WILDWOOD – With Memorial Day Weekend around the corner, the Wildwoods have planned a jam-packed weekend of fun events to kick off the 2015 season.
The Wildwoods are coming off of a record-breaking 2014 season that saw tourism revenues rise by 9% over the previous year. Tourism officials foresee the potential for the 2015 Wildwoods season, with the help of an improved economy, low gas prices, new free events and attractions, festivals and concerts, to be even bigger than years past.
TripAdvisor recently named the Wildwoods as the #1 Destination on the Rise in the U.S. for 2015. With five miles of free, award-winning beaches, exciting Boardwalk, great shopping and dining and over 8,000 places to stay for a great summer vacation, the Wildwoods have earned our reputation as the #1 family vacation destination at the Jersey Shore.
Memorial Day Weekend events, taking place Friday, May 22 through Monday, May 25, include:
Unlocking of the Ocean Media Day Event
Friday, May 22 – Noon
The fun begins on the beach at noon on Friday, May 22 – It’s time to get your feet sandy – officially start the summer season on the beach next to the Wildwoods Convention Center. A large, ornate key will be used to ‘unlock’ the ocean, along with guest speakers and kites in the air. This event is FREE to attend.
Regional Gymnastics Championships
Friday, May 22 – Sunday, May 24
The Regional Gymnastics Championships will be held Friday, May 22 through Sunday, May 24. Over 600 talented athletes will compete on the floor, balance beam, uneven bars, and vault. Competitions for events will be held Friday, May 22 from noon – 10 p.m.; Saturday, May 23 from 8:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.; and Sunday, May 24 from 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. Admission for each event is $15 for adults and $10 for children. Tickets will be available for purchase at the door.
Wildwoods International Kite Festival
Friday, May 22 – Monday, May 25
The 30th Annual Wildwoods International Kite Festival, the largest kite festival in North America, also begins on Friday, May 22 and features kite makers from around the world flying their most incredible colorful creations. The kite festival officially starts at 9 p.m. on Friday, May 22 featuring an illuminated night kite fly on the beach at Rio Grande Avenue. However, many colorful kites will be in the air for the Unlocking Ceremony. Kites will be flying all weekend through Monday, May 25.
Downtown Wildwood Farmer’s Market
Saturday, May 23
The Downtown Wildwood Farmer’s Market will take place every Saturday from 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., during the summer months, rain or shine. The market is located at 3501 Pacific Avenue (on the corner of Schellenger and Pacific Avenues) featuring fresh produce, baked goods, specialty foods, prepared foods, local wine, craft beer, and more.
Boardwalk Craft Show
Saturday, May 23 – Sunday, May 24
Also happening in the Wildwoods this weekend is the Boardwalk Craft Show – featuring all handmade products – from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 23 through Sunday, May 24 on the Boardwalk at Rio Grande Avenue.
FREE Summer Kickoff Concert
Sunday, May 24 – 7:30 p.m.
Wildwood Crest’s Summer Kickoff Concert will take place on Sunday, May 24 in Centennial Park, Fern Road and Ocean Avenue, at 7:30 p.m. The free outdoor all-ages concert will feature dance and party hits by The Fabulous Greaseband – marking an exciting start to the summer season. Bring your friends and family out for an incredible time – and don’t forget your beach chair!
The Wildwoods offer not only fun events but also several solemn ceremonies for remembrance and reflection to honor our veterans and active service persons. On Saturday, May 23, The Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 955 will be hosting a ceremony and parade in honor of the 5th Anniversary of the unveiling of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Wildwood and the 40th Anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War (1975). A parade steps off at 4 p.m. beginning at Cresse Avenue and heads north on Ocean Avenue to the wall at Burke Avenue (outside Fox Park, Wildwood). After the ceremony all are welcome to enjoy FREE entertainment in Fox Park for a few hours featuring Bittersweet, Toes in the Sand and Then There’s Us. A candlelight vigil will be held in front of the wall at sunset.
On Monday, May 25, Wildwood residents and visitors alike are invited to pay their respects during a ceremony at the North Wildwood Veterans Monument at Spruce and New York Avenues in North Wildwood at 10 a.m., hosted by VFW Post 5941. There will also be a service earlier that morning at 9:30 a.m. at the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse flagpole where the names of the VFW Post 5941 members who have deceased since last Memorial Day will be read and their service honored.
At 11 a.m. a ceremony hosted at the Wildwood American Legion Post #184 at 4200 Atlantic Avenue, Wildwood, will feature speakers, recognition of deceased comrades, a firing squad, “Taps” and wreath laying ceremonies at the post, Memorial Walk and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. Police Explorers will also lay a wreath in the ocean along with Wildwood’s Beach Patrol behind the Wildwoods Convention Center.
Be sure to visit the Wildwoods website at www.WildwoodsNJ.com for the most up-to-date information and details about upcoming events and additional information about the Wildwoods, or call 800-992-9732.