Next Exit Shore Guide (Sept. 18-30)

It’s rare that anyone born outside of royalty is ever crowned a reigning queen. In America, where no royal family rules, it’s rare to be crowned fairest in the land – à la Miss America – unless born with certain physical attributes. Born any different, you miss out.

It’s the idea behind Miss’d America, the spoof of the traditional Miss America Contest which will return once again to Atlantic City on Sept. 27.

This year, the event will be held at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City with 10 regional contestants vying for the crown and $1000 cash prize. Hosting will be fashion expert, Carson Kressley with live music from the Village People.

The event ties in with StandOut LGBT – the first LGBT business expo in New Jersey – which will be held that same weekend, from Sept. 26 through Sept. 28. The two happenings are part of the city’s new marketing strategy which targets the LGBT community.

Miss’d America isn’t a typical drag show and it doesn’t just parody the famous beauty competition. It also pays homage to the grandiosity of the pageant while raising money for charity. Contestants are subject to pageant guidelines and will be judged in categories such as swimsuit, talent, evening gown and judge’s interview.

Tickets range from $35 to $100. Sunday, Sept. 28, 7 p.m. – 777 Harrah’s Blvd., Atlantic City, N.J.

Week of Sept. 17 – 23

Atlantic City

Octogenarian music legend, Willie Nelson will be performing his famous country standards and new songs at Harrah’s this Friday. His recording career spans six decades and while the Red Headed Stranger is now quite gray, he is still making new music. Band of Brothers was released this June and another new album, December Day, will drop this fall. Tickets range from $55 to $90. Friday, Sept. 19, 9 p.m. – 777 Harrah’s Blvd., Atlantic City, N.J.

Wildwood

It’s been six months since St. Patrick’s Day and if you’re hankering for opportunity to celebrate Irish-American heritage more than once a year, then you may want to head to North Wildwood for the town’s 23rd annual Irish Fall Festival.

The festivities will take place along Olde New Jersey Ave and inside adjacent taverns. On Friday, the highlight will be a showcase of live entertainment from noon to 10:30 p.m., from musicians Theresa Flanagan, Birmingham, Broken Shillelaghs, Moira McKinney Mastro, Ballina and award-winning 11 year-old fiddler, Haley Richardson.

Saturday, Irish music lovers will want to catch the Brian Riley Pipe Exhibitiom at Bill Henfey Park (8th and Central Aves.), where some of the east coast’s best pipe bands will perform. Those interested in learning how to channel their inner River Dance, can participate in free Irish dance lessons at the Anglesea Fire House (2nd and Olde New Jersey Aves.) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A Catholic Mass at St. Ann’s Church (2900 Atlantic Ave.) starts off the final day of the festival, followed by a parade at 12:30 p.m. The parade sets off on Surf Ave. heading north to Spruce and Olde New Jersey Aves. Friday, Sept. 19, 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 20 and Sunday, Sept., 21, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – various locations, North Wildwood, N.J.

Stone Harbor

The return of autumn means the return of thousands of migrating bird species to Cape May County as they travel south via the Atlantic Flyway. To mark this seasonal journey, Stone Harbor’s Wetlands Institute will be hosting its Fall Migration Festival this weekend.

The family-friendly event will have live animal and insect presentations, including a butterfly migration presentation (yep, they migrate too) with Monarch tagging and release, as well as a turtle tracking presentation with a Terrapin hatchling release. Attendees can also take part in several guided nature walks and a back bay evening kayak tour. Tickets are $15 for adults ($10 for members) and $10 for children ($8 for members). There is also a special $30 ($25 for members) family four-pack ticket available. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 20 and 21, 9:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. – 1075 Stone Harbor Blvd. Stone Harbor, N.J.

Week of Sept. 24 – 30

Atlantic City

Atlantic City will debut a fall version of its Boardwalk Wine Promenade. It’s the second time for the wine stroll on the boardwalk which was first held in spring of 2013. More than 100 wines will be featured, selected by celebrity host and wine consultant, Leslie Sbrocco of PBS’ Check, Please! The outdoor event will also offer food and wine pairings, seminars by wine experts and live music.

Among the Wine Tasting tents will be the Food and Wine Plaza (Kennedy Plaza), featuring pairings from Food & Wine editor, Megan Krigbaum; champagne tastings at Bubble Lounge (Etude Atlantis); and a special Vino Academy for VIP ticket holders to learn more about viniculture. A full listing of the tasting tents can be found here.

Tickets cost $65 ($85 VIP) for Saturday and $55 ($70 VIP) for Sunday. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27 and 28, noon to 5 p.m. – Boardwalk between Iowa Ave. and Brighton Park, Atlantic City, N.J.

Two of Latin music’s most successful crossover artists, Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull, will be coming to Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on Friday. Besides co-headlining a 24-city concert tour, Iglesias and Pitbull have previously teamed up on singles “I Like It” (part of television’s Jersey Shore soundtrack) and this year’s, “I’m A Freak”. Tickets start at $18.50. Friday, Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m. – 2301 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, N.J.

Cape May

Seeing bits of broken glass on the beach can be disheartening, but in time those fragments can transform to precious finds. For collectors, sea glass can be as valuable as gemstones. Sea glass can fetch hundreds of dollars and is becoming increasingly rare since plastic bottles replaced glass and recycling campaigns have caught on.

This weekend, Cape May will be the place to learn about the colorful, translucent beauties as the town hosts the 9th annual North American Sea Glass Festival. Festival-goers can learn about the history of sea glass and see displays of rare specimens at Convention Hall. There will be over 50 exhibits by collectors, authors and artisans. Experts will also be available to help identify shards.

New this year will be an open forum moderated by members of the North American Sea Glass Association.

Attendees can enter the “Shard of the Year” contest for a $1000 cash prize. Admission is $5, with proceeds benefitting Clean Ocean Action and the Wetlands Institute. Saturday, Sept. 27 and Sunday, Sept. 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – 714 Beach Ave., Cape May, N.J.

Those in Cape May this weekend will find plenty of color off shore as the town holds its annual Dragon Boat Festival. Forty teams of 20 paddlers, one drummer plus one person to steer will race in 41-foot long dragon boats. Saturday’s race is a 200 meter fun race, while Sunday’s 500 meter race is competitive.

There will also be a carnation ceremony, in tribute to victims of cancer, karate performance, food court and beer garden for spectators. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27 and 28, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Cape May Harbor on Delaware Ave., Cape May, N.J.

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