WILDWOOD — Fans of Five Mile Beach are planning their own version of a popular viral video craze to remind would-be visitors that the Wildwoods are ready for the coming tourist season.
The plan is to film a 30-second “Harlem Shake” video at the iconic Wildwoods sign Saturday. The video, like hundreds of others that have garnered millions of views on YouTube, will feature one person dancing to a clip of the song by Baauer while others go about their business. Then, midway, everything changes abruptly with others in costumes or carrying props joining in.
The 30-second clips have been made by such diverse organizations as KSLA-TV in Shreveport, La., and the University of Georgia men’s swim team.
Al Alven, who started the Wildwood 365 Web site, watched the filming of a “Harlem Shake” video in Philadelphia and decided Wildwood was the perfect place to film one.
“I thought the Wildwood sign would be such a cool backdrop,” Alven said, noting that a remix of the “Harlem Shake” has been made using the famous “Watch the tram car, please” saying.
The goal, he said, is to make a visually interesting clip while getting the message out that the Wildwoods are open.
Alven, of Philadelphia, said he also wants to focus attention on the Restore the Shore campaign, designed to help shore communities north of Cape May County that suffered significant damage as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
Alven encouraged participants to come at noon, preferably with Wildwood-themed props. Filming will begin at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
“We want it to be fun and crazy. The goofier the better. The more colorful the better,” he said.
Cape May County Director of Tourism Diane Wieland said any ideas designed to draw attention to the county and its tourism are welcome.
“Fun things are important because that’s what we’re all about,” she said.
She was recently in Montreal, for instance, where New Jersey tourism advocates, aided by a man on stilts and wearing a bathing suit, worked to remind Canadians about the region’s tourism destinations.
“It’s always going to be a good thing to say, ‘Hey, we’re open,’” she said. “We don’t know how far out those images (of the destruction after Sandy) went.”
She pointed to a giant ribbon cutting in Sea Isle City and news conferences by local towns as examples of what others are doing.
Wieland said about 20 million people visit the county each year, generating $5.1 billion in 2011.
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