The summer vacation season may be winding down, but the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement & Development Authority (GWTIDA) is working to ensure that crowds both near and far keep coming back to the Wildwoods throughout the fall season. One of the mandates of the GWTIDA when it was first formed in 1993 was to extend the tourism season beyond the traditional Labor Day Weekend. It has successfully created a vibrant Tourism Second Season that now extends through the end of October with multiple events and festivals scheduled each weekend attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to the 5-Mile island.
As school begins again and the leaves start to change, the fun in the Wildwoods continues with the anticipation of dozens of scheduled festivals, conventions, races, car shows, tournaments and competitions through October.
GWTIDA promotes fall events as a means of filling hotel rooms and restaurant seats during what would otherwise be a slower tourism season. GWTIDA calls this period from Labor Day Weekend through the end of October the ‘Wildwoods’ Second Season.’
“Although many shore towns take a break as the temperatures cool, the Wildwoods still remain a lively place,” siad John Siciliano, executive director of GWTIDA. “Hosting special events and themed weekends has been a proven method to bring business to our local hotels, restaurants and boardwalk during the fall months,” he added.
The Wildwoods’ ‘Second Season’ begins right after Labor Day Weekend and extends through the end of October – attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors and generating millions in additional tourism revenue. Here are some of the events happening in the Wildwoods this fall:
September 10 – 13 Roar to the Shore Motorcycle Rally
‘Second Season’ in the Wildwoods kicks off this year in September after Labor Day with the Roar to the Shore Motorcycle Rally, one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the northeast. Starting Thursday, September 10 through Sunday, September 13. Hours are 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday; and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday. Enjoy motorcycle vendors, food and merchandise, live entertainment and more activities surrounding the Wildwoods Convention Center and at Oak and Atlantic Avenues. For additional information, visit roartotheshoreonline.com.
September 11 – 12 Mummers String Band Weekend
Takes place along Olde New Jersey Avenue in North Wildwood featuring some of the top String Bands from this year’s New Year’s Day Philadelphia Mummers Parade. Entertainment begins Saturday, September 12 on the street at 3:30 p.m. Mummers strut contest begins at 4 p.m. followed by the Mummers Parade at 4:45 p.m. For additional information, visit northwildwood.com.
September 17 – 19 Annual New Jersey State Firemen’s Convention
The Annual New Jersey State Firemen’s Convention takes place from Thursday, September 17 through Saturday, September 19, attracting thousands of firemen and their families to the five-mile island for meetings, seminars, exhibits and other events. On Saturday, September 17, a parade will begin at 2 p.m. on New Jersey Avenue from Cresse Avenue in Wildwood Crest, proceeding north to 20th Avenue in North Wildwood. For additional information, visit www.njsfa.com.
September 18 – 19 NEW ‘Boots at the Beach’ Country Music Fest
This NEW festival will be held at the North Wildwood Entertainment District along Olde New Jersey Avenue, featuring country music, vendors, crafts and food from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Admission is FREE to the festival. Friday night’s ‘Bar Hoodang’ will feature country bands and DJ’s in all bars in the North Wildwood Entertainment District. On Saturday, Olde New Jersey Avenue comes alive with sights and sounds of a country fair with vendors lining the street selling clothing, wares and all things country! Refreshments, food and live country music on an outdoor stage will take place all day long into the night. Saturday night’s featured bands include Philbilly, Shot Of Southern, and Silver Creek, who will also play in surrounding establishments. For additional information, visit www.bootsatthebeach.com.
September 24 – 27 Boardwalk Classic Car Show and Classic Car Auction
Thursday, September 24 through Sunday, September 27, is fit for classic car enthusiasts. The Boardwalk Classic Car Show and Classic Car Auction will be held on the Wildwoods Boardwalk and at the Wildwoods Convention Center with FREE admission. The Classic Car Auction begins on Thursday, September 24 with a preview from noon – 7 p.m. and a preview party from 7 – 10 p.m. The auction is Friday, September 25 from 6 – 10 p.m. and Saturday, September 26 from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. The Boardwalk Classic Car Show is from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Friday, September 25 and Saturday, September 26. Sunday, September 27 will feature an awards ceremony in front of the Wildwoods Convention Center at 8 a.m. For additional information, visit www.wildwoodmotorevents.com.
September 24 – 27 The Wildwoods’ Irish Fall Festival
The Wildwoods’ Irish Fall Festival – the largest Irish festival on the East Coast, will take place on Olde New Jersey Avenue and surrounding pubs in North Wildwood – celebrating Irish heritage with dancing, music, food and craft vendors. Bus service available throughout the event dates. The events conclude with a parade on Surf Avenue from 20th to Spruce and Olde New Jersey Avenues, North Wildwood. Events take place Thursday, September 24 through Sunday, September 27 from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily. For additional information, visit www.cmcaoh.com.
October 2 – 3 Olde Time Italian Festival
Cultural events continue the next weekend with the Olde Time Italian Festival at Fox Park on Ocean Avenue between Burk and Montgomery Avenues in Wildwood. The weekend will feature authentic Italian foods, merchandise and continuous FREE live entertainment. Events take place Friday, October 2 from 5 p.m. – midnight and Saturday, October 3 from noon – midnight. For additional information, visit www.sonsofitalywildwood.org.
October 2 – 4 NEW ‘Ignite’ Young People’s Rally
Regardless of denomination, culture, or locale, thousands of young people from across the region will join for one weekend to create a space where God illuminates and inspires hearts and minds. Be a culture-shaper, a world-changer, and a history-maker by joining this movement born out of a desire to find faith in God and a place in the world to live it out. For additional information, visit www.ignitenj.org.
October 3 – 4 The Wildwoods Hydrofest Powerboat Races
The Wildwoods 2015 Hydrofest Powerboat Races take place on Sunset Lake at Rambler Road and New Jersey Avenue in Wildwood Crest on Saturday, October 3 and Sunday, October 4. Hydrofest is an exciting international powerboat-racing event, coupled with a 6-block festival of craft, merchandise and food vendors from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily. Races begin at 10 a.m. daily. Inboard powered hydroplanes and flatbottoms will compete on a one-mile oval course in full view of the spectator area. Race boats range in size from 12 to 23 feet and will reach speeds between 80 and 140 mph. Race teams will compete for American Power Boat Association national points as well as the prestigious NJ Governor’s Cup (an award for outstanding performance by a boat racing team). For fans who want to see the race boats up close and talk to the drivers and crews, pit passes can be purchased at the event for $10. This event is FREE for spectators and is handicapped/wheelchair accessible. For additional information, visit wildwoodshydrofest.org.
October 10 Seafood & Music Festival
The Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce will host a FREE street fair on Saturday, October 10 from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Atlantic Avenue between Wildwood and Schellenger Avenues in Wildwood. The festival will feature 2 stages of live music, crafters, food vendors, a pie eating contest and much more. A “Kids Korner” with activities including pumpkin painting, face painting and bounce houses will take place from noon – 5 p.m. For additional information, visit www.gwcoc.com.
October 16 – 17 Fabulous ‘50s and Beyond Weekend
The ‘Second Season’ excitement extends into October as the Wildwoods celebrate their Doo Wop roots with the Fabulous ‘50s and Beyond Weekend on Friday, October 16 and Saturday, October 17. Friday, October 16 night features a Nifty ‘50s Dance Party at the Wildwoods Convention Center with Rocky and the Rollers, who will play the best of Doo Wop and rock ’n roll from 7 – 11 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person. A FREE street fair will take place at Fox Park in Wildwood on Saturday, October 17 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. featuring classic cars, food and craft vendors, a Doo Wop Bus Tour, live entertainment featuring The Johnny Cash Show, 45 RPM and more. Saturday night’s concert in the Wildwoods Convention Center will feature Bowzer’s Rock ‘n Roll Party with Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon, The Legendary Teenagers, The Vogues, Jay Siegel’s Tokens, The Chiffons and Bowzer and the Stingrays. Tickets are $49.50 for stadium seating or $65.50 for floor seating and can be purchased through Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com. Doors open at 6 p.m., concert begins at 7 p.m. For additional information, visit www.gwcoc.com.
October 24 Wildwoods Boardwalk Pumpkin Run
The Wildwoods Boardwalk Pumpkin Run is a ghoulishly fun and exciting family event for all ages. This festive boardwalk event offers a 5K run along with a 1 mile family walk, starting at 10 a.m. – rain or shine. Registration begins at 9 a.m. inside the Wildwoods Convention Center. Participants are encouraged to dress in their favorite Halloween costumes to vie for prizes in the best dressed categories of Family, Youth, Infant, and Best All Around. All proceeds benefit the Elementary Schools of the Wildwoods. For additional information, visit www.boardwalkpumpkinrun.com.
November 1 & November 15 Cheerleading Competitions
In November, the Wildwoods will host two cheerleading competitions: the Cheer Tech Island Championships on Sunday, November 1 featuring teams from around the region competing in recreation, school, and all-star divisions; and the Cheer Tech American Rec & School Championships held on Sunday, November 15. All teams will perform action-packed two and a half minute routines featuring stunts, jumps, gymnastics and dance segments choreographed to music. Athletes will compete on a ’54 by ’42 spring floor and will be scored by a judging panel to determine the first place winners. For additional information, visit www.spiritbrands.org.
Below is a full list of the Wildwoods’ Second Season 2015 special events: *
September 1 – November 1 – Jersey Shore Beach ‘n Boat Season Long Fishing Tournament
September 10 – 13 – Roar to the Shore Motorcycle Rally
September 11 – 13 – 46th Annual Surf Fishing Tournament
September 11 – 12 – Mummers String Band Weekend
September 17 – 19 – New Jersey State Fireman’s Convention
September 18 – 19 – ’Boots at the Beach’ Country Music Festival
September 19 – Zombie Mud Run
September 24 – 26 – Classic Car Auction
September 24 – 27 – Irish Fall Festival
September 25 – 26 – Wildwood Crest Seafarers Celebration
September 25 – 27 – Boardwalk Classic Car Show
October 2 – 3 – An Olde Time Italian Festival
October 2 – 3 – Mid-Atlantic Police and Fire Survivors Weekend
October 2 – 3 – Wild Thang ‘15 Chrysler Car Show
October 2 – 4 – ‘Ignite’ Young People’s Rally
October 2 – 4 – ‘Race of Gentlemen’ Vintage Car & Motorcycle Beach Drag Races
October 3 – Pennsauken Surf Fishing Club Tournament
October 3 – 4 – The Wildwoods Hydrofest
October 10 – Seafood and Music Festival
October 10 – NJBBA’s Great Fall Classic Surf Fishing Tournament
October 16 – 17 – Fabulous ‘50s & Beyond Weekend
October 17 – 18 – Lighthouse Challenge of New Jersey
October 24 – Wildwoods Boardwalk Pumpkin Run
October 31 – Greater Wildwood Elks Halloween Haunted House
November 1 – Cheer Tech Island Championships
November 11 – Veterans Day Services
November 15 – Cheer Tech American Recreation & School Championships
*Please note that the information and dates above are subject to change. For the most up-to-date information please visit www.wildwoodsnj.com/calendar.cfm.
For additional information about the Wildwoods, visit www.WildwoodsNJ.com or call 800-992-9732.