Current News and Events

Downtown Hosts Christmas Parade Dec. 1

Downtown Hosts Christmas Parade Dec. 1


Ocean City’s annual Christmas Parade travels down Asbury Avenue at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1. Lights, garlands, 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 entries including the Ocean City High School Marching Band, the Interboro High School Marching Band (of Prospect Park, Pa.), and the Absegami High School Marching Braves.

Characters from “Frozen,” Frosty the Snowman, Buddy the Elf, Mickey, and Minnie Mouse will be on floats. Cold-air balloons – including the Grinch – will be part of the fun. Two string bands, Martin and Mollie Mollusk, and a variety of floats also will participate.

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

The day after the parade, model trains will be on display and for sale at the annual Train Show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 2 and 3) at the Ocean City Music Pier. Admission is free. For more information, call 609-399-6111. 


Registration is now open for Ocean City’s annual Holiday House Decorating Contest. The deadline to sign up is at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 13.

Judging will take place on the evenings of Dec. 14 and 15 between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Prizes include gift certificates for shopping in downtown Ocean City and gift baskets from the city and the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Pictures of all entries will be posted on social media on Friday, Dec. 15 so that the public can vote for the People’s Choice Award. Voting will end on Sunday, Dec. 17.

Registration, information, online voting, and a list of all participating houses will be posted at


Photos with Santa in Lifeguard Boat (Dec. 2-Dec. 23): Noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at the Ocean City Music Pier.

Visits with Santa in the Downtown (Dec. 2-Dec. 23): 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays at Mark Soifer Park, 9th Street, and Asbury Avenue.

Rosalie Davis, of Ocean City, gets her first photo with Santa in 2022 during the Holiday Festival.

Holiday Festival (Dec. 3): The Ocean City Community Center (1735 Simpson Avenue) will host its annual Holiday Festival from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3. The event takes place in the Ocean City Free Public Library’s atrium with holiday crafts, a balloon sculptor, live music, refreshments and a visit from Santa Claus (feel free to bring your letters and lists for Santa).

Mrs. Claus, a reading by a local children’s author, crafts, and shopping will take place at the adjacent Ocean City Historical Museum. Handmade pottery, jewelry, paintings, and other unique gifts will be up for sale in the adjacent Ocean City Arts Center.

Festive Fridays (Dec. 8, 15, 22): Shopping, carolers, and free horse-and-carriage rides from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. along downtown Asbury Avenue. 

‘Finding Nemo JR’ (Dec. 8-10): Ocean City Theatre Company students in grades 3 to 8 will present this stage adaptation of Disney’s classic story. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9, and 2 p.m. Dec. 10. More information and online ticket sales are available at 

First Night New Year’s Eve Celebration (Dec. 31): Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the entire family. The 31st anniversary of this Ocean City event will feature traditional favorites such as rides, ice-skating, and magicians, along with headline entertainment including the Stevie Nicks tribute band Gypsy and the Motown revue Motor City. For a complete schedule and to purchase all-inclusive admission buttons, please visit 

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.

The “First Dip” celebration in the chilly ocean is one of the wackiest New Year’s Day rituals at the Jersey Shore.