Ocean City Announces Closings, New Year’s Eve Festivities

OCEAN CITY — The Town of Ocean City is reminding citizens that administrative offices will be closed on Thursday, Dec. 24, and Friday, Dec. 25, in observance of the Christmas holiday. The normal trash pickup schedule will be in effect on Thursday, Dec. 24, however; there will be no trash collection on Friday, Dec. 25.

Also beginning Dec. 28, the Town of Ocean City will once again provide a Christmas tree drop-off site at the 100th Street Municipal Parking Lot. Trees can be placed in the northeast corner of the 100th Street lot December 26 through January 15. Please remove all tinsel, ornaments and other non-wooden items from the tree. Trees collected at the site are taken to the county landfill where they are recycled.

Citizens should also be reminded that Town of Ocean City administrative offices will be closed on Friday, Jan. 1, in observance of the New Year’s holiday. There will be no trash collection on New Year’s Day. Instead, all trash will be collected on Thursday, Dec. 31.

Also modifying its normal schedule for the holiday is the Town of Ocean City’s Transportation Department, who will offer free bus service from 6 a.m. on Dec. 31 to 6 a.m. on Jan. 1. On Dec. 31, bus services will run every 20 minutes from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and every 10 minutes from 6 p.m. until 4 a.m. on Jan. 1. Buses on New Year’s Day will also run every 20 minutes from 4 a.m. until 7 a.m., at which time they will resume a normal winter service schedule of every 40 minutes.

Along with free bus services, the Town of Ocean City will be hosting a free fireworks show on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the beginning of 2016 and the 23rd Annual Winterfest of Lights. The show, which will begin promptly at midnight, will be accompanied by musical entertainment, warm hot chocolate (for a small fee) and the opportunity to ride the Winterfest of Lights, prior to midnight. Hours for Winterfest will be extended until 12 a.m. to allow visitors to travel through the winter paradise of lights and then listen to music by DJ Kutt as they wait for the countdown to midnight.

With more than one million holiday lights sparkling throughout Northside Park, the Winterfest of Lights New Year’s Eve Celebration, presented by Coca-Cola, is unlike other celebrations around. Give-a-ways will happen throughout the evening with a Coca-Cola Boardwalk Cruiser Bicycle as the final reward. In addition, Abbey Burger will be the on-site stop for food and drink specials.

“The New Year’s Eve fireworks show was recently added to the Winterfest of Lights and it has been a huge hit amongst residents and visitors who are looking for a fun and family-friendly way to ring in the New Year,” said Mayor Rick Meehan. “The fireworks show is free for everyone and is an exciting and affordable way for people of all ages to ring in the New Year in Ocean City.”

The New Year’s Eve festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. inside the Winterfest Pavilion, with the celebration continuing on until midnight at Northside Park.

Last but not least, the Mayor and Council will once again host citizens at the 20th Annual Mayor’s Open House on New Year’s Day. The celebration will take place from 1-3 p.m. at the new Performing Arts Center. The Open House, which has been a community tradition since 1997, has evolved from a gathering at City Hall to a celebration of community, with live entertainment in the town’s first class theater.

With a new year and a new tradition, the Mayor’s Open House will offer an open invitation for residents and visitors to meet the Mayor and City Council members. Once inside, visitors can mingle with numerous community organizations, while also having the privilege to enjoy a free concert in the two tiered auditorium. This rare opportunity allows guests to experience live and local entertainment by Bryan Russo with several special guest performances.

“The Open House offers the perfect opportunity for our citizens to meet with the elected officials that serve our community,” said Meehan. “The tradition at City Hall has been carried on for nearly two decades, however; the opening of the Performing Art Center allowed us an opportunity to host our residents and visitors in a new and unique venue. I could not think of a better way to celebrate the 20th annual event and start the New Year than spending the afternoon with great company and amazing entertainment in a first-class theater.”

Also participating in the event are several of the town’s community partners, including the Ocean City Beautification Committee, the Ocean City Development Corporation, the Art League of Ocean City, the Chamber of Commerce, the Ocean City Life Saving Museum Society, the Beach Patrol and the Community Response Team.

Outside the festively decorated Convention Center, the Ocean City Fire Department will have equipment on display and also back by popular community demand will be the mounted police and canine units of the Ocean City Police Department.