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Welcome Summer!

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

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 touching, solemn time of the year. Yes, we have a parade—but we also have services and ceremonies to pay tribute to those in our armed forces who died defending our freedom. Our parade always gives me a sense of pride. The ceremony is always moving, as is the ceremony at Landis Park. Making Memorial Day part of a three-day weekend has made it another shore getaway—or an opportunity to catch the specials at the malls and big-box stores. I hope you took some time out from the summer fun to remember and reflect on what the holiday actually means.

On another note, I want to thank our dedicated public works service workers and especially the department Director Jim Neher and his Landis Avenue team—Alex Gomez (supervisor), Josh Rodriquez and Charlie Lopez. These men work tirelessly every day to keep The Ave looking great. And when we have an event like our Cruise Down Memory Lane, held this past weekend, or our Running The Ave 5K Race, set to take place on June 25, it’s “all hands on deck” to keep all looking its best.

As for the Cruise Down Memory Lane, we had another record turnout this year which was the 31st year of hosting this event in our downtown. People come far and near to see a miles worth of vintage and exotic cars. This event boasts not only a stationary car show, but an hour-long cruise at the end of the evening.

A huge shout-out is due for the long standing event coordinator Marvin Askins and his very dedicated cruise committee. There are nearly 60 volunteers who come out on this day to make the event one of the largest and most successful car shows on the East Coast. Tireless hours are spent on the planning and execution of this event, which brings out up to 10,000 people.

In addition to the Cruise Committee and volunteers, this would not be possible without the extraordinary commitment of Mayor Fanucci and all of the terrific city departments and personnel that make all this happen year after year—police, fire, EMT, public works, health, engineering, electric utility and emergency management. Thanks to every one of you for your hard work and commitment to our great City!

On Sunday, June 25, we’ll have our Running The Ave 5K, rain or shine, starting at 9 a.m. We’re partnering with Second Capital Running for this event, with Premier Orthopaedic Associates as the major sponsor, and we’re looking for a good turnout of runners. If you’re a beginner, let this be your first 5K. If you’re an experienced runner, come out and add this to your schedule of runs. The initial response has been extraordinary and we’re looking to have more than 100 runners participating.

This is a sanctioned race with professional timers, and medals awarded in a variety of categories—including the “True Grit” award for our last-place finisher, a team challenge, free kid’s dash, as well as a new stroller division. Register by visiting the event link at It’s $30 per runner, and remember that the event is not open to walkers.

On the Ave