nov. 20) Holy Trinity Episcopal Church will host the Ocean City Community Thanksgiving Service on Tuesday, November 20th at 7:00PM. Holy Trinity Episcopal Church is located at 30th Street and Bay Avenue. The service, sponsored by the Ocean City Ministerium and the Ecumenical Council will include Thanksgiving hymns, the Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation, and a Thanksgiving sermon. Reverend David Laquintano, Pastor of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church will deliver the sermon.

Mayor Jay Gillian will present welcoming remarks on behalf of the city and will read the Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation. Members of the clergy from many Ocean City churches will participate.

A free will offering will be taken up to continue the work of the Ocean City Ecumenical Council that includes the Food Cupboard and Clothes Closet. You are encouraged to bring a contribution of non-perishable food items to be donated to the Food Cupboard as we continue to support the needy of our community to recover, revive and rebuild from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

Ample parking is provided. All are invited to attend.

(Nov. 22) The Fast and the Furriest 5K TURKEY TROT and One Mile Fun Run, a 5K run/walk Thanksgiving morning and 1 mile kids fun run benefits the Ocean City K-9 Unit and Ocean City Humane Society. Pre-register online at www.active.com. Registration 7 a.m. to 8:25 a.m. in front of the Music Pier. Race starts at 8:30 a.m. Applications available at the Aquatic and Fitness Center, Sneaker Shop across from City Hall and the Humane Society. For more information, call(609) 398-5068.

(Nov. 23) CHRISTMAS IN THE DOWNTOWN—Our Miracle on Asbury Ave., 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., join the merchants and Chamber of Commerce for an old fashioned downtown Christmas, For more information, call (609) 399-1412.

(No. 24-25) PHOTOS WITH SANTA from noon to 3 p.m. at the Music Pier. For more information, call (609) 399-1412.

FIRST NIGHT, Ocean City’s gala New Years’ Eve Celebration , will definitely be held on New Year’s Eve, when else? There will be an extensive entertainment schedule with programs held at central locations throughout the City. Buttons are $15, available now at the Chamber of Commerce Offices on 9th Street across from TD Bank. A complete listing of the entertainment schedule is also available at the Chamber.

The evening starts at 4 p.m. with opening ceremonies and entertainment at the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace. As always there is an Angel Fund for those who cannot afford First Night Buttons. Call 609-525-9300 or stop at the Public Relations Office, second floor of City Hall, 9th and Asbury Ave. The event will be capped by a fireworks display at midnight.

The Ocean City Arts Center is sponsoring its second annual trip to New York on Dec. 6. The bus leaves the Arts Center, 17th and Simpson Ave., at 8 a.m. and leaves New York at 4 p.m. The trip is set for the Metropolitan Museum of art where George Bellows and Andy Warhol are being featured. Cost is $39, by cash, check or credit card. Admittance to Museum is by voluntary donation. Call 609-399-7628. ###