Ocean City’s annual Christmas Parade brings Santa Claus to town in a horse and buggy on Friday evening (Dec. 4).
The parade begins at 6:30 p.m., and the route travels downtown Asbury Avenue from Sixth Street to 11th Street. Santa will return to the park across from City Hall at Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue to pose for photos with children (bring your camera) and hand out treats.
Bands featured in the parade include the Ocean City High School Marching Band, the Pitman Hobo Band and the Ed Coles Dixieland Band. Among the groups to march are the Greater Ocean City Theatre Company, the Atlantic Shore Babe Ruth All-Star Team, the American Legion, Girl Scout Troop 41371, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Cape May County Sheriff’s Dept. Mounted Unit, OCHS Best Buddies International Club, Strathmere Fire Co., Jr. Red Raiders Football Team, Miss Middlesex County, Starstruck Dance Academy, 7th St. Surf Shop, Barbizon Modeling, Vittorio’s Restaurant, the Walking Christmas Tree and more.
The parade is a precursor to a December filled with special events. Some of the highlights include:
- 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. The Museum will present Mrs. Claus’s Market, a gift shop with expanded inventory just in time for the holidays from Dec. 5 to 12.
- Dec. 5 — Messiah Sing In: Interactive sing along, 3 p.m. at the Ocean City Tabernacle
- 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 for a fee. 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. 5-6 — Photos With Santa: Noon to 3 p.m., in front of the Music Pier. There will be a $10 charge per photo. 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 — Live Nativity: 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the Ocean City Tabernacle
- Dec. 12 — Happy Birthday Jesus: Children’s program with St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, 10:30 a.m. at the Ocean City Tabernacle
- Dec. 12 — “Magi”: Word of Life Gospel Production, 7 p.m. at the Ocean City Tabernacle
- 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.
- Jan. 10 (2016) — Cape Shore Chorale: Directed by Scott J. Breiner, the Cape Shore Chorale will present An Old Fashioned Christmas on January 10th, 2016 at 3:00 PM at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 30th and Bay Ave, Ocean City. The annual Epiphany concert will include holiday favorites. Free will offering. Please join us after the concert for light refreshments and to meet Chorale members. This program is partially funded by a grant from the Ocean City Home Bank Charitable Foundation. More info: www.capeshorechorale.org