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 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, shows, family-fun events and more 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,” said 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 8-11 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. 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, merchandise, live entertainment and more activities surrounding the Wildwoods Convention Center and at Oak and Atlantic Avenues. For additional information, visit www.roartotheshoreonline.com.
September 9-10 NEW Waves & Wheels Festival
This NEW festival will be held in North Wildwood’s Entertainment District, celebrating all things action and water sports that exist on the Jersey Shore. Festival-goers will enjoy a variety of vendors, including but not limited to local surf/skate shops, local food producers, artists, gourmet food trucks and the best reggae/island music entertainment in Cape May County. Hours are 3-9 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For additional information, visit www.wavesandwheelsfest.com.
September 16-17 ‘Boots at the Beach’ Country Music Festival
The 2nd Annual Boots at the Beach Country music Festival will be held at the North Wildwood Entertainment District along Olde New Jersey Avenue, featuring country music, vendors, crafts and food from 3-9 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday. Admission to the festival is FREE. Entertainment includes Shot of Southern, Steel Creek and the ever so popular Philbilly. For additional information, visit www.bootsatthebeach.com.
September 22-25 Boardwalk Classic Car Show
Thursday, September 22 through Sunday, September 25 is fit for classic car enthusiasts. The Classic Car Show begins on Thursday, September 24 with registration from noon-10 p.m. and a meet & greet in Fox Park at 6 p.m. Cars will be displayed on the Wildwoods Boardwalk Friday and Saturday only from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday features an awards ceremony inside the Wildwoods Convention Center from 9-11:30 a.m. where prizes will be awarded to the Top 40 cars as well as Best in Show. FREE admission for spectators! For additional information, visit www.wildwoodmotorevents.com.
September 22-25 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 will be available throughout the event dates. The event concludes with a parade on Surf Avenue from 20th to Spruce and Olde New Jersey Avenues with USA 2016 Triathlon Olympian Joe Maloy as the 2016 Grand Marshal. The activities begin on Thursday at 1 p.m. with a round of golf at the Cape May National Golf Course, and continue on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. For additional information, visit www.cmcaoh.com.
September 24 Seafarers’ Celebration
This family festival will be held along beautiful Sunset Lake at New Jersey Avenue between Rambler Road and Miami Avenue from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. featuring dozens of craft and food vendors, family entertainment and live music plus children’s activities including bounce houses, karaoke, stunt bike show, face painting, magic show, pie-eating and bubble gum blowing contests, and more. Live music will include The Star Band, Stellar Mojo and Big Bleu. FREE admission! For additional information, visit www.visitwildwoodcrest.com.
September 30-October 1 Olde Time Italian Festival
Celebrate Italian culture and heritage at Fox Park on Ocean Avenue between Burk and Montgomery Avenues in Wildwood on Friday from 5-11 p.m. and on Saturday from noon-11 p.m. Come experience an ‘Olde World’ family festival including a procession, crafts, games, delicious Italian food favorites and continuous FREE live entertainment. A grape stomping contest and spaghetti eating contest will take place as well. Admission to the festival is FREE. For additional information, visit www.sonsofitalywildwood.org.
October 8 Seafood & Music Festival
The Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce will host a FREE street fair from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Atlantic Avenue between Wildwood and Schellenger Avenues in Wildwood. The festival will feature two stages of live music, crafters, food vendors, a pie-eating contest and much more. A “Kidz 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 14-15 Fabulous ‘50s & Beyond Celebration
The Wildwoods celebrate their Doo Wop roots with the Fabulous ‘50s & Beyond Celebration on Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15. Friday night features a Nifty ‘50s Dance Party at the Wildwoods Convention Center with The Cameos from 7-10:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person. A FREE street fair will take place at Fox Park in Wildwood on Saturday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. featuring classic cars, food and craft vendors, a Doo Wop Bus Tour and live entertainment. Saturday night features a star-studded concert in the Wildwoods Convention Center featuring Bobby Rydell, Little Anthony & The Imperials and Shirley Alston Reeves. Tickets are $49.50 for stadium seating or $65.50 for floor seating, and can be purchased through Ticketmaster at www.Ticketmaster.com or (800) 745-3000, or at the Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce, 3306 Pacific Avenue. Doors open at 6 p.m., concert begins at 7 p.m. For additional information, visit www.gwcoc.com.
October 21-23 NEW Wildwood RV Show
An all-new RV show will be held inside the Wildwoods Convention Center featuring recreational vehicles from Dylans RV Center, Driftwood RV Center, Whitehorse RV, Cross Roads Trailers and Scott Motor Coach RV Center. Admission is $10. Hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. For additional information, visit www.dylansrv.com.
October 30 Annual Island Pumpkin Fest
The Annual Island Pumpkin Fest will be held at Fox Park and on the Wildwoods Beach from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Craft and food vendors, a bounce house, a costume contest and parade, and FREE live entertainment will take place in Fox Park, located directly across from the Wildwoods Convention Center. A hay ride will start on the beach at Andrews Avenue and go to the Great Pumpkin Patch on the beach behind the Wildwoods Convention Center. Fees for hay rides are $7 for children and $3 for parents. The festival will also feature Zombie Monster Truck Rides on the beach and over 40 Farm Tractors along Atlantic Avenue. For additional information, visit www.islandpumpkinfest.com.
For a full list of the Wildwoods’ “Second Season” 2016 special events, visit www.wildwoodsnj.com/calendar.cfm.
For additional information about the Wildwoods, visit www.wildwoodsnj.com or call (800) 992-9732.