Atlantic City has four major events in 10 days, something that hasn’t happened in a long time.
It starts Thursday with Nik Wallenda, who will draw thousands of people to see him walk a high wire 100 feet above the beach between the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel and the Tropicana Casino and Resort. When he walked over the Niagara Falls he wore a support, but here Wallenda will not wear anything but his clothing.
Thanks goes to Tony Rodio, who signed Wallenda not only for the high-wire event but also to perform in the Tropicana showroom for the next several weeks in an exciting daredevil-type show.
Next Wednesday, the Atlantic City Salutes America’s Armed Forces Parade will march with 144 units, the most in many years for a Boardwalk parade.
The parade will begin on a solemn note, with a riderless horse with empty black boots that will commemorate the bravery of Tech. Sgt. Harold R. Brown. Brown was Atlantic City’s first African-American resident to die in combat during World War II. Most of the more than 2 million black men who served during World War II were assigned to supply service jobs, working as truck drivers, cooks and as members of construction battalions.
Brown, however, served as a member of the U.S. 5th Army 92nd Infantry Division, a combat division comprised of African-Americans from throughout the nation. The segregated unit was the only African-American infantry division permitted to see combat in Europe during World War II. Members of the 92nd became known as Buffalo Soldiers, the label first given to the 19th-century black cavalry unit by Native Americans.
Brown was mortally wounded in Massa, Italy, where the 92nd saw heavy action.
The commemoration will be followed by five grand marshals: a major general, an admiral and three colonels representing our five armed services. They will be followed by the rest of the parade, which is made up of hundreds of veterans who served in various branches of service from World War II to today. Members of the state Legislature, county officials, mayors and municipal council members, commissioners and other noted officials will be in line. Some will march, while others will ride in convertibles or in rolling chairs.
There will be 28 musical groups, 17 floats and a variety of interesting and exciting participants from just about every walk of life.
The parade lineup will appear in Tuesday’s edition of The Press of Atlantic City. The parade begins at New Jersey Avenue and ends at Albany Avenue. It is free and open to the public.
The public is invited to bring chairs to sit on the Boardwalk. There will be a reviewing stand at Kennedy Plaza in front of Boardwalk Hall. Please note that we are paying our respects to the state championship girls basketball team at Cedar Creek High School and the Atlantic City High School state champion boys basketball team.
Following the parade, there will be an excellent musical group performing on the stage at Kennedy Plaza. Enjoy the music and then see the 3-D light show on the face of Boardwalk Hall. It will begin after dark, at about 8:45 p.m.
Please come out and pay homage to our veterans and present members of our armed forces. Let them know how much you admire and appreciate them. Show them how much we care for them and respect them for what they have done and are doing.
A practice session for the 10th annual Atlantic City Airshow, Thunder Over The Boardwalk, sponsored by the Greater Atlantic City Chamber, will be held Thursday. The show features the Air Force Thunderbirds, who are expected to arrive over Atlantic City’s beach at about 12:45 p.m. Wednesday.
Also featured are the Army’s Golden Knights parachute team and aircraft from every other service, including a rescue mission by a Coast Guard helicopter. The full show begins at 10 a.m. Friday and will finish at about 4 p.m. This is the biggest midweek airshow in the United States. Come early and stay late.
Finally, fantasy football will bring a crowd of more than 20,000 to the Atlantic City Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 18 and 19. Featured will be some of the biggest names in football history, who will be on hand to sign autographs and give advice to the coaches of the various teams. This is the event’s first time in Atlantic City, but we hope to make it a truly successful event so it will return next year.
Notes of interest
Familiar names are coming back to Atlantic City. Mitch Etess, CEO of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, began his casino career at Trump Plaza. He said he was hoping to get back into the Atlantic City market and is looking forward to its challenges.
Gary Van Hettinga, Etess’ No. 2 man, spent many years at Tropicana. He purchased a home in Egg Harbor Township and still lives there. He said he spends a lot of his time driving to and from his home and his Mohegan Sun position.
Another former Atlantic City casino executive is Tom Cantone, senior vice president of entertainment for the Mohegan Sun properties. Some of you may remember him from his days at the Trump properties as well as the Sands casino before he left Atlantic City. There is little doubt that he will be very much involved in overseeing Resorts Casino Hotel’s entertainment and events schedule.
Morris Bailey told me that he feels he has a great combination with the Margaritaville plans and the announcement Tuesday that the Mohegan Sun will manage the hotel and casino operations of Resorts. He said he would be spending a lot of money in the very near future to upgrade the facility and bring back its old charm.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.