On the Ave: Skies Smiled on Cruise

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

While we’re coming up with new events and initiatives to show off the promote The Ave of today, Cruise Down Memory Lane is one of those iconic events that show off The Avenue of yesterday—a simpler, nostalgic time when muscle cars, fins, and chrome were the rage and downtown was the place to be on a Friday or Saturday night.

Some thanks are due. As I’ve said often before, these events don’t come together by themselves. They’re the product of teamwork and the contributions of many. I want to start by thanking Marv Askins and the Cruise Down Memory Lane Committee, whose hard work, experience, and dedication have been a constant throughout the 28 years of the event. We’ve been fortunate to have them as partners. I also want to thank Members 1st of NJ Federal Credit Union, who stepped forward to be the major sponsor of this, and several other of our events. I must also thank those of the Main Street Vineland staff and volunteers who helped out—Associate Director Robert Scarpa, Promotions Team Chairperson Susan Sauro, Organization Team Chairperson Matt Johnson, maintenance men Wayne and Michael Joslin, and many others. Thanks go to the various City departments, whose cooperation and teamwork are so necessary for events such as this. Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank all the car enthusiasts—the participants and spectators—who lined The Ave and made the Cruise something really special. It was a great time.

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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.



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