Friday, January 27, 2023

Wildwood Crest Creative Arts Council hosting art competition


WILDWOOD CREST - The Wildwood Crest Creative Arts Council is hosting an art competition for Cape May County residents ages 6 and older. The objective of the contest is to highlight Cape May County's ever-changing architecture.

The competition encourages artists of any age and skill level to show what they love best about Cape May County's architecture from the past, present and future. The competition urges participants to explore ways certain buildings and structures make them feel and to express those feelings through their artwork.

All media are accepted into the competition, including but not limited to watercolor, oil paint, acrylic, pen/ink, clay/ceramic, graphic art, collage, marker, colored pencil and photography.

Submitted artwork must be no larger than 18 x 24 inches.

Artwork must be submitted with a completed certificate of authenticity to the back of ready-to-hang artwork, along with a waiver of liability. Both forms are available at the top of the front page of the website.

2D artwork should be framed, mounted or matted with wire ready to be hung on display with the certificate of authenticity attached to the back.

Artwork must be submitted to the Wildwood Crest Pier Recreation Center at 5800 Ocean Avenue no later than Friday, March 10.

Judging will be done by local artist Fredi Daniel and members of the Wildwood Crest Creative Arts Council.

A reception and award ceremony that is open to all participants will be held at the new Crest Arts Pavilion at 6301 Ocean Avenue on Friday, March 24 at 6 pm.

For more information, send email to

Thursday, January 26, 2023

An Utterly cool addition is coming to Downtown Wildwood

For the past two summers,
Clipper Dipper has served up cool treats and more, while building a loyal following from its home at the Yankee Clipper Motel in Wildwood Crest.

Last week, the Aydelotte family announced that their operation is moooving to a new, more spacious location in the heart of Downtown Wildwood for the 2023 season - with the business taking on a new identity in the process.

Utterly, “Wildwood’s first cereal-infused ice cream parlor and coffee bar,” is set to take over the spot formerly occupied by 5 Mile Grind and The Wild Scoop at 3411 Pacific Avenue, yet another offseason addition to the block opposite Byrne Plaza.

“We’re so excited to make this our new home,” said owner Danielle Aydelotte. “The time has come for us to move on to bigger and better things, and I couldn’t be happier to bring something unique and different to this area.

“This isn’t going to be your traditional ice cream place. It will be an experience.”

From its fanciful name and colorful logo to its location across from the district’s events hub, Aydelotte explained that Utterly is being crafted to stand out. But one particular aspect of the biz, she believes, will truly set it apart.

“Ice cream-cereal fusion. There’s nothing else like it here, at least not yet,” she explained. “I like to be a leader, to get out in front of the trends. Others tend to follow when you’re successful, but, we’ll be able to say that we were the first in Wildwood.”

Here’s how it will work:

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

VOTE! ~ The Wildwoods' Doo Wop Experience in the running for Best Pop Culture Museum in USA Today's 10Best Readers' Choice travel awards


THE WILDWOODS - The Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement & Development Authority (GWTIDA) announced that the Wildwoods' Doo Wop Experience Museum is in the running for Best Pop Culture Museum in USA Today's 10Best Readers' Choice travel awards

Fans and supporters are encouraged to VOTE ONLINE for the Wildwoods' Doo Wop Experience Museum, so it may be recognized as the #1 USA Today 10Best New Jersey Pop Culture Museum. Supporters can vote once a day, every day, until the voting period ends on Monday, February 13.

"We are so proud to be home of the coolest, retro-funky museum in country. The Wildwoods' Doo Wop Experience Museum is home to a treasure trove of neon signs, mid-century architecture, artifacts, furniture and music from a bygone era in American history. It truly is a time machine where you and your family can experience the best of the 1950's and 60's Americana," explained John Donio, President, Doo Wop Preservation League of the The Wildwoods.

The front entrance to the Doo Wop Experience Museum is adorned with vintage neon signs from around the Wildwoods as well as 50's style bicycles, making it an essential location for photos. The museum celebrates the mid-century architecture, culture and music known as Doo Wop, and the rich musical history of the Wildwoods as the "Birthplace of Rock 'n Roll Music."

The museum includes The Jukebox Cafe, a 50's-style malt shop complete with period furniture; some of the best-known local resort signs; historic photos; and the Neon Garden, a showcase of the famous neon signs from the era. This iconic building's style, unique to the mid-20th century, is known as "Doo Wop Architecture."

The Wildwoods are known for its beautiful, clean FREE beaches; its two-and-a-half mile iconic Boardwalk with three amusement piers and over 100 rides and attractions; three beachfront water parks; shops, arcades, games and over 300 eateries. In addition, the Wildwoods are home to the largest collection of mid-century architecture in the country and over 8,000 hotel-motel rooms and 3,000 vacation rentals.

USA Today's 10Best provides users with original, unbiased and experiential travel content of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top destinations in the U.S. and around the world. Created by a team of local travel experts: a well-traveled and well-educated group who are not only experts in their fields - and their cities - but discriminating in their tastes. These local experts live in the city they write about so the content is constantly updated.

The winner will be announced by USA Today on Friday, February 24.

For additional information about the Wildwoods, visit or call 800-992-9732.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Crest Best run and swim events will not take place in 2023


The Borough of Wildwood Crest and local event production company DelMoSports LLC have mutually agreed to take a pause on two community events one which they have partnered since 2018. 

The Crest Best Run Fest and Crest Best Swim Fest will not be on the calendar of events for 2023. 

"As we come out of the Covid-19 pandemic, both DelMoSports and the Borough of Wildwood Crest have had to refocus efforts to make sure everything we do is a success for the community," said Wildwood Crest Mayor Don Cabrera. 

"With out Arts Pavilion being a major new initiative, and both groups having a full schedule of events on tap for 2023, [DelMoSports CEO] Stephen Del Monte, our recreation staff and I mutually agreed to put these two events on the back burner for now. We've agreed to revisit for 2024."

Added Del Monte: "We have really enjoyed getting these events up and running in my hometown. Let's see how 2023 goes and we'll reevaluate. In the meantime, we have plenty of swim, bike and run opportunities for our athletes in the region, so we encourage everyone to take advantage of those."

Friday, January 20, 2023

Longtime owners of Kelly's Cafe confirm sale, believe landmark will remain a bar/restaurant

One of Wildwood's oldest and most storied establishments is changing hands.

Amid rumors and speculation of a possible sale, the longtime owners of Kelly's Cafe (4400 Atlantic Avenue) have issued a statement on Facebook confirming the deal.

"It's true," began the message from Victor & Patrice Namiotka. "After word got out all over social media, we figured it was time to put out a statement. After 32 years of owning, managing, working and basically spending more than half our lives at Kelly's Cafe, we have decided it was time to sell. We have accepted an offer from a very knowledgeable family that has been in the business themselves for years."

"We really enjoyed and will miss all the wonderful people we have met over the years. We hope Kelly's Cafe made many memorable moments for everyone to remember. Thank you."

The Namiotkas did not name the prospective buyers, but wished them success while noting: 

"As far as we know, Kelly's Cafe will still remain a historical landmark, restaurant and bar."

As to whether or not the Kelly's name and theme will be retained or if any significant changes are in the works, we will have to wait and see. Settlement is expected in the coming weeks, after which we hope to have an update on the future of this iconic property from the new owners.

"No boardwalk? No problem!": Sam's Pizza sets 2023 opening date

Every year, right around this time, Sam's Pizza Palace announces its official reopening date.

It's an anticipated briefing, but generally a formality. After all, it has become tradition for the famous pizzeria at 26th & Boardwalk to kick off its season on the Friday before Presidents Day.

Let's not bury the lede here: Opening Day 2023 at Sam's Pizza is set for February 17, right on schedule!

But, things will be just a liiiiiittle different this year...

As you may be aware, due to the ongoing work of Phase 2 of the Boardwalk Rehabilitation Project, there is presently no Boardwalk in front of Sam's, and, thus, no front door access.

"No boardwalk? No problem!" was the title of Sam's social media posts on Friday, which went on to explain that guests will enter the dining room through the side door on the Juniper Avenue ramp (south side of the building) until work on the Boardwalk is completed this Spring.

Meanwhile, as usual, the window on the 26th Street (north) side will be open for takeout orders.

It will be a bit strange to see folks lined up along Juniper Ave as opposed to the usual lines that form on the Boardwalk. And it's worth noting that pizza-goers, exiting from Juniper, will have to go around the Shore Plaza Resort to visit neighboring Gateway 26 or stroll the North Wildwood end of the boards.

Otherwise, it's expected to be a typically festive and fun Opening Weekend, one of the most anticipated events on the Wildwoods' winter calendar! 

Sam's will be open on weekends only to start (generally, it moves to an everyday schedule around mid-April). Hours of operation will be announced in the coming weeks. 

For updates and additional info, follow Sam's official Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages, and visit

Rome & Duddy, Drew Green, Shane Profitt and Ben Chapman join the 2023 Barefoot Country Music Fest lineup


WILDWOOD BEACH - The Northeast's largest outdoor country music fest, in conjunction with Southern Entertainment, is proud to announce the addition of rock music duo Rome & Duddy, American country music singer-songwriter Drew Green, American country music singer Shane Profitt and singer-songwriter Ben Chapman as performing artists at this year's Barefoot Country Music Fest (BCMF).

The third annual Barefoot Country Music Fest is set to take place Thursday, June 15 through Sunday, June 18, 2023. Rome & Duddy, Drew Green, Shane Profitt and Ben Chapman join headliners Blake Shelton, Kid Rock, Darius Rucker and Jon Pardi, along with Parker McCollum, Michael Ray, Lainey Wilson, Riley Green and 40+ of country's hottest artists on the Miller Lite Main Stage.

BCMF brings together some of the biggest names in country music to the shores of Wildwood, New Jersey. Top artists are scheduled to perform on Wildwood's beach along with 40+ more of the industry's biggest stars, national recording artists and up-and-coming talent during the 4-day event.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

About BCMF
Barefoot Country Music Fest™, (BCMF), Jersey’s Original Country Music Beach Fest, is located in Wildwood, NJ, between the famous Morey’s Piers on the beach. BCMF is host to the industry’s biggest stars with 40+ artists slated for June 15-18, 2023, bringing a unique blend of today’s country headliners, regional stars, up-and-comers and locals favorites performing across 5 stages. With the combination of country music and the scenic Wildwood’s backdrop, this family-friendly, four-day fest is THE summer vacation destination.

About Southern Entertainment:
Southern Entertainment is a full-service event and production company. Our unwavering commitment to excellence has led us to produce over 500 events across the United States. We specialize in planning, marketing and executing a wide range of concerts, festivals and other live music events with some of the music industry’s biggest stars.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Clusters launches new gourmet popcorn flavor contest

One of the more notable additions to the island in 2022, Clusters Handcrafted Popcorn (3314 Boardwalk) became an instant hit when it debuted last Memorial Day Weekend.

The shop offered up a little something for everyone, from a variety of unique gourmet creations like Cookie Explosion, Banana Monkey Crisp and Just Like A Pickle to more traditional caramel corn and white cheddar flavors.

Owners Dan & Sabrina Legiec are working on some new concepts for their second season - one of which YOU could dream up!

To mark National Popcorn Day on Thursday, Clusters announced it's "New Year, New Flavor Contest."

Participants are invited to submit ideas for a new gourmet popcorn flavor on Clusters' official Instagram page - or @clusterspopcornwildwood

(Visit to check out all of the flavors currently available, then let your imagination run wild!)

The contest begins today and will run until Tuesday, January 31, with the winning entry receiving a complimentary tub of the new flavor creation.

Clusters is aiming to open for the season in early April. Follow the shop's official Facebook and Instagram accounts for updates and additional info.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

The Wildwoods Convention Center hosts the return of youth wrestling with National Youth Wrestling Duals - February 3-5


THE WILDWOODS - The Atlantic Coast Wrestling Association will host the National Youth Challenge Duals team championships at the Wildwoods Convention Center - Friday, February 3 through Sunday, February 5.

This three-day event will feature elementary and middle school wrestlers, grades 2 through 8, in highly competitive dual meet matches. Teams from all over the country will be competing in one of the most challenging dual tournaments on the East Coast. 

Times for competitions, which are subject to change, are as follows:

Thursday, Febuary 2: Weigh-In Day
Friday, February 3: Doors at 7 am, Matches start at 8 am, Duals end by 8 pm
Saturday, February 4: Doors at 7 am, Matches start at 8 am, Duals end by 8 pm
Sunday, February 5: Doors at 7 am, Matches start at 8 am, Duals end by 4:30 pm

This event is a great way to show your support for these dedicated athletes and see some of the nation's best youth wrestlers in action.

The Atlantic Coast Wrestling Association's mission is to create a competitive atmosphere for youth wrestlers that will promote sportsmanship, honesty, loyalty, courage and fair play. This purpose is met by providing supervised and competitive wrestling competitions in order to encourage continued participation in the sport of amateur wrestling. 

Admission is $20 per day for adults and $50 for a 3-day weekend pass. Admission for children 12 and under is $10 per day and $25 for a 3-day weekend pass.

For additional information about these national youth wrestling tournaments, please visit

For additional information about the Wildwoods, visit or call 800-992-9732.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

2023 Polar Bear Plunge raises over $275k for Special Olympians

Vikings, mummers and bathing suit-clad revelers of just about every description charged into the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday, January 14 for a great cause.

The 2023 Special Olympics NJ Polar Bear Plunge saw 875 brave souls take the frosty dip, raising $276,000 for programs that benefit the state's Special Olympians; this brings the event's 17-year total to 13,306 participants, who have raised a cumulative $4,281,263.

"All the money raised allows the roughly 20,000 Special Olympics athletes in the state, and their families, to participate in sports at no cost," said John Lynch, spokesperson and hype man for the event. "We want to thank anyone and everyone who has donated, this year and over the past 17 years.

"This is one of my favorite events on the calendar, because of how much fun we have and what it represents. It's one big party!"

Just before Lynch led the countdown to signal the race to the surf at 1 pm, we took down the following (unofficial) observations:

  • Weather: 36° and Cloudy (44° ocean temp), 15 mph wind (NW) with gusts around 20 mph
  • High tide in effect, began roughly 30 mins earlier at 12:32 pm
  • Sand dry and firm (little to no precipitation overnight)

Following the plunge, a lunch reception and awards ceremony was held at the Wildwoods Convention Center, which, along with the City of Wildwood, serves as the event's annual host.

Taking Highest Fundraising Team honors was the AlohAvengers ($32,120), followed by Pigs in a Blanket ($25,392) and Piggy Park Plungers ($17,976).

The Highest Fundraising Individual Award went to Gary Evangelista ($6,054), with Bob Higgins ($5,250) and David Moy ($5,010) rounding out the Top 3.

Those interested in donating and/or learning more about Special Olympics NJ are directed to visit and

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Enjoy a "Winter Wonderland of Family Fun" in the Wildwoods


THE WILDWOODS - The Wildwoods are prepared to keep visitors feeling warm throughout the winter by welcoming one and all to enjoy fun-filled special events taking place January through early March.

One of the primary missions for the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement & Development Authority (GWTIDA) is to extend the Wildwoods' tourism season and keep the resort destination active year-round by funding and promoting winter events during what might otherwise be a slower part of the year. The Wildwoods Convention Center, which opened in 2003, provides the Wildwoods with the perfect venue to attract signature events all winter long, giving the community a much-needed boost in the offseason.

The Wildwoods will welcome hundreds of plungers to get "freezin' for a reason" during the annual Wildwoods Polar Bear Plunge for Special Olympics, taking place at the Wildwoods Convention Center and on the Wildwood beach, on Sunday, January 14.

The Polar Bear Plunge is a unique opportunity for individuals, organizations and businesses to support Special Olympics New Jersey athletes by jumping into the frigid Atlantic waters. Plunge participants help raise money for more than 21,000 Special Olympics athletes that train and compete year round, throughout New Jersey. Registration begins at 10 am and the plunge takes place at 1 pm., followed by a hot catered lunch for all plungers inside the warm Convention Center. 

For more information, visit

Thursday, January 5, 2023

North Wildwood aiming to begin Boardwalk rehab after 2023 season

Phase 2 of the
Wildwood Boardwalk Rehabilitation Project is in full swing, with work on the five-block stretch from Maple Avenue to 26th Avenue scheduled to be completed by May.

When finished, the entire central portion of the Boardwalk will have been refurbished with new boards and structural enhancements, including the removal of concrete pathways previously used to support the Sightseer Tram Cars.

Since work began on Phase 1 (Oak to Maple) in late 2021, there has been speculation about potential future work on the rest of the wooden way, including the North Wildwood portion, which covers 10 blocks, from (north to south) 16th to 26 Avenue.

“Yes, there are plans in place for Boardwalk rehab on our side of 26th Street, ideally beginning after the 2023 season,” North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello told Wildwood 365. “Our plan is actually to start from the 16th Street end and work south, for an interesting reason. 

“The north end of our boardwalk is in worse condition than the south end because, historically, back in the 60’s and 70’s, that area was subject to tidal waters on a daily basis. The ocean used to come up under there, so that part is in most need of replacement.”

While the City of Wildwood’s boardwalk work has been funded by a total of $11.2 million in state and federal grants, Rosenello said that North Wildwood was recently notified of a federal economic development authority grant that will help fund the project.

“There are still a lot of details to figure out because final funding isn’t all in place yet, but I’m confident that this will move forward,” he explained. “I would expect we’ll take an approach similar to that of Wildwood’s, in terms of materials and work on the boardwalk’s superstructure.

“This will be a long time coming. I believe the oldest sections of our boardwalk date back to the 1920’s, so you’re looking at a structure that’s close to or slightly more than a century old.”

Though plans are still a ways off from being finalized, Rosenello anticipates a “multi-year process” that will see two to three blocks completed each offseason, at least to start.

“We’re looking at probably doing two blocks next winter,” he said. “Steady progress is what we’re shooting for. So, we would start with 16th to 18th Street, from the entrance arch down past Montego Bay [Resort]. Two blocks might not seem like a lot, but that’s actually a pretty big stretch when you look at it that way.”

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

After successful first season, Guppi moving to new location on Pacific Ave

In the Spring of 2022,
Abby MacQueen took a huge step, expanding her Guppi Sustainable Surf Co. brand by opening a flagship store in Downtown Wildwood.

Following a strong first season at 3113 Pacific Avenue, Guppi is relocating to a more spacious home three blocks south at 3417 Pacific (previously the home of Beach Whiskers, which has moved to the Boardwalk Mall). 

The store will be located on the block that sits directly across from Byrne Plaza, nestled between Maggie’s Boutique and The Yellow Umbrella Gift Shoppe.  

“Our first season in the shop was awesome,” said MacQueen, who launched Guppi in 2018, and has continued to develop her eco-friendly line of apparel made from recycled water bottles and other sustainable materials.

“It was great to have a place for people to come shop and hang out. We had so much support from the community and received so much positive feedback. The opportunity for the new location was brought to my attention, and it was hard to say no. The size of the space is awesome and has some charm, and also plenty of potential to make it our own.”

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Annual Polar Bear Plunge to Benefit Special Olympics New Jersey returns to the Wildwoods - Saturday, January 14th


THE WILDWOODS - Ready for a beach day in January? Dig out your bathing suit and join in the fun!

Special Olympics New Jersey returns to the Wildwoods to kick off 2023 with an icy plunge into the Atlantic Ocean during the annual Polar Bear Plunge on Saturday, January 14 at 1 pm on the beach behind the Wildwoods Convention Center.

The Polar Bear Plunge in the Wildwoods in a FREE event for spectators to watch, but the plungers pay donations in tiered levels. Early Bear plungers must raise a minimum of $100 in pledges by December 31, 2022 to participate in the event. Late Bear plungers must raise $110 in pledges by January 13, 2023. Early registration is available online by visiting

Additional registrations will be accepted on-site the day of the event for a minimum of pledge of $125. Immediately following the plunge, participants and children under the age of 12 can enjoy a free lunch inside the warm Wildwoods Convention Center.

The Polar Bear Plunge in the Wildwoods is so much more than a chilling swim in the ocean. Special Olympics New Jersey provides year-round sports training, competitions, leadership opportunities and health screenings to thousands of athletes. All these programs and services are always completely FREE thanks to fundraising events like the Polar Bear Plunge in the Wildwoods.

The Polar Bear Plunge is a family-friendly event benefiting more than 26,000 athletes of Special Olympics New Jersey. There are incentives based on the total funds raised, and there will be special recognition for the top three people who raise money, as well as the top three highest fundraising teams.\\

Check-in will take place from 10 am - 12:45 pm inside the Wildwoods Convention Center before the event. The plunge is a 1 pm with lunch immediately following.

The New Jersey Law Enforcement Torch Run, along with the New Jersey State Fraternal Order of Police, is sponsoring the Polar Bear Plunge in the Wildwoods and is comprised of Law Enforcement officers who volunteer and are dedicated to raising funds and awareness for Special Olympics New Jersey. 

Each year, the Law Enforcement Torch Run hosts major fundraising events across the state, along with hundreds of local events, and raises in excess of $4 million for the 26,000 athletes of Special Olympics New Jersey.

Year after year, the Polar Bear Plunge at the Wildwoods Convention Center continues to grow in popularity and is just one of the many FREE events to attend in the Wildwoods. Beat the winter blues by showing support for a worthy cause and come join in the excitement of the January Polar Bear Plunge.

For additional information regarding Special Olympics New Jersey, visit

For additional information regarding the Polar Bear Plunge at the Wildwoods Convention Center, call 609-896-8000 or visit

For additional information about the Wildwoods, visit or call 800-992-9732.

The Wildwoods host Fishing & Boating Expo - Saturday, January 7th & Sunday, January 8th


THE WILDWOODS - Get hooked on all the activity at the Fishing & Boating Expo in the Oceanfront Arena at the Wildwoods Convention Center on Saturday, January 7 and Sunday, January 8, 2023.

This year's event is presented by "The Fisherman Magazine," Rack & Fin Radio and MudHen Brewery, and has expanded to over 45,000 square feet of indoor exhibitor space with displays showcasing a wide range of exciting new products, services and programs that fishermen and boaters want for the upcoming season.

The expo will offer the latest "gotta have toys" available to view, demo and buy!

Products include but are not limited to rods, reels, lures, sporting equipment, sporting gear, boats, accessories, clothing and state-of-the-art marine electronics.

Wishing Fishing & Boating Expo is pleased to announce special guest, New Jersey Fishing Legend Captain Nick Honachefsky from Saltwater Underground, who will be hosting a seminar. Don't miss your chance for a meet-and-greet and learn from one of the best local fishermen.

Expo hours are Saturday, 9 am - 5 pm and Sunday, 9 am - 2 pm.

Admission to the Fishing & Boating Expo is $7 per person and children under 12 are free. The Wildwoods Convention Center is a fully handicapped-accessible building. There will be a Yeti 65 Cooler giveaway.

For additional information about the Fishing & Boating Expo, call 609-377-1617 or visit

For additional information about the Wildwoods, visit or call 800-992-9732.