OCEAN CITY — The Town of Ocean City is offering a handful of free events to help ring out 2017 and ring in 2018 with family-friendly offerings on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Winterfest of Lights turned 25 this year and the town marked the anniversary with new and improved light displays, an upgraded Winterfest of Lights Pavilion and a new Christmas tree at Northside Park at 125th Street. The 2017 event will culminate on Sunday with a variety of family-friendly events including the Winterfest of Lights New Year’s Eve celebration. Sponsored in part by Coca-Cola, the celebration will mark the dawn of a new year with a fireworks display set to music which will begin promptly at midnight on Sunday.
However, the fun starts far before the midnight fireworks show with live music, character actors, giveaways and other family-friendly events. The last Winterfest Express tram will leave the station at 11:30 p.m. for one last time in 2017. Leading up to the last tram ride and the fireworks show, DJ Kutt will keep the energy flowing with giveaways, family games, caricature pictures, hot chocolate and other refreshments all in the heated Winterfest Pavilion.
In addition, Winterfest and Coca-Cola will host a myriad of well-known characters for family photo opportunities including Corinne Krasner as Anna, Jenna Miller as Elsa, Josh Miller as Peter Pan, Alexandra Schacter as Sadness, Jake Rider as Kylo Ren, Stephanie Stitz as Darth Vader, Haley West as Rey, Tez Smith as Frozone, Marissa Wheaton as Belle and Simona Calin as Snow White. The characters will be available for photo opportunities from 5:30 p.m. to midnight on Sunday.
“The New Year’s Eve fireworks show continues to be a popular occasion, offering a fun way for families to celebrate the New Year,” said Mayor Rick Meehan. “The fireworks show is free for everyone and is an exciting and affordable option for people of all ages to ring in the New Year in Ocean City.”
The celebration will continue on New Year’s Day at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center. For decades, Ocean City’s mayors hosted an open house on New Year’s Day at City Hall for residents and visitors. Two years ago, Meehan moved the annual New Year’s Day open house to the convention center and the performing arts center.
From 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., residents and visitors are invited to a meet-and-greet with Meehan and other City Council members. After the meet-and-greet, the Performing Arts Center doors will open and a free concert is set to begin promptly at 1:45 p.m. The 2018 New Year’s Day concert will feature performances by Bryan Russo and Nadjah Nicole from NBC’s Emmy Award-winning show The Voice.
“For 20 years, the Mayor’s Open House offered the opportunity for our citizens to meet with elected officials that serve our community,” said Meehan. “That tradition has evolved in a way that continues that custom, but also allows us to highlight our beautiful Performing Arts Center by providing residents with an opportunity to enjoy this amazing venue for free.”
Local residents and visitors got to know Nicole from her recent 10-week run on The Voice, which was seen by 10 million viewers. The Delaware native is a talented singer and songwriter who has amassed an impressive resume with her soothing, soulful and melodic vocal style.
“If you are looking for soul music with a pop twist, with the sounds of Erykah Badu, Esperanza Spalding, Corrine Bailey Rae, Jill Scott, Beyonce, then you won’t want to miss this show,” Russo said.
The show is free and tickets will not be issued, as seating is first come, first served.