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Ring in the new year in OCNJ at First Night

Ring in the new year in OCNJ at First Night

carriage rides

Come celebrate a family-friendly New Year’s Eve in Ocean City, N.J. First Night in OCNJ offers entertainment that satisfies every taste and age group. 

How it started

This beloved event was founded 31 years ago and modeled after an alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebration in Boston that marked the nation’s bicentennial in 1976. The first celebration in Ocean City included 25 entertainment acts at five different locations with about 800 people attending. While other First Night events have faded, Ocean City’s has only grown more popular with families making it an annual tradition for a safe New Year’s Eve.

How it’s going

Today, First Night offers more than 70 entertain programs at 20 different venues throughout town on December 31. One $22 (inclusive of service fees) button is good for all programs. Attendance is capped at 10,000 with admission buttons selling out year after year.

Headline entertainment at the Ocean City Music Pier this year will include “GYPSY,” a tribute to the music of Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac; and “Motor City,” a revue of Motown’s greatest hits. The return of perennial favorites like outdoor ice-skating (with extended hours this year), rides at Wonderland Pier, magic shows, the Harlem Wizards and a variety of musical performances also highlight the entertainment lineup. The Ocean City Pops will perform with a returning favorite – the Chicago tribute band Brass Transit. In their first-ever First Night appearance, the Atlantic City Ballet will perform a holiday show.

A fireworks display rings in the new year at midnight. The fun continues on New Year’s Day with a 5-kilometer run on the Boardwalk (pre-register at, and the First Plunge in the Atlantic Ocean.

First Night’s 2024 sponsors include the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Cape May County Division of Culture and Heritage, McMahon Insurance Agency, Ocean City Free Public Library, Wonderland Pier and Atlantic City Electric.

Tickets are available:

·        Online:

·        By phone: 609-399-6111.

·        At the City Hall Welcome Center at 861 Asbury Avenue (9th Street entrance): 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

·        At the Roy Gillian Welcome Center (9th Street causeway): 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

·        At the 46th Street Welcome Center (4500 block of West Avenue): 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays.

See Also
Old Fashioned Downtown Christmas OCNJ

The full schedule of events and activities and a printable grid is available at


Photos with Santa in Lifeguard Boat (Dec. 23): Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Ocean City Music Pier.

Visits with Santa in the Downtown (Dec. 23): 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at Mark Soifer Park, 9th Street and Asbury Avenue.

First Day Celebration (Jan. 1, 2024): Activities include a 1 p.m. 5K run on the Boardwalk (pre-register at, a 2 p.m. First Dip polar plunge, and an all-day Shopping Extravaganza. Visit for more information.

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