Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Despite "premature" announcement, Wildwood officials working to make car show return to the Boardwalk official

On Monday evening, JSM Productions LLC, the event planning team behind the island's signature automotive shows, announced formative plans for the Fall Classic Car Show's return to the Boardwalk after a three-year absence.

According to Wildwood officials, however, no such details have finalized.

"At this time, the announcement made by the Fall car show promoter is premature," Commissioner & Deputy Mayor Krista Fitzsimons told Wildwood 365. "We have policies and procedures that need to be followed to ensure a fun, organized and most importantly safe event for everyone.

"As soon as we go through the proper steps to assess this event, we will speak to the car show promoter and make a decision."

According to Bob Sahasaylo, Executive Director of the Greater Wildwood Hotel & Motel Association, engineering assessments of the Boardwalk will be performed in the coming weeks to confirm that newly-renovated sections of the promenade can support the returning autos.

The GWHMA oversees the Spring and Fall classic car shows, among other events, under the banner of Wildwood Motor Sports.

"While we have been diligently working with the City of Wildwood over the last few months, no decision has been finalized for this Fall," said Sahasaylo. "There are still some boxes that need to be checked before we can officially move forward. No matter what, we look forward to having a fun and safe Fall Class Car Show!"

The Fall Classic Car Show has long been one of the island's most popular events. Generally held on the third weekend in September, along with the Irish Fall Festival in North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest's Seafarer's Celebration, it is a linchpin of the Wildwoods' "second season" (post-summer) schedule.

However, the event has not been held on the Boardwalk since 2019, mainly due to structural issues with the aging wooden way. The show was outright cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was moved to Pacific Avenue in 2021 and 2022.

Those matters have been addressed over the past two years with Phases 1 & 2 of the Boardwalk Renovation Project, which has seen the eight-block stretch from 26th Avenue to Oak Avenue completely refurbished and structurally enhanced. 

Should the Fall Classic Car Show return to the Boardwalk this September, it will likely be limited to this section and at least a portion of the North Wildwood Boardwalk, with Phase 3 of the renovation project scheduled to pick up south of Schellenger Avenue after the summer season. 

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