North Wildwood’s “Fudgy Wudgy Man” Dies at 76

Andy Markee, known to vacationers for years as the quintessential Fudgy Wudgy Man on Wildwood’s beaches, has died. He had been selling ice cream, primarily in North Wildwood, for decades.

Shore News Today reported the death earlier this week. A Florida funeral home posted a death notice earlier.

“He’s been part of the landscape of the North Wildwood beach for as long as I can remember … he was just a constant,” Al Alven of Wildwood 365 told Shore News Today. “There were several Fudgy Wudgy Men, but he was the Fudgy Wudgy Man.”

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Believe It or Not: Registration for Wildwood Half Marathon Now Open

The Wild Half Marathon

The Wild Half Marathon

I know. I choked on my lunch, too, when I received a press release announcing that registration for the 2015 Wild Half, a 13.1-mile race in Wildwood, New Jersey, is officially open. It’s not that they’re necessarily jumping the gun or anything; it’s just that thinking about running a half marathon in warm May weather is, like, 100-percent not on my radar right now.

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Wildwood Considering Beach Tags Once Again

Just over a year since the last time Wildwood considered charging for its beach, the mayor says the city is once again considering beach tags. Previous attempts at instituting beach tags came in 1976 and 1981.

Most of the South Jersey shore beaches cost money; only Atlantic City and the three municipalities of the Wildwoods are free. The plan to bring beach tags to Wildwood, which will be discussed next Wednesday at a Wildwood Board of Commissioners meeting, would not effect the beaches in North Wildwood or Wildwood Crest. Though one has to imagine beach tags in Wildwood would make those towns more likely to start charging for the beaches, leaders of both said they weren’t interested in beach tags last year.

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WWE SummerSlam Heatwave Tour Coming to the Wildwoods

wwe summer slam heatwave tour wildwoods

Wildwood is going to be rumbling in a few weeks when it hosts World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)’s Live SummerSlam Heatwave Tour at in the Convention Center’s Oceanfront Arena.

Fighters scheduled to attend are John Cena, Sheamus (pictured, above), Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, Daniel Bryan, The USO’s, Big E, and Bad News Barrett.

Tickets to the event are only $15 a pop, and can be purchased here.

Why Is So Much of the Wildwood Boardwalk for Sale?

wildwood strand

A LoopNet listings photo to market the Wildwood boardwalk’s Strand to potential buyers.

There seems to be a wide-spread belief that Five Mile Island – Wildwood, North and West Wildwood, and Wildwood Crest – was struck by Hurricane Sandy. Not true. Wildwood suffered virtually no storm damage, and Sandy had nothing to do with the marketing of these three Boardwalk properties.

It is axiomatic on the Wildwoods Boardwalk that properties between the two main Morey’s Piers are the most desirable, and these three properties (pictured in the gallery below) are on that coveted main stem. That fact alone, of course, is no guarantee of success for tenants. They have to know how to work the Boardwalk and be willing to put in the long, grueling hours that are demanded throughout the short summer seashore season. It’s not for everybody. Every season, Boardwalk amateurs, hopes high, open venues, only to take a salt water bath. It ain’t easy. Sometimes they stiff the landlord.

There are several other reasons Boardwalk property owners put up for sale signs. The Boardwalk Mall, long a landmark, lost two major tenants this year, and truth be told, the remaining tenants are a hodge-podge of tee-shirt shops and the rest of the stores that already line the Boardwalk outside. Despite the Weiland whale mural on the side of the building, the Boardwalk Mall is not the prime property it once was. But it will remain; it’s in good physical shape and the second floor, with it’s broad, graceful, curved ocean-view window will doubtless draw a new tenant, despite the constantly-rising rents.

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The Hottest Wildwood Boardwalk T-Shirts of Summer 2014

shirt-shops

“Oh those Wildwood days, Wild-Wild-Wildwood days
Every day’s a holiday, and every night is a chance to buy a cheaply-made t-shirt that’s likely crude, very possibly offensive, and definitely overpriced from one of the approximately 127 t-shirt shops on the boardwalk”
—Bobby Rydell, “Wildwood Days,” if I’m remembering it correctly

Monday was Memorial Day, and many Philadelphians celebrated it the only way they know how: By driving down the shore, laying on the beach, eating greasy food, and buying a tremendously tacky t-shirt.

I, too, participated in this annual summer tradition on Monday and went down to Wildwood. That’s right: It’s now time for my third-annual Wildwood boardwalk t-shirt round up. Previous editions in 2012 and 2013 (with a late-summer update) have covered enough ground that I’ll be ignoring some of the holdovers that are sticking around — Mickey hands, diamonds, pot and booze shirts, she’s/he’s mine, etc. — and focusing on new shirts or older ones that are having a resurgence. (Unfortunately, the Sex Drugs Dubstep t-shirt has not made its comeback yet.)

So kick up your feet, put on your best neon “I <3 my crazy wife” t-shirt, and get ready to learn about some classy shirts.

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Wildwood Boardwalk T-Shirt Update: What’s In, What’s Out

Summer is nearing its end. There’s about five weeks left until the solstice, but we all know the unofficial end of summer is what really matters. Labor Day isn’t even sneaking up on us: The stores are filled with Halloween candy. Bars are already stocking pumpkin beer for the messed-up people who think it’s okay to drink pumpkin-flavored things in August.

That means it’s time for an update! As part of Philly mag’s ongoing ownership of tacky Wildwood boardwalk T-shirt coverage, I headed down the shore this weekend. And it turned out the popular T-shirts have changed much since my last piece at the beginning of summer.

The biggest change at the shore, of course, is the dress code. There’s even a PSA:
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Wait Till You Hear Ernie Troiano Jr.’s Next Idea to Save Wildwood

Sometimes a mayor’s got to dress the part, even at the beach, and Ernie Troiano Jr.’s got all the starched collars and wingtips he needs for those special occasions.

When Wildwood voters booted him from office in a recall in 2009, Ernie had nice slacks on. Voted back in 17 months later, he looked real sharp at the swearing-in ceremony. But Ernie’s a lifelong fireman and “a concrete guy” — so more often than not, he’s tracking cement dust through Wildwood’s city hall and checking his emails in sweat-stained tees and work boots.
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