THE WILDWOODS — With Memorial Day Weekend around the corner, the Wildwoods have planned a jam-packed weekend of fun events to kick off the 2014 season.
Unlocking of the Ocean Ceremony with special guest Bobby Rydell May 23 – Noon
The fun begins on the beach at noon May 23 – for the first time ever at Roberts Avenue – as Bobby Rydell joins local, regional and state officials for the Unlocking of the Ocean ceremony, which marks the official start of the summer season. A large, ornate key will be used to ‘unlock’ the ocean and open the summer season.
NEW! Wildwoods Icon Wall Mural Unveiling
May 23 – immediately following Unlocking of the Ocean Ceremony
Immediately following the Unlocking of the Ocean ceremony, legendary rock ‘n roll star Bobby Rydell and officials will unveil the first in a series of planned Wildwoods Icon Wall Murals. Bobby Rydell – who sings and made famous the song “Wildwood Days” – now the anthem of the destination – is the subject of the mural.
NEW! Regional Gymnastics Championships
May 23 – May 25
The Regional Gymnastics Championships – a new event this year at the Wildwoods Convention Center – will be held May 23 through May 25. Over 600 talented athletes will compete on the floor, balance beam, uneven bars, and vault. Competitions for events will be held May 23 from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.; May 24 from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.; and May 25 from 9 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
May 23 – May 26
The 29th Annual Wildwoods International Kite Festival, the largest kite festival in North America, also begins May 23 and features kite makers from around the world flying their most incredible colorful creations. The kite festival officially starts at 9 p.m. on May 23 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 May 26.
Gateway 26 Welcomes Bernie Parent
Philadelphia Flyers Hall of Famer Goalie Bernie Parent will be holding a fan meet-and-greet and autograph session at Gateway 26 Arcade from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. Gateway 26 is located on the Boardwalk at 26th Street in Wildwood.
Boardwalk Craft Show
May 24 – May 25
Also happening in the Wildwoods this weekend is the Boardwalk Craft Show – featuring all handmade products – from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. May 24 through May 25 on the Boardwalk at Rio Grande Avenue.
Free Summer Kickoff Concert
May 25 – 7:30 p.m.
Wildwood Crest’s Summer Kickoff Concert will take place May 25 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 May 24, all are invited to a candlelight vigil to honor our active, fallen and stateside troops and veterans at the Wildwood Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, located at Fox Park adjacent to the Wildwoods Convention Center, 4500 Ocean Drive, at 8 p.m., hosted by the Vietnam Veterans Chapter #955 and the American Legion Post #184. A motorcycle procession will precede the ceremony – departing from Rio Grande, NJ at 7:15 p.m.
May 26, 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. 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.
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.
Below is a list of the Wildwoods’ Memorial Day Weekend events:*
May 23 – Unlocking of the Ocean Ceremony
May 23 – Icon Mural Wall Unveiling with Bobby Rydell – NEW
May 23-25 – Regional Gymnastics Championships – NEW
May 23-26 – Wildwoods International Kite Festival
May 24 – Gateway 26 welcomes Philadelphia Flyers Hall of Famer Goalie Bernie Parent
May 24 – Candlelight Vigil to Honor our Veterans
May 24-25 – Boardwalk Craft Show
May 25 – Wildwood Crest Summer Kickoff Concert featuring The Fabulous Greaseband
May 26 – North Wildwood Memorial Day Ceremony
May 26 – Wildwood Memorial Day Ceremony
*Scheduled events are subject to change/cancellation without notice.