Ocean City Happenings: Veterans Day Ceremony, Holiday Events

Ocean City Happenings: Veterans Day Ceremony, Holiday Events

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This year's Veterans Day ceremony will be held inside the Ocean City Tabernacle.

Ocean City’s annual Veterans Day ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 12, at the Ocean City Tabernacle at 550 Wesley Avenue. The event honors all the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

The ceremony will include music, remarks, prayer and the placing of a memorial wreath. Ocean City’s Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and American Legion posts sponsor and participate in the event.

This year’s keynote speaker is Thy Nguyen Cavagnaro. Thy came to the U.S. in 1975 after Saigon fell at the end of the Vietnam War. She has been inspired to do more for the Vietnam veterans who helped her.

Teacher Carrie Merritt’s first grade class from the Ocean City Primary School will make a presentation. American Sign Language students from Ocean City High School will sign the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance.

Families will dress in pajamas for the “Earlier Than The Bird” shopping spree like this family in 2017. (Courtesy Ocean City Chamber of Commerce)

Ocean City’s holiday celebrations begin with “Earlier Than The Bird” on Saturday, Nov. 17. The annual downtown shopping extravaganza takes place 8 a.m. to noon on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Jumpstart your holiday shopping and shop in your pajamas for early bird shopping specials at stores on Asbury Avenue between Sixth Street and 11th Street.

Free coffee will be available at Jon & Patty’s (637 Asbury Ave.), Ocean City Coffee Company (917 Asbury Ave.) and Starbucks (1061 Asbury Ave.). Enjoy a free standard doughnut at Drip N’ Scoop (960 Asbury Ave.).

Free turkeys will be awarded to the best-dressed. Register while you shop for chances to win up to $150 in gift certificates and prizes. For more information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ or visit facebook/downtownOCNJ.

Horse drawn carriages will whisk shoppers to their destinations over the holiday season along Asbury Avenue in the heart of the downtown shopping district.

Free horse-and-carriage rides will be available starting on the weekend of Nov. 17 and 18. Ride the downtown the old-fashioned way noon to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Board in front of City Hall at Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue.

The 11th annual Fast and Furriest 5K Turkey Trot goes off at 8 a.m. Thanksgiving morning on Nov. 22. The course for this 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) race is on the Ocean City Boardwalk. Proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Ocean City. For more information, call 609-398-9500 (ext. 4) or visit www.hsocnj.org/events.

Ocean City’s small-town version of “Black Friday” takes place on Friday, Nov. 23. The Christmas in the Downtown – “Our Miracle on Asbury Avenue” – takes place 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The event will be a warm and entertaining time, featuring carolers and performers throughout downtown Asbury Avenue between Sixth Street and 11th Street.

Downtown stores will offer discount shopping for gifts, and many Asbury Avenue restaurants will be open. Free horse-and-carriage rides will be available.

Entertainment and Christmas carols will begin at 4 p.m. on the steps of City Hall at Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue. Singer Jackie Evancho will perform and offer a preview of her Nov. 24 show.

The event culminates around 5 p.m. when Santa Claus will emerge on the rooftop of City Hall. With the help of an Ocean City Fire Department ladder truck, Santa will descend and help light the City Hall Christmas Tree and illuminate City Hall.

The shopping discounts will continue on Nov. 24 as downtown merchants celebrate “Small Business Saturday.”

Tickets for Jackie Evancho Christmas Show on sale

Platinum-selling, 18-year-old vocal sensation Jackie Evancho will return to the Ocean City Music Pier for a Christmas show 7:30 p.m. Nov. 24.

Jackie will perform a selection of songs from her critically acclaimed “Someday at Christmas” album. Jackie’s Christmas show is filled with classic Christmas and popular holiday songs. Jackie will join musicians from the Ocean City Pops Orchestra to celebrate the holiday season in “America’s Greatest Family Resort.”

Tickets are $45 and $35 and can be purchased at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice or by calling 609-399-6111. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Roy Gillian Welcome Center on the Ninth Street causeway or at City Hall’s Welcome Center at 861 Asbury Avenue. Evancho performed to a sold-out Music Pier during Night in Venice weekend this summer, so get your tickets while they last.

The towering Ferris wheel at Gillian’s Wonderland Pier on the Boardwalk is aglow in holiday lights for the First Night celebration last year.

First Night Buttons on Sale

All-inclusive admission buttons for Ocean City’s popular and family-friendly First Night New Year’s Eve celebration are on sale now. The price is a discounted $15 through Nov. 30, and they can be purchased at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice or by calling 609-399-6111.

Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Roy Gillian Welcome Center on the Ninth Street causeway, City Hall’s Welcome Center at 861 Asbury Avenue or the Welcome Center at 46th Street and West Avenue.

First Night includes more than 70 shows and activities at venues throughout Ocean City. New this year and promising to be a highlight is a unique show featuring Vocal Trash.

Described as “Glee Meets Stomp,” Vocal Trash asks you to recycle your imagination as their urban-themed Broadway style show energizes audiences. Led by co-creators/producers Steve Linder and Kelsey Rae, this cast has captivated audiences of all ages with shows for more than 15 years.

Vocal Trash will perform at First Night. (Courtesy City of Ocean City)

Look for more First Night entertainment profiles in the weeks to come.

Also coming up in November

Juried Art Show (Throughout November): The annual Juried Art Show will be exhibited at the Ocean City Arts Center (1735 Simpson Avenue) Nov. 1 to 30.

An awards reception, free and open to the public, will be held Friday, Nov. 9 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. More than 40 pieces will be shown in the Arts Center gallery, and art will be for sale.

Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament (Nov. 17): The Ocean City Fishing Club invites families and individuals to compete in its 50th Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 17. This event was originally scheduled for Oct. 27 but was postponed due to a coastal storm.

Registration for the tournament will take place from 5:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. Nov. 17 at the Ocean City Intermediate School, 18th Street and Bay Avenue. It costs $80 for a six-member team, while individuals can sign up for only $15. For more information, call 267-251-2306.