Full Schedule of Holiday Events in O.C. Starts ‘Earlier Than the Bird’
Ocean City kicked off a season of holiday events on Saturday with the Downtown Merchant Association’s annual “Earlier Than the Bird” celebration.A stiltwalker chats with Earlier Than the Bird shoppers on Saturday morning in Ocean City.Shoppers — many clad in pajamas — converged on Asbury Avenue to take advantage of discounts, turkey giveaways, free coffee and other contests.Clear and relatively mild weather helped draw good crowds to the Avenue. The event included free horse and carriage rides and free photos with Santa.A Christmas Arts and Crafts Festival on the Ocean City Music Pier continues 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The event feature 75 booths from leading crafters throughout the East Coast.The selection includes everything for the holidays including wreaths, floral decorations, jewelry, custom gift baskets, metal art and much more. A $3 donation benefits the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, Ocean City Ecumenical Council Food Cupboard and the Wounded Warrior Project. Call 1-800-822-4112 for information. Pajama-clad shoppers competed for “best-dressed” prizes that included free turkeys.Special events in Ocean City continue through November and December: Nov. 23 — Ocean City Home Bank Annual Christmas Tree Lighting: The event takes place 6:30 p.m. at the corner of 10th Street and Asbury Avenue. Mayor Jay Gillian will light the tree. Cookies and cider will be in the lobby.Nov. 24 — Community Thanksgiving Service: St. Francis of Cabrini Church, 114 Atlantic Ave., will host the Ocean City Ecumenical Council Community Thanksgiving Service at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The service will include Thanksgiving Hymns, the Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation and Thanksgiving sermon. Father Allen Lovell will be guest speaker. Mayor Jay Gillian will present opening remarks and read the Presidential Proclamation. Clergy from many Ocean City Churches will participate. A free will offering will be taken to continue the work of the Ocean City Ecumenical Council that includes the Food Cupboard and Clothes Closet. The Council and Ocean City Ministerium encourage you to bring non-perishable food items for the Food Cupboard. Dessert Fellowship will follow the service. All are invited. Nov. 27 — Christmas in the Downtown: “Our Miracle On Asbury Avenue.” Join merchants and Chamber from 2 to 5 p.m. in kicking off an old-fashioned downtown Christmas. For more information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ.Nov. 28-29 — Breakfast With Santa: 8 a.m. till 11:30 a.m., Sat., 11/28, Jon and Patty’s Coffee Bar and Bistro, 637 Asbury Ave., Sun.11/29, Sunrise Café 1200 Asbury. Nov. 28 — Small Business Saturday: Downtown and Boardwalk Merchants will celebrate the season by offering day-long specials. This is a national event sponsored by American Express and promoted by the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce for the day after “Black Friday.” For information, call (609) 399-1412.Dec. 4 — Christmas Parade: This parade brings Santa to town, horse-and-buggy style. Route is from 6th to 11th St. on Asbury Ave. Parade starts 6:30 p.m. Afterwards, Santa will be located at the Park across from City Hall, 9th and Asbury Ave. He will pose for photos (bring your camera) and hand out treats. Downtown merchants, as the parade sponsors, invite bands, groups with floats, holiday-themed costumed marchers, local organizations, etc. to join the fun. This is an ideal opportunity to get exposure for your group or business before an appreciative crowd. For information, call (609) 399-6111 ext. 9283. Register at www.ocnj.us and click on events.Dec. 5 — Christmas Trolley Tour and Sing-Along: Join the Ocean City Historical Museum for a Christmas History Trolley Tour led by John Loeper with songs led by Dr. Richard Stanislaw. There will be a stop at the historic Snodgrass home on Central Ave. The tour ends at the Museum, 17th and Simpson Ave., where visitors will see a new exhibit, “Home for the Holidays: Christmas 1945” and be treated to holiday fare. Tickets are $20 for members, $25 for non members. Call (609)399-1801 for information. Dec. 5-6 — Breakfast With Santa: In the Downtown, 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 12/5 Yianni’s Café, 841 Asbury Ave. 12/6 Arlene’s on Asbury, 624 Asbury Ave.Dec. 5-6 — Jay Eggly / Ocean City Train Show: Features large Garden Railroad Display on Music Pier Stage, 30 ft. Lionel display with working accessories in Solarium of Pier and vendors exhibiting and selling trains, train parts, holiday decorations, memorabilia and more. Repairs made on site by technician Dick Yard. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sun. Admission: $3 for adults, $1 children 12 and under.Dec. 5-6 — Free Horse and Carriage Rides: Noon to 3 p.m., in front of City Hall, 9th and Asbury Ave. For information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ.Dec. 6 — Joy to the World: The Ocean City Pops presents an orchestral and choral celebration of the glorious sounds of Christmas. Maestro Scheible and the Pops are joined by Heraldic Trumpets, Glorious Choirs, Dazzling Bells, featuring tenor Cody Austin. Showtime: 3 p.m. at the Ocean City High School Hughes Performing Arts Center, 6th and Atlantic Ave. Tickets $20, available at www.ocnj.us/boxoffice. For more information call (609) 399-6111.Dec. 11-13 — Swingin’ to the Holidays: 2015 Spectacular at the Music Pier, Moorlyn Terrace and Boardwalk. Presented by the Greater Ocean City Theater Co. An enchanting cast of professional singers and dancers will present a high energy, family-oriented, song and dance tribute to the holidays directed and choreographed by Michael Hartman. Through dazzling costumes, familiar songs and special effects, the show will kindle the holiday spirit as the magic of the season comes to life in a brand new musical journey through seasonal favorites. Tickets $18 general admission, $15 children 12 and under. Show times Dec. 11&12-7:30 p.m., Dec.13-2 p.m. Call (609) 399-6111 or visit www.ocnj.us/boxoffice.Dec. 12-13 — Breakfast With Santa: 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Sat. 12/12, Sunrise Café, 1200 Asbury Ave., Sun., 12/13 Jon & Patty’s Coffee Bar & Bistro, 637 Asbury.Dec. 12-13 — Free Horse & Carriage Rides: Noon to 3 p.m. in front of City Hall, 9th and Asbury Ave. For more information call 1-800-BEACH-NJ.Dec. 12-13 — Photos With Santa: Noon to 3 p.m. in front of the Music Pier. There will be a $10 charge per photo. For more information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ. Dec. 13 — Angelus Chorus: The 65-voice Angelus Chorus will be featured in a program of traditional Christmas music and scriptures at the Ocean City Tabernacle, 5th and Wesley Ave. at 3 p.m. The chorus will be directed by Richard Stanislaw and feature tenor, John Taylor and the Tapestry String Quartet. Admission is free, offering received.Dec. 18 — Swingin’ to the Holidays: A Christmas spectacular by the Ocean City Theatre Company will be repeated at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Ocean City Music Pier.Dec. 31 — First Night New Year’s Eve Celebration: REMINDER: Get your FIRST NIGHT ADMISSION BUTTONS NOW! for Ocean City’s Gala New Year’s Eve Celebration that provides continuous family entertainment from 4 p.m. until midnight capped by a fireworks display. Buttons are now available for $15 from www.firstnightocnj.com or by calling 1-800-BEACH-NJ. Buttons are also available at the City Hall Welcome Center, 9th and Asbury Ave. After December 15, buttons will be priced at $20. Downtown Asbury Avenue is decorated for the season.