The annual First Plunge is scheduled for 2 p.m. Jan. 1, 2015 at Ninth Street Beach in Ocean City, NJ.FIRST DAY AT THE BEACH (Jan. 1, 2015)Boardwalk Run/Walk: A 5-kilometer run starts at 1 p.m. in front of the Ocean City Music Pier. Race-day registration begins 11:30 a.m. on the Boardwalk across from the Music Pier at Moorlyn Terrace. Shirts for all who pre-register and while supplies last. Refreshments are available after the race. Entry fee is $25 race day. Award categories include Male and Female first, second and third overall and first, second and third in the following categories: 14 and under, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70 and over. Contact Race Director Mike Givens (609) 861-0674 or [email protected]_____Sign up for free daily news updates from Ocean City._____First Plunge: The Ocean Plunge starts at 2 p.m. and is free to all. Participants should check in at registration tables in front of the Music Pier to sign a waiver and receive their complimentary BEACH NUT CERTIFICATE. The plunge is normally held at beaches on the south side of the Music Pier going towards 9th St. You will be advised the exact location when you sign waiver. Only plunge in the areas where bathers are lined up in front of ribbon. The waters in this area will be guarded by Ocean City Marine Police to ensure safety.HERO Campaign sponsorship: Members of the HERO Campaign will have a table in front of the Music Pier with information about its program promoting the use of designated drivers. The Hero Campaign was established in memory of Navy Ensign John Elliott of Egg Harbor Township. Elliott was killed in a head-on-collision with a drunken driver on July 22, 2000, two months after graduating with merit from the United States Naval Academy. He was driving home for his mother’s birthday celebration at the time of his death.“We are looking forward to partnering with Ocean City on these iconic First Day events which promote family fun and responsibility,” noted HERO Campaign chairman, Bill Elliott, John Elliott’s father. He added that the HERO Campaign has been proud of its ongoing association with Ocean City over the past 14 years through First Night, the Night In Venice Boat Parade, Miss Night in Venice Pageant and its annual HERO Walk. Michele Gillian, chairperson of the First Night/First Day Committee echoed Elliott’s comments saying that the HERO Campaign has been an important partner over the years for the City’s alcohol- free-festival and its emphasis on personal responsibility.Although the plunge has no entrance fee, participants who wish to contribute $20 or more, and sign a designated driver pledge and release form, will receive a long sleeve commemorative HERO Campaign shirt and membership certificate. Online registration is available at www.herocampaign.org or at (609) 626-3880.Shopping Extravaganza: Also on Jan. 1, there will be an all day SHOPPING EXTRAVAGANZA on Asbury Avenue from 5th to 14th Streets, voted the number one downtown in South Jersey.See highlights from First Night festivities in Ocean City on New Year’s Eve.