At 6 p.m. Aug. 11, the parade committee will have the privilege of presenting the fourth annual Atlantic City parade to salute our armed forces and veterans of all conflicts. Previous parades have drawn crowds of 50,000 to Atlantic City’s Boardwalk. It is anticipated that this year’s will draw an even bigger crowd.

Why? There will be several new facets to the parade. Tom Gilbert, director of the Atlantic City Tourism District, informed the parade committee that he had attended a meeting with representatives of the various neighborhoods in the city.

Students from the city’s 12 schools attended and said they were never invited to participate in activities such as the parade. Members of the committee said it was easy to resolve their concerns.

Each of the 12 schools will select 10 children to march in this year’s parade. Each school will come up with a program that will provide a competition for the selection process. The children will be given T-shirts with the logo of the parade, and they will march in the front of the parade behind the grand marshal. The children will each carry an American flag and sing patriotic songs as they march down the Boardwalk.

They will be followed by representatives of Atlantic City’s Veterans of Foreign Wars post. This will serve to signify the support of children and adults for our present-day armed forces and those who have previously fought to preserve our democracy. A union member on the committee said they will provide the funds necessary to pay for the T-shirts.

In addition, there will be several other new facets of the parade. An outstanding drill team has volunteered its services, and several other new entities will also participate.

Other organizations that would like to be a part of the parade are invited to request an application. The public is invited to bring their chairs to the Boardwalk.

The parade serves to kick off an exciting week in Atlantic City. It precedes the annual “Thunder Over The Boardwalk” airshow that will commence at 10 a.m. Aug. 13. The Air Force’s Thunderbirds will once again be the featured attraction, along with the Army’s Golden Knights. The last airshow with these participants drew 900,000 spectators. It was the largest such crowd in the history of Atlantic City.

The first airshow in Atlantic City took place in 1910. There was no airport at that time, and the planes took off from the beach. Many of you may not know that the first airplanes had pontoons so they could land and take off from the ocean. Several years later, you could take a ride around Atlantic City for $5. You boarded the plane on the Boardwalk, and it rolled down a ramp and you took off from the ocean. It was a treat and a thrilling experience.

Radio show at Hard Rock

As you read my column, I am basking in the sun at the Hard Rock Casino Hotel in Hollywood, Fla. While you suffered from one of the worst snowstorms in many years, I was enjoying reading a book at the lovely pool setting and the temperature was 84 degrees. I am doing my radio show from poolside. It is a delightful setting.

On Monday, I did an hour-and-a-half-long interview with Larry Mullin, chief operating officer for Hard Rock’s seven casinos in Florida and formerly with Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and Trump Marina. I am aware of the present rumors of Hard Rock’s interest in purchasing Revel, but no one here has any information that they would reveal to me.

There may be a statement coming today. I am also looking forward to an interview with Jim Allen, CEO of all the Hard Rock Casinos around the world. He, too, began his career in various Atlantic City casinos. It should be an interesting interview.

Florida similar to New Jersey

On Sunday, I picked up a copy of the Sun Sentinel newspaper in which the editorial page noted that Florida’s lawmakers were convening their spring session. They came up with six key areas that they will be watching: criminal justice, public safety, education, government operation and oversight, health care and the environment. Sound familiar?

The following are some of the issues the editorial page raised about them.

  • Criminal Justice: Stop sexual predators from attacking again; fix mandatory sentences; better protect vulnerable children
  • Public Safety: Fix punishment gap for hit–and-run drivers. Many run because they know they have been drinking or using drugs and need time to allow them to recover from their use so they can get a lesser penalty.
  • Government operations and oversight: Reform public pension plans, beef up ethics laws
  • Environment: Restore and protect waterways

Hopefully, some of our state’s legislators will see the concerns of the editors of that newspaper. Many of these issues have been addressed in the editorials in The Press of Atlantic City. The big question is why it takes so long to get things done.

By the way, did you notice the Florida legislators have a spring session? Maybe it is time to consider revamping the times our legislators should be in session. Little work will be done in the New Jersey Legislature until the budget is approved in June. They take the summer off and more time in the fall for elections.

It is also time to do away with the session after an election. That is the time when personal issues are approved or they get issues approved they couldn’t get OK’d in the regular session.

Short report

Last year at this time, people in this area of Florida were complaining about the lack of condo sales and that there was little new construction. Today, business is booming. High-line condos of $2.4 million are being built as well as several $1 million ones. Many of them are being sold to folks from other countries. It would be nice to see this type of business in Atlantic City.

Pinky’s Corner appears every Thursday in The Press. The Pinky’s Corner radio show airs 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on WOND 1400-AM. His TV show, “WMGM Presents Pinky,” airs 7:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC TV40. Email Pinky at: pinkyscrnr@aol.com

Worked as a reporter for various weekly newspapers in Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties before joining The Press many moons (and editors) ago as a business copy editor. Passionate about journalism, averse to serial commas.