Hear Philly: The Shore Thing – Mummers, Marbles and A Celebration Of Italian-American Heritage
By Andrew Kramer
WILDWOOD, N.J. (CBS) – Father’s Day weekend is a busy one in the Wildwoods.
A new event gets underway June 13th-15th, one that John Siciliano, executive director of Greater WIldwoods Tourism Authority, says will surely have dad hooked:
“The Wildwoods Beach N Boat Fishing Challenge is a part of a bigger tournament, which is almost an all-summerlong tournament. There will be surf fishing, bay fishing, boat fishing, there’ll be prize money of $8,000 that’ll be out there for the taking. It’s three fun-filled days and nights over Father’s Day weekend. We’ll even have a little weigh station and fishing expo right here the Wildwoods Convention Center.”
That same weekend, around a half dozen Brigades that perform at the Mummers Parade in Philadelphia on New Year’s Day will take to the streets of North Wildwood.
“They come down here and they actually have a parade and perform for us down in Old New Jersey Avenue,” Siciliano says.
He says what’s especially great about Mummers Brigade Weekend is the connection to the Philadelphia parade:
“They wear their costumes and perform the performances that they did on New Year’s Day. It’s a similar replication of the parade, but in a much shorter route.”
The events kick off Friday, June 13th with the parade itself happening Saturday afternoon.
After the Mummers leave town, the National Marbles Tournament rolls into Wildwood for the 91st year, featuring a group you don’t hear too much about these days:
“‘Mibsters’ are boys and girls from the age of 8-14 that have qualified throughout different states in the United States,” explains Siciliano. “We have a stadium on the beach which is called Ringer Stadium, and we bring the kids here for the week of June 16th-19th and they perform and they literally crown the king and queen of marbles on the last day.”
Wildwood now has its own marbles team that began last year and will participate again this month.
And rounding out June, the original Italian American Festival returns to North Wildwood. Siciliano says they’ll be celebrating all aspects of Italian-American heritage, including…
“Their food, the music, we have vendors, there’s even a Little Ms. Italy contest, meatball relay races, there’s some celebrity appearances, a lot of kids games and dancing. It’s just an opportunity to get people down and be Italian for the weekend.”
One of those celebrity appearances Siciliano referred to, who will be a Grand Marshal, happens to be part of the CBS family in Philadelphia.
“Angelo Cataldi is going to be here, you know, greet the people and be part of this pretty cool event,” says Siciliano.
The Italian American festival takes place June 27-29.
For more information on all events in the Wildwoods, go to the Wildwoods’ website.
And that’s The Shore Thing for this month.
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