Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Patriotic Wildwood

Two years ago, this Cape May County resort offered a moving tribute to veterans on Memorial Day weekend with the dedication of its stunning Vietnam Veterans Memorial, built with donations from the community and construction work donated by local labor unions.

Patriotic Wildwood

WILDWOOD — Two years ago, this Cape May County resort offered a moving tribute to veterans on Memorial Day weekend with the dedication of its stunning Vietnam Veterans Memorial, built with donations from the community and construction work donated by local labor unions.

But this star-spangled community may just outdo its own sense of patriotism this year when it hosts its first “Celebration of Heroes Festival” from May 25 to 27. It is being billed as a festival “Saluting America’s Military Service Men, Women & Families.”

Organizers say it will include a USO-style show, a military parade, live music, celebrity entertainment, fireworks and family fun. Several hundred thousand military personnel and their families are expected to attend.

The weekend will begin Friday evening with a dramatic drive-up caravan of veterans representing dozens of tri-state area motorcycle clubs, followed by a fireworks display.

Beach games, including soccer matches, softball games, Frisbee tosses, a treasure hunt and obstacle course, take center stage Saturday. A “Taste of the Wildwoods Food & Music Festival,” from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday at Fox Park, will incorporate the sights and sounds of other events Wildwood is famous for — its annual Irish, Italian, BBQ & Blues, Craft, Music and Seafood festivals.

At 9 a.m. Sunday, festival-goers can gather for the Celebration of Heroes’ Parade & Recognition Ceremony with marching bands, waving celebrities and veterans along Pacific Avenue and ending at the Wildwoods Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall at

Columbus Park, where the Heroes Recognition Ceremony will take place, along with an Air Force Flyover. The USO Variety Show will be at 8 Sunday night at the Wildwoods Convention Center’s Oceanfront Arena.

For information, go to www.wildwoodsnj.com/heroes.

About this blog

Inquirer staff writer Amy S. Rosenberg has covered Philly police, city neighborhoods, Ed Rendell as mayor, the Jersey shore, Atlantic City, Miss America and the psychology of Eagles fans. She moved to Ventnor on July 3, 1995, which makes her a local, but not really.

Inquirer Staff Writer Jacqueline L. Urgo has spent every summer of her life at the Jersey Shore, and has lived there year-round for nearly 30 years, even fulfilling one of her bucket list dreams by once living in a house by the sea.

Since 1990, she has covered the waterfront for The Inquirer — from the Atlantic to the Delaware Bay shore — and some of the mainland in between. Along the way, she amassed an encyclopedic knowledge of this tear-it-down-and-build-it-back-up region, delving into the history and the hype of a place with a lot of unexpected stories to tell.

Reach The Downashore at arosenberg@phillynews.com.

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