Wild Weekend Ahead

Wildwood Days 2006 is on its way! Memorial Day Weekend traditionally kicks off the summer season in Wildwood. Although the boardwalk starts opening on weekends around Palm Sunday, and some shops struggle through the weekdays during the spring, almost everything gears up completely on Memorial Day Weekend.

This is the closest thing the Jersey Shore has that’s comparable to Spring Break in other resort towns. If you’re looking for weird, it will be there. For most of the summer season, Wildwood attracts a varied crowd, but the younger generation pretty much owns the first weekend of the season. The traffic starts streaming in on Friday, and continues well past the midnight hour. As if the traffic noise weren’t enough, many revelers hang out car windows and let everyone else know they’ve arrived.

Back in the 60’s, this time marked a transition for me each year. I worked on the boards while in high school and tech school, and it always seemed strange going to school during the day and running rides at night. I never liked the feeling of working in a carnival atmosphere while faced with the reality of breaking the mood by attending school the next day. I wanted total freedom, and I wanted it NOW!

Our schools had a habit of letting out rather late (I remember June 21 one year). Most of my neighborhood Philly friends got out around the end of May or the beginning of June. I really felt as if I was missing something, with them out on the street, and me sitting in the classroom all day.

But the school year always eventually ended, and I was free to begin my annual rite of complete freedom! But when the Fourth of July rolled around a little too quickly for my own comfort, I always├é began to sense that the days were getting away from me. I never succeeded in slowing down time, and hated the stores that started advertising their “Back to School Specials” in early August. Like, who needed a reminder?

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