On the Ave: Bring on Summer

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By Russell Swanson, Exec. Dir., VDID, Main Street Vineland

We’re headed for some fun events on The Ave.

The Memorial Day weekend is in the record books and, so, we bring on summer. Speaking of Memorial Day, for all the hoopla, it’s really a solemn time of year. Making Memorial Day part of a three-day weekend has made it another shore getaway—or a time to catch the sales at the malls and big-box stores. Yes, we have a parade—that gives people a sense of pride—but afterward comes a ceremony at the northeast mini-park, then a ceremony at Landis Park. The ceremonies pay tribute to those in our armed forces who died defending our freedom. It’s too bad more people don’t come out to pay tribute.  

On another note, I thank all who helped make our downtown video shoot a success. The video is phenomenal and we look forward to seeing it edited into a commercial for The Ave. Excerpts will be used in other promotional material. It’s one way to call attention to all the places on The Ave to shop, eat, be entertained, and have a great time.

• Come down to The Ave this weekend for the 28th annual Cruise Down Memory Lane. Vintage and exotic cars will line Landis Avenue on Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. (rain date is June 9 from 2 to 5 p.m.). For more on the event, see the insert in this week’s paper. 

• On Sunday, June 23, we’ll have our first Running The Ave 5K, rain or shine, starting at 9 a.m. We’re partnering with Second Capital Running, with Premier Orthopaedic Associates as major sponsor. If you’re a beginner, let this be your first 5K. If you’re an experienced runner, add this to your schedule of runs. The initial response has been extraordinary and we’re looking to have more than 100 runners participating.

The downtown business district will be transformed that day into a 5K course. This is a sanctioned race with professional timers, and medals will be awarded in a variety of categories—including the “True Grit” award for our last-place finisher. 

Register now by going to TheAve.biz, and clicking on the event link. It is $20 per runner; proceeds will benefit Main Street Vineland’s efforts to help the continued revitalization of Vineland’s historic downtown. 

Dancers, bands, jugglers, hula hoop dancers, and others are sought to cheer the runners on at stations along the way. The runners will vote for the cheer stations they find the most inspiring. To sign up, log on to  jdaforms.formstack.com/forms/rta_cheer2019.

• This summer, Play Streets returns to downtown Vineland for its second year. This is a collaboration with the Vineland Community Policing and other civic and non-profit organizations, along with Main Street Vineland. It will occur on five Fridays—June 28 and July 5, 12, 19, and 26. For the last four weeks, one block of Sixth Street—from Landis Avenue to Elmer Street—will be closed off to traffic to provide a place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., for youngsters to engage in games, projects, health-related activities, and other ways to get them engaged in outdoor activities. The first week will be a “pop-up” Play Streets at Roberto Clemente Park, Seventh and Humbert streets. Among the participating organizations are the Vineland Health Department, Vineland Municipal/City of Vineland, Calvary Chapel, Daniel’s Den, Vineland Public Library, and the Vineland Police Department. Sponsorships are available. 

• Come hungry on Sunday, August 26, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.,for our third annual Food Truck Festival on The Ave. at Landis Avenue and the Boulevard. It features about 20 food trucks. Members 1st of NJ Federal Credit Union is again the major sponsor.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for all these events. Contact the Main Street Vineland office for more information. Keep watching for more information.

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This is all the more reason to make The Ave your destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment needs. Save money on gasoline, avoid the long lines at the big-box stores, malls, and shopping centers, and take in the rich variety of fun things to do—right in your own backyard.

For more information on Main Street Vineland, call 856-794-8653, visit TheAve.biz or check them out on Facebook. You can also e-mail rswanson@vinelandcity.org.