Ocean City Christmas Parade Unfolds Friday

Ocean City Christmas Parade Unfolds Friday

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Santa Claus is coming to town Friday night for the Ocean City Christmas Parade on Asbury Avenue. (Photo courtesy of City of Ocean City)

Ocean City’s annual Christmas Parade travels down Asbury Avenue at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. Lights, garland, wreaths and bows adorn “The Avenue” for the season, and the parade will bring a variety of bands, floats and other entries to add a little warmth to the winter.

The event gives spectators time to shop and dine on downtown Asbury Avenue before and after the 6 p.m. start time. The parade starts at Sixth Street and proceeds to 11th Street.

This year’s parade will feature more than 65 entries, including the Ocean City High School Band, the Interboro Middle and High School Band, the Pitman High School Band, Absegami High School Band and Wildwood Middle School and High School Band.

More than 80 singers from the Upper Township School District, the state champion Ocean City High School girls’ soccer team, 2019 Ocean City Citizen of the Year Carrie Merritt and the casts of Ocean City Theater Company’s “2019 Holiday Spectacular” and “Frozen Jr” will participate.

At least five dance schools will compete in the “Dancin’ Through the Downtown” competition. Little Miss, Junior Miss and Miss Ocean City all will be on hand.

New this year will be two cold-air balloons from StarBound Entertainment. Look for the Snickerdoodle the Reindeer and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer balloons. The Upper Township school choir will sing in front of City Hall at Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue after the event.

As part of the annual tradition, Santa Claus provides a finale to the parade, greeting boys and girls by horse and carriage.

ALSO COMING UP:

FREE HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE RIDES (Dec. 7 to Jan. 1): Rides on downtown Asbury Avenue will be available noon to 3 p.m. on weekends through Dec. 22 and again on New Year’s Day. Board in front of City Hall at Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue.

Free horse and carriage rides are part of the holiday celebration in downtown Ocean City.

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA (Dec. 7 to Dec. 22): Santa Claus will meet with children 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at local restaurants. The schedule is as follows:

  • Saturday, Dec. 7: Jon & Patty’s Coffee Bar and Bistro (637 Asbury Avenue, 609-399-3377)
  • Sunday, Dec. 8: Yianni’s Cafe (841 Asbury Avenue, 609-391-1113)
  • Saturday, Dec. 14: Arlene’s on Asbury (624 Asbury Avenue, 609-399-3639)
  • Sunday, Dec. 15: Sunrise Café (1200 Asbury Avenue, 609-398-9300)
  • Saturday, Dec. 21: Yianni’s Cafe (841 Asbury Avenue, 609-391-1113)
  • Sunday, Dec. 22: Jon & Patty’s Coffee Bar and Bistro (637 Asbury Avenue, 609-399-3377) 

PHOTOS WITH SANTA (Dec. 7 to Dec. 22): Pose for holiday photos with Santa Claus in an Ocean City Beach Patrol lifeguard boat. Noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 22 outside the Ocean City Music Pier (Boardwalk at Moorlyn Terrace). Photos are $10 each. 

‘LE PETITE’ ART SHOW (Throughout December): The Ocean City Fine Arts League (711 Asbury Ave.) will go small with a “Le Petite” theme for its exhibition in December. There will be a “Meet The Artist” reception and awards presentation 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13. Light refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (609) 814-0308 or visit oceancityfineartsleague.org.

POTTERY & MOSAIC SALE (Through Dec. 14): The Ocean City Arts Center (1735 Simpson Avenue) will host its Pottery and Mosaic Show and Sale 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. A meet-the-artists reception will be held 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6.

HISTORICAL MUSEUM CRAFT FAIR (Dec. 7): The Ocean City Historical Museum will hold a Holiday Craft Fair featuring the work of local vendors 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 in the Community Center atrium just outside the museum.

Mrs. Claus’ Market will then open on Dec. 8. She will be on hand to greet children and help with crafts that Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. The Market will be open through Dec. 31 during museum hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For the first week (Dec. 8 to 13), the Market will be open until 7 p.m. It will feature books, local food products, jewelry, gifts for children, tree ornaments and clothing.

TRAIN SHOW (Dec. 7 and 8): Model train displays and sales 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Ocean City Music Pier. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children. For more information, call 609-399-6111.

CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING AND HOLIDAY FESTIVAL (Dec. 8): The Ocean City Free Public Library will host a special event 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. After a tree lighting at 1 p.m., refreshments will be available. Kids can make holiday crafts and enjoy a balloon sculptor. The Package Goods Orchestra will perform live music, and Santa will make a visit. For more information, call 609-399-2434.

Five performances are scheduled at the Music Pier of the Ocean City Theatre Company’s holiday show.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, CHRISTMAS: 2019 HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR (Dec. 13-22): Tickets are on sale now for Ocean City Theatre Company’s annual holiday show. The cast of professional singers and dancers will present a family–oriented, song-and-dance tribute to the holidays, directed and choreographed by Elizabeth Worley, Brendan Maly and Michael Hartman. Through dazzling costumes, familiar songs, special guests, toe-tapping numbers and special effects, this extravaganza will kindle the holiday spirit. Performances will be:

  • 7:30 pm Friday, Dec. 13
  • 2:00 pm Saturday, Dec. 14
  • 7:30 pm Friday, Dec. 20
  • 7:30 pm Saturday, Dec 21
  • 2 pm Sunday, Dec 22

The production will be staged at the Ocean City Music Pier (Moorlyn Terrace and Boardwalk) with free parking nearby. Admission is $18 for adults and $15 for kids under 12. Purchase at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice, by calling 609-399-6111, or in-person at the City Hall Welcome Center (9th Street and Asbury Avenue) or the Roy Gillian Welcome Center (on the causeway leading to Ninth Street). Group rates are available by calling 609-398-1118.

HOLIDAY BOOK SALE (Dec. 13-14): The Friends and Volunteers of the Ocean City Free Public Library will hold a holiday book sale 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 13 and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 14 in the atrium outside the library.

ANGELUS CHORUS AND TENOR JOHN TAYLOR (Dec. 14): Tenor John Taylor joins the 55-voice Angelus Chorus directed by Richard Stanislaw in a concert of traditional Christmas music at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec.14 at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, 8th Street and Central Avenue. The concert is free; an offering is received.

FROZEN JR (Dec. 14-15): Ocean City Theatre Company students in grades 3 to 8 will give two performances of the enchanting modern Disney classic: 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 14) and 2 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 15) at the Ocean City Music Pier. The show features all of the memorable songs from the animated film. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by calling 609-399-6111 or by visiting oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice.

FIRST NIGHT (Dec. 31): All-inclusive admission buttons for Ocean City’s family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration are on sale now at firstnightocnj.com and at welcome centers in town.

FIRST DAY (Jan. 1): Pre-register for the annual 1 p.m. New Year’s Day 5K Boardwalk run at firstnightocnj.com, get ready for the First Dip in the Atlantic Ocean at 2 p.m. adjacent to the Ocean City Music Pier, and take advantage of bargains in downtown Ocean City’s First Day Shopping Extravaganza.

The traditional First Dip plunge in the ocean is a wacky way to celebrate New Year’s Day.