For many folks, Memorial Day weekend means heading to the Jersey Shore.
Once again, towns will officially open their beaches and host parades. But it’s the concerts and festivals that proclaim the start of summer as the tourist high season gets underway.
Veteran British rockers, The Who will bring their 50th anniversary tour to Atlantic City on Friday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m. The band’s g-g-g-generation now happens to be among the AARP set. And, like Pete Townsend, may need hearing aids after subjecting eardrums to decades of loud rock music. Opening act is Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.
Wildwood will see the return of the 30th annual International Kite Festival. An illuminated kite fly on Friday at 9 p.m. on the beach at Rio Grande is among the highlights. Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m. onwards, onlookers can watch sport kite pilots compete or participate in kite workshops. The festival concludes with an indoor competition at the Convention Center on Monday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Cape May marks the start of a concert-filled summer for the city with the launch of both its annual Summer Concert Series and the Cape May Music Festival. Country music legend, Crystal Gayle will lead the series with a performance on Saturday, May 23, 8 p.m., at Convention Hall. The music fest begins with a Sunday evening performance by the 35-piece Atlantic Brass Band at the Rotary Bandstand (Lafayette St. and Lyle Ln.).
Here’s what else is going on this holiday weekend Down the Shore:
Point Pleasant Beach
A bicycle parade with marching veterans, fire trucks and bikes all decked out in patriotic splendor will take place Saturday, May 23 at 10 a.m. The parade leaves from the parkingklot across from the Elks Lodge on Arnold Ave. [address] and will proceed east to Little Silver Lake.
Over at Viking Village (1801 Bayview Ave.), replicas of Christopher Columbus’ ships, Nina and Pinta will be docked and open for tours. The ships arrive on Friday, May 22 and will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until they depart Tuesday morning, May 26. Tours cost $8 for adults, $7 for children ages 5 to 16 years (free entry for kids under age 4).
On Sunday, May 24, catch the evening Memorial Day parade. It sets off at 6:30 p.m. from W. 11th, ending at the Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. A memorial ceremony will follow, featuring the Ocean County Emerald Society Bagpipe Band.
The borough will hold its annual Memorial Day Parade on Monday at 10 a.m. from Taylor Ave., traveling along Bay Ave. to Veterans Bicentennial Park (30 E. Engleside Ave.). Children can join in the fun with decorated bikes, wagons, scooters, strollers and other kid or parent-powered transportation. A memorial ceremony will be held in the park after the parade.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars honor guard will lead a Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 25 from the American Legion Post #28 (560 New Jersey Ave.) to Veterans Park. Patriotic floats, marching bands, and fire trucks will follow the lead of World War II veteran and grand marshal, Bob Knoeble. The parade begins at 9:30 a.m.
Didn’t score tickets for The Who? There parties to be had in AC over at the Borgata. The hotel and casino’s Mixx Nightclub will feature Dutch house music DJ Fedde Le Grande on Saturday and Lil Jon on Sunday. At Borgata’s mur.mur nightclub, catch a DJ set by Rev Run (of Run DMC fame) and DJ Ruckus on Saturday.
Tropicana will be celebrating its recent 50 million dollar renovations with a new multimedia light and sound show on Fri, May 22 and Sat, May 23 on its boardwalk facade. Festivities get started at 7 p.m. with performances by the Atlantic City High School marching band and music from Kool 98.3 FM radio. The lightshow spectacle starts at 8:30 p.m., will be followed by fireworks.
Margate’s Memorial Day Parade takes place on Monday at 10 a.m. and will proceed from the municipal building along Ventnor Avenue. Look for veterans behind the wheels of antique cars, plus bikes and baby carriages adorned in patriotic finery. The route ends with a wreath laying ceremony at All Wars memorial (Manfield and Vintner Aves.). Afterwards, refreshments will be served at the Log Cabin together with a DJ and bounce house for the kids. Here, judging for decorated bicycles and strollers will take place. Rain location: Margate Performing Arts Center (Monmouth and Frontenac Aves.)
A parade of antique and classic cars, military vehicles, marching bands, Scouts and veterans will all be a part of the Somers Point Memorial Day festivities on Monday at 11 a.m. The route has its start at Dawes Avenue School and heads down Shore Road to Patriots Park at Bethel Road and 1st Street. A memorial ceremony will follow.
Folks in Ocean City can enjoy the big band sounds of the Glenn Miller Orchestra as Linda Gentille and the Jersey Shore Pops perform their Memorial Day Weekend show at the Music Pier on Saturday, May 23, at 7 p.m. Joining the Pops this year will be guest vocal trio, The Victory Belles. Tickets range from $25 to $40.
Early risers can catch StandUP4SEALS third annual beach challenge Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. at the 8th Street Beach. Participants can honor Navy SEALS and fallen veterans by joining paddle board competitions, fun runs and obstacle courses. There will also be a ceremony to honor veterans.
On Monday, a Memorial Day service will be held at Veterans Memorial Park (5th and Wesley Ave.) at 11 a.m.
Sea Isle City
The Memorial Day ceremony will take place Monday, May 25, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Veterans Park (JFK Blvd. and Landis Ave.
Avalon’s annual Memorial Day Parade will set off from 32nd and Dune Dr. and wrap up at Veterans Plaza (21st and Dune Dr.) on Monday, May 25, at 9 a.m.
Besides the Kite Festival, those in Wildwood will find the Memorial Day Weekend craft show on the boardwalk Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 pm. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On Saturday, the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 955 will host a special ceremony and parade in honor of the fifth anniversary of the town’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War.The parade commences at 4 p.m. from Cresse Ave. and heads north on Ocean Ave. to the wall (Burke Ave.). Afterwards, enjoy free music acts Toes In The Sand, Bittersweet and Then There’s Us at Fox Park. A candlelight vigil will be held in front of the wall at sunset.
Sunday, at 7:30 p.m., Wildwood Crest hosts its Summer Kick Off Concert in Centennial Park (Fern Rd. and Ocean Ave.). The free, all-ages concert and dance party will feature the Fabulous Greaseband.
On Memorial Day, a ceremony will take place at the Wildwood American Legion Post #184 (4200 Atlantic Ave.) at 11 a.m. where a firing squad and performance of “Taps” will honor deceased veterans. Wreath layings will occur at the legion post, Memorial Walk and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.
Cape May’s annual Memorial Day Service will happen on Monday at 11 a.m. at the Cape May Convention Hall.
Special travel note:
What makes the kick off of summer even sweeter this time around is that construction on the Garden State Parkway between Toms River and Wall (save for the Manasquan River bridge) is anticipated to be finished by the holiday weekend. The $330 million project has restored shoulders to 20-miles of the highway.
All travel lanes on Route 35 will also be open by June as reconstruction nears completion.
This post is part of our South Jersey Events Listing