Memorial Day means two things in South Jersey: paying tribute to the brave soldiers who gave their lives for this great country and marking the unofficial start of the summer season at the Jersey Shore. With the three-day weekend, there’s plenty of time for both.
Fun and games
Cape May County
Cape May kicks off its summer concert series 8 p.m. Saturday, May 28, with country legend Tanya Tucker at Convention Hall. Tickets are $45. At 8 p.m. Sunday, May 29, enjoy the Atlantic Brass Band at Convention Hall and celebrate America with a rousing night of music. Admission is free. 714 Beach Drive,Cape May; 609-884-9565; DiscoverCapeMayNJ.com
Wildwood officially opens the summer season noon Friday, May 27, with the Unlocking of the Ocean ceremony on the beach at Andrews Avenue. Also Friday, the 31st Wildwoods International Kite Festival begins, running through May 30, at the Convention Center and the beach. The largest kite festival in North America features kite makers from around the world. The festival officially starts 9 p.m. on Rio Grande Avenue beach with an illuminated night kite fly. The Downtown Farmer’s Market kicks off Saturday, running weekly through Labor Day from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The market, located at 3501 Pacific Ave., features fresh fruits and vegetables, local goods, handmade products and live entertainment. The Boardwalk Craft Show will be held 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday on the Boardwalk at Rio Grande Avenue, rain or shine. It features all handmade products. Admission is free. WildwoodsNJ.com
Still in Wildwood, Morey’s Piers will debut Starlux, a new 27-hole mini golf course, on Friday. All three of Morey’s amusement piers — Mariner’s, Surfside and Adventure — will be open Friday through Monday. Raging Waters Water Park will open Saturday.
Also, from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Morey’s Piers will partner with CrossFit Parallax to host the third Wildwood MURPH Challenge in honor of Navy Lt. Michael P. Murphy, who lost his life in Afghanistan in 2005. This event will take place at Juniper Avenue and the Boardwalk. Proceeds will be donated to the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation. Advanced ticket purchase and sign-up is required and can be done through Morey’s Pier’s website. 3501 Boardwalk, Wildwood; 609-522-3900; MoreysPiers.com
Wildwood Crest will host The Fabulous Greaseband 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 29, to kick off its summer concert series. Bring a blanket or beach chair to the Crest Pier Recreation Center for this family friendly concert featuring hits from the 1950s through today. 5800 Ocean Ave., Wildwood Crest; 609-523-0202; VisitWildwoodCrest.com
Ocean City will officially unlock its beaches noon Saturday at the Ninth Street beach by the Music Pier. City officials and lifeguards will turn a large wooden key in the sand, the reverberations of which are believed to clear any barriers and open the Ocean City water. This is followed by the colorful Business Persons’ Plunge, where several hundred will jump in the ocean wearing everything from formal suits and briefcases to costumes that represent their profession.
Also in O.C., Memorial Beach Challenge will be held 7:30 a.m. Saturday on the 9th Street beach. The race consists of a SEAL-inspired obstacle course, an ocean paddle and a Kids Fun Run, plus a ceremony. Registration is $55 for adults, $20 for kids. Go to MemorialBeachChallenge.com
Also Saturday, “Sinatra at the Shore” with the Jersey Shore Pops will be performed at the Music Pier at 7 p.m. This show is a tribute to the life and times of crooner Frank Sinatra and features one of the country’s leading Sinatra tribute artists, Peter Oprisko. Tickets are $22 to $40. Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace. VisitOceanCity.com
In Atlantic City, head to Resorts Casino Hotel for the third Beach Ball Drop on Friday, where at 5 p.m. 5,000 beach balls suspended in nets over the Boardwalk will rain down on lucky guests below. Starting at 3 p.m., guests will be entertained with live music, stilt walkers and more. There will be giveaways, games and live radio broadcasts. This free event will go from 3 to 7 p.m. 1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City; 800-334-6378; ResortsAC.com
Tropicana Atlantic City plans to kick off summer with a bang. The Trop is hosting a free block party from 8 to 10 p.m. Friday. In celebration of another $40 million in completed renovations, it will celebrate with live entertainment, giveaways, the debut of an all new multi-media light and sound show and fireworks by Grucci. 2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City; 800-843-8767; Tropicana.net
The Claridge Hotel plans to get summer started with a knockout of a boxing match with Isiah Seldon battling Eddie Edmond for the main event. Doors open 6 p.m., first bout starts at 7 p.m. Park Place and the Boardwalk, A.C.; 844-224-7386; Claridge.com
We love a parade
The Somers Point Memorial Day parade will begin 11 a.m. Monday with veterans, military vehicles, scouts, bands, antique cars and much more. The parade route begins at Dawes Avenue School and proceeds down Shore Road to Patriots Park. A short ceremony will follow. 609-412-7769
Linwood’s Memorial Day parade will begin at 10 a.m. and march on Shore Road at Poplar Avenue to All Wars Memorial Park. 609-926-5206
Egg Harbor Township’s Memorial Day parade will begin 9 a.m. Monday on Diamond Drive and head west on Zion Road, where it will conclude at Veterans Memorial Park. EHTGov.org
Vineland’s parade begins 10 a.m. Monday and heads west on Landis Avenue to the Boulevard, where a brief ceremony will take place. The parade will continue to Veterans Park, at Park Avenue and the Boulevard, for the ceremony. Lt. Col. Diana M. Brown, commander of the 177th Mission Support Group, 177th Fighter Wing, is the guest speaker.