WILDWOODS – The City of Wildwood did not anticipate having trouble with pop-up car rallies over the weekend.
Wildwood Commissioner of Public Safety Steve Mikulski said the police department received no intelligence suggesting there would be a pop-up car rally, such as the so-called H2Oi event that happened a year ago in the greater Wildwood area. On Sept. 24, 2022, two people were killed and two others were injured during an unsanctioned car rally in the Wildwoods. Gerald White of Pittsburgh is still being held in the Cape May County jail as his case prepares to go to trial. White was in court on Sept. 21 for a pre-trial conference.
Since last year, towns have worked with state legislatures to allow the municipalities to enact ordinances carrying heavy fines for exhibition driving or allowing them to tow vehicles off private property. Mikulski said the Wildwood Police Department has been preparing for any unwanted H2Oi activity this weekend.
“This year our police were in contact with the state police and they haven’t received any intelligence to suggest anything will be going on,” Mikulski said.
He said the city solicitor sent out cease and desist ahead of this weekend saying local ordinances would be enforced. Mikulski said the WPD set up barricades around the city and took other measures to make sure everyone remained safe, including reaching out to the Cape May County SWAT team and the New Jersey State Police.
Mikulski said all the outdoor activities related to the Fall 2023 Wildwood Custom Rod and Muscle Car Show had been canceled.
“The hours were extended today, Friday, but that is pretty much it,” Mikulski said.
North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello said it was a wait-and-see situation for vendors who were scheduled to take part in the annual Irish Festival, but more than likely there would be no street vendors on Saturday. He said the pipe and drum exhibition was moved to the North Wildwood Recreation Center on Saturday. Rosenello said Sunday would also be a wait-and-see situation.
“Some forecasts seem to indicate the vendors will be back on the the street,” he said.
In Wildwood Crest, the annual Seafarers Festival was canceled.
“It’s unfortunate that Mother Nature didn’t cooperate for our ‘end of the summer event’,’ Crest Mayor Don Cabrera said.
Cabrera advised residents and visitors that the borough would be taking all precautions to minimize any flooding and losses to municipal property.
“We encourage residents and guests to be mindful of this storm and take appropriate action to be safe and minimize private losses as well,” he said.