Wildwood, New Jersey
Wildwood, New Jersey
|City of Wildwood|
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||May 1, 1895 (as borough)|
January 1, 1912 (as city)
|• Type||Walsh Act|
|• Body||Board of Commissioners|
|• Mayor||Pete Byron (term ends December 31, 2023)|
|• Municipal clerk||Christopher H. Wood|
|• Total||1.65 sq mi (4.28 km2)|
|• Land||1.54 sq mi (3.99 km2)|
|• Water||0.11 sq mi (0.29 km2) 6.79%|
|• Rank||434th of 565 in state|
12th of 16 in county
|Elevation||7 ft (2 m)|
|• Rank||367th of 566 in state|
6th of 16 in county
|• Density||3,346.53/sq mi (1,292.30/km2)|
|• Rank||151st of 566 in state|
1st of 16 in county
|Time zone||UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))|
|Area code(s)||609 exchanges: 522, 523, 729, 846|
|GNIS feature ID||0885444|
Wildwood is a city in Cape May County, New Jersey. It is part of the Ocean City metropolitan statistical area and is a popular summer resort destination along the Jersey Shore. As of the 2010 U.S. census, the city's year-round population was 5,325, reflecting a decline of 111 (−2.0%) from the 5,436 counted in the 2000 census, which had in turn increased by 952 (+21.2%) from the 4,484 counted in the 1990 census. With visitors, the population can swell to 250,000 during the summer months. Wildwood was the first city in New Jersey to have a female mayor, Doris W. Bradway, who was ousted in a 1938 recall election.
The Wildwoods is used as a collective term for the four communities located on Wildwood island that have "Wildwood" as part of the municipality name—the Borough of Wildwood Crest, City of Wildwood, Borough of West Wildwood and the City of North Wildwood—together with Diamond Beach, a portion of Lower Township situated on the island. The city, and the surrounding communities that share the name, derives its name from the wild flowers found in the area.
Wildwood was originally incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on May 1, 1895, from portions of Middle Township, based on the results of a referendum held the previous day. On January 1, 1912, Wildwood was incorporated as a city, replacing both Wildwood borough and Holly Beach City.
The Wildwoods began developing as a resort in the last decade of the 19th century. A building boom began in the 1950s, due partially to the construction and completion of the Garden State Parkway in 1955.
"Rock Around the Clock", often credited as the first rock and roll record, was first performed on Memorial Day weekend in 1954 at the HofBrau Hotel in Wildwood by Bill Haley & His Comets. The song's status as one of the first rock and roll hits has given rise to the city's claim as "the birthplace of rock and roll". Chubby Checker introduced his version of "The Twist" at the Rainbow Club. On occasion, American Bandstand broadcast from the Wildwood's Starlight Ballroom. Murals in the community honor Checker, Bill Haley and Bobby Rydell; the latter artist had a major hit with "Wildwood Days" in 1963.
Wildwoods Shore Resort Historic District
Wildwood is home to over 200 motels, built during the Doo-Wop era of the 1950s and 1960s, in an area recognized by the state of New Jersey, known as the Wildwoods Shore Resort Historic District. The term "doo-wop" was coined by Cape May's Mid-Atlantic Center For The Arts in the early 1990s to describe the unique, space-age architectural style, which is also referred to as the Googie or populuxe style.
The motels are unique in appearance, with Vegas-like neon signs and fantastic architecture. New construction in the area has seen the demolition of several motels to make room for larger condominiums. The Wildwood Doo Wop Preservation League has taken action to help save and restore these historic buildings. The Caribbean Motel in Wildwood Crest, and the Chateau Bleu Motel in North Wildwood are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
A 1950s Doo Wop museum includes property from demolished motels such as neon signs and furniture. Neo-Doo Wop buildings in the area feature a neon lit Wawa and a 1950s styled Acme Supermarket.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 1.65 square miles (4.28 km2), including 1.54 square miles (3.99 km2) of land and 0.11 square miles (0.29 km2) of water (6.79%).
The city is located on a barrier island facing the Atlantic Ocean. On the same island is the city of North Wildwood, borough of Wildwood Crest, and the unincorporated community of Diamond Beach, a place in Lower Township. Collectively with the town of West Wildwood (located on a separate, adjacent island), these communities form "The Wildwoods" resort. Wildwood also borders Middle Township.
1930–1990 2000 2010
The 2010 United States census counted 5,325 people, 2,251 households, and 1,146 families in the city. The population density was 4,082.0 per square mile (1,576.1/km2). There were 6,843 housing units at an average density of 5,245.7 per square mile (2,025.4/km2). The racial makeup was 68.04% (3,623) White, 11.15% (594) Black or African American, 0.73% (39) Native American, 0.79% (42) Asian, 0.13% (7) Pacific Islander, 16.24% (865) from other races, and 2.91% (155) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 31.21% (1,662) of the population.
Of the 2,251 households, 22.5% had children under the age of 18; 29.5% were married couples living together; 15.8% had a female householder with no husband present and 49.1% were non-families. Of all households, 40.7% were made up of individuals and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 3.03.
20.5% of the population were under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 27.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.0 years. For every 100 females, the population had 105.6 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 104.8 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $32,783 (with a margin of error of +/− $9,471) and the median family income was $45,125 (+/− $24,251). Males had a median income of $24,416 (+/− $1,945) versus $26,043 (+/− $7,007) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $25,118 (+/− $3,877). About 16.2% of families and 23.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.4% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2020 U.S. census, there were 5,436 people, 2,333 households, and 1,273 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,212.6 people per square mile (1,627.0/km2). There were 6,488 housing units at an average density of 5,027.9 per square mile (1,941.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 70.55% White, 16.65% African American, 0.39% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 8.85% from other races, and 2.94% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.62% of the population.
There were 2,333 households, out of which 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.2% were married couples living together, 17.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.4% were non-families. 38.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 25.7% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $23,981, and the median income for a family was $28,288. Males had a median income of $30,787 versus $23,320 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,682. About 20.2% of families and 26.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.7% of those under age 18 and 21.9% of those age 65 or over.
Portions of the city—together with areas in North Wildwood, West Wildwood and Wildwood Crest—are part of a joint Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ), one of 32 zones covering 37 municipalities statewide. The four municipalities in The Wildwoods were selected in 2002 as one of a group of three zones added to participate in the program as part of a joint zone with. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment and investment within the Zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3.3125% sales tax rate (half of the 6+5⁄8% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants. Established in September 2002, the city's Urban Enterprise Zone status expires in December 2023. The joint UEZ is overseen by the Enterprise Zone Development Corporation of the Wildwoods Board, which includes representatives from all four municipalities.
Wildwood has an unusually large number of liquor licenses for its population. State law normally provides for one consumption license (i.e., for a bar, restaurant) for every 3,000 residents, and one distribution license (i.e., for a liquor store) for every 7,500 residents. Because of a state law allowing a municipality to grandfather in liquor licenses that existed before 1948, Wildwood has a permanent population of 5,300, but has 61 active liquor licenses.
Wildwood is a resort city that is very popular with vacationers and tourists mostly from New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and even nearby parts of Canada (particularly Ontario and Quebec) during the summer months. The year-round population of Wildwood of over 5,300 grows to as many as 250,000 or more during the peak tourist season during the summer. Its most notable features are its beach and 1.8 miles (2.9 km) boardwalk, home to the Morey's Piers amusement complex and Raging Waters and Ocean Oasis waterparks owned by Morey's Piers. The boardwalk features a trolley called the "Tramcar", which runs from end to end. In June 2006, its Doo-Wop-style motels were placed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's annual Eleven Most Endangered List, described as "irreplaceable icons of popular culture." In June, thousands of recently graduated high school seniors come to Wildwood for Senior Week. During Senior Week, the graduates stay in hotels and rent beach houses in Wildwood where they party and participate in underage drinking.
Wildwood was ranked the best beach in New Jersey in the 2008 Top 10 Beaches Contest sponsored by the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium. Wildwood is one of five municipalities in the state that offer free public access to oceanfront beaches monitored by lifeguards, joining Atlantic City, North Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and Upper Township's Strathmere section.
Wildwood is home to the New Jersey Firefighter's Convention, held annually every September since the 1970s. Known for its parade featuring fire company apparatus from across the state, it moved from Atlantic City due in part to rising crime and the disallowing of the parade on city streets. Wildwood is also home to an annual co-ed beach Ultimate Frisbee tournament drawing teams from all over the country that attracted 430 teams and over 5,000 players to its 19th annual event in 2011.
French Canadian tourists from Quebec visit Wildwood during the summer. There are motels in the Wildwoods named to attract tourists from Quebec, including Chateau Bleu, Fleur de Lis, Le Voyageur, Royal Canadian, and Quebec. Several hotels in Wildwood have signs in both English and French. The French Canadian tourists primarily vacation in Wildwood in July when Canada takes a two-week construction holiday.
The Wildwood Boardwalk features several amusement parks, water parks, an aquarium, and shops, most notably three piers collectively known as Morey's Piers. Due to the distance of the ocean from the boardwalk, the beach is home to many sporting events, concerts, and monster truck rallies in view of the boardwalk. Wildwood is the tenth most popular boardwalk in the United States. A stage is set off to the side of the boardwalk near Mariner's Landing Pier where several performances are held throughout the summer.
In 2008–2009, a section of the boardwalk was rebuilt using ipe tropical hardwood, even though the town had made a commitment to use domestic black locust as a more environmentally friendly option. The black locust wood shipped by the supplier was deemed unacceptable and the commissioners decided to use ipe wood to ensure that the project could be completed in time for the upcoming season.
Boardwalk Chapel is a summertime Christian Gospel outreach on the boardwalk, sandwiched between a pizzeria and a gift shop. Visitors to the boardwalk are invited to attend any of its 77 consecutive evening services held during June, July and August.
Wildwood is governed by a three-member commission under the Walsh Act Commission form of municipal government. The city is one of 30 municipalities (of the 564) statewide that use this form of government. The governing body is comprised of three commissioners, who are elected at-large on a nonpartisan basis to serve concurrent four-year terms of office, with the vote taking place as part of the November general election. At a reorganization conducted after each election, the commission selects one of its members to serve as mayor and gives each commissioner an assigned department to oversee and manage. As part of the May 2009 election, voters approved a ballot question that shifted elections from May to November. The first election under the new cycle was held in November 2013, with prospective savings of $25,000 each election cited as the primary justification for the change.
As of 2022[update], members of Wildwood's commission are: Mayor Pete Byron (Commissioner of Public Works, Parks and Public Property), Krista Fitzsimons (Commissioner of Revenue and Finance) and Steve Mikulski (Commissioner of Public Affairs and Public Safety), all serving terms of office ending December 31, 2023.
In June 2022, Mayor Peter Byron and Commissioner Steven Mikulski, together with former Mayor Ernest Troiano, were all charged with unlawful taking and tampering with public records in a case in which it was alleged that they improperly declared that they worked full-time for the city so that they could collect health insurance from the city under the State Health Benefit Plan worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Wildwood Housing Authority oversees public housing in the city of Wildwood, providing affordable housing to low and moderate income families, senior citizens, and disabled people. The agency is governed by a seven-member board of commissioners, with six appointed by the Mayor and one appointed by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. The housing authority owns two housing developments with a total of 170 units between them. Sandman Tower offers 100 one-bedroom apartments while Commissioners Court offers 70 apartments.
History of recall elections
Since the City of Wildwood has been incorporated on January 1, 1912, there have been three recall elections all of which were successful. The first was in 1938 when the State's first female Mayor Doris W. Bradway and Commissioner Frederick W. Murray were voted out of office. The second successful recall was in December 1984 when Mayor Earl B. Ostrander was recalled. The third successful recall was in December 2009 when Mayor Ernest Troiano Jr. and Commissioner William N. Davenport were recalled.
Federal, state and county representation
For the 2022–2023 session, the 1st Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Mike Testa (R, Vineland) and in the General Assembly by Antwan McClellan (R, Ocean City) and Erik K. Simonsen (R, Lower Township).
Cape May County is governed by a five-person Board of County Commissioners whose members are elected at-large on a partisan basis to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year; At an annual reorganization held each January, the commissioners select one member to serve as director and another to serve as vice-director. As of 2022[update], Cape May County's Commissioners are Commissioner Director Gerald M. Thornton (R, Middle Township; term as commissioner and as commissioner director ends December 31, 2022), Commissioner Vice-Director Leonard C. Desiderio (R, Sea Isle City; term as commissioner ends 2024; term as vice-director ends 2022), E. Marie Hayes (R, Ocean City; 2022), Will Morey (R, Wildwood Crest; 2023) and Jeffrey L. Pierson (R. Upper Township; 2023). The county's constitutional officers are County Clerk Rita Marie Rothberg (R, 2025, Ocean City), Sheriff Robert Nolan (R, 2023, Lower Township) and Surrogate Dean Marcolongo (R, 2022, Upper Township).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 2,791 registered voters in Wildwood City, of which 611 (21.9%) were registered as Democrats, 732 (26.2%) were registered as Republicans and 1,448 (51.9%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were no voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 61.3% of the vote (991 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 38.2% (617 votes), and other candidates with 0.6% (9 votes), among the 1,635 ballots cast by the city's 2,979 registered voters (18 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 54.9%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 54.4% of the vote (964 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain, who received 44.2% (783 votes), with 1,772 ballots cast among the city's 2,583 registered voters, for a turnout of 68.6%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 52.6% of the vote (949 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush, who received around 45.8% (825 votes), with 1,803 ballots cast among the city's 3,161 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 57.0.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 66.1% of the vote (622 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 32.6% (307 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (12 votes), among the 976 ballots cast by the city's 2,828 registered voters (35 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 34.5%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 50.8% of the vote (540 ballots cast), ahead of both Democrat Jon Corzine with 41.7% (444 votes) and Independent Chris Daggett with 4.5% (48 votes), with 1,064 ballots cast among the city's 2,908 registered voters, yielding a 36.6% turnout.
The Wildwood Public School District serves students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2019–2020 school year, the district, comprised of three schools, had an enrollment of 938 students and 92.3 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.2:1. Schools in the district (with 2019–2020 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Glenwood Elementary School with 470 students in grades Pre-K–5, Wildwood Middle School with 186 students in grades 6–8 and Wildwood High School with 245 students in grades 9–12. For ninth through twelfth grades, students from North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest attend Wildwood High School as part of sending/receiving relationships. Public school students from West Wildwood, a non-operating school district, attend the district's schools for grades 9–12 as part of a sending/receiving relationship.
Students are also eligible to attend Cape May County Technical High School in the Cape May Court House area, which serves students from the entire county in its comprehensive and vocational programs, which are offered without charge to students who are county residents. Special needs students may be referred to Cape May County Special Services School District in the Cape May Court House area.
There is one Catholic school on the island, Wildwood Catholic Academy (Pre-K–12) in North Wildwood, which operates under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden. There was previously a Catholic elementary school in Wildwood, St. Ann's School, which operated until 2010, when it merged into Cape Trinity Regional School (Pre-K–8) in North Wildwood. Upon its creation Cape Trinity Catholic Regional School operated separately from Wildwood Catholic High School but shared a common building. On April 17, 2020, the Diocese of Camden announced that both of its Wildwood schools would permanently close at the end of the school year, which is June 30, 2020. However, both schools avoided closure after agreeing to merge to create Wildwood Catholic Academy. Additionally As of 2020[update] Bishop McHugh Regional School in Dennis Township takes students from Wildwood.
Roads and highways
The city had a total of 32.38 miles (52.11 km) of roadways, of which 29.93 miles (48.17 km) were maintained by the municipality, 2.37 miles (3.81 km) by Cape May County and 0.08 miles (0.13 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Route 47 (Rio Grande Avenue) has its southern terminus in Wildwood and continues into Lower Township via the George Reading Wildwood Bridge, which provides access to the Garden State Parkway. County Route 621 (New Jersey Avenue) runs for 1.3 miles (2.1 km) through the city, from Wildwood Crest to the south to North Wildwood in the north, and serves as part of Ocean Drive.
Parking in the beach and downtown areas of Wildwood is regulated by on-street parking meters and paid parking lots. Parking meters in Wildwood are in effect from May 15 to October 31. Wildwood has 24 paid parking lots in the beach area that are privately owned and charge varying rates based on demand. Among these lots is a 719-space lot operated by the Wildwoods Convention Center. There is also a public parking lot along Schellenger Avenue in the downtown area. In 2018, Wildwood began offering paid parking on the beach for vehicles with four-wheel drive at Baker Avenue, with space for 1,000 vehicles.
NJ Transit provides bus service to Philadelphia on the 313 and 315 routes and to Atlantic City on the 552 route, with seasonal service to Philadelphia on the 316 route, to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan on the 319 route, and to Rio Grande on the 510 route. NJ Transit buses stop at the Wildwood Bus Terminal, which is located on Washington Avenue between Burk Avenue and Davis Avenue.
The Great American Trolley Company operates trolley service in Wildwood during the summer months. There are two trolley routes that provide service to the boardwalk at Schellenger Avenue in Wildwood during the evening hours, with one route serving Wildwood and Wildwood Crest daily and the other route serving North Wildwood on Fridays and Saturdays. Another trolley route runs from North Wildwood and Wildwood to shopping centers in Rio Grande, operating Mondays through Fridays. The Great American Trolley Company also runs trolley service to the Irish Fall Festival in North Wildwood, with a route connecting Wildwood Crest and Wildwood to the festival site during the weekend of the festival.
Television and radio stations
- WMGM-TV virtual channel 40 (UHF channel 36) is a Justice Network affiliated TV station and is the first and only TV station licensed to Wildwood. Their offices and studios are located in Linwood in neighboring Atlantic County.
- WCMC (AM) is a radio station licensed to Wildwood and broadcasts on 1230 AM with an Oldies format which it simulcasts from sister station WMID.
- WZXL is a radio station licensed to Wildwood and broadcasts on 100.7 FM with a Classic rock format.
- Residents of Wildwood are served by Comcast Cable's Xfinity service.
The City of Wildwood is served by local and distance newspapers with local editions. They are:
- The Press of Atlantic City a major daily newspaper in South New Jersey which includes a Cape May County edition.
- Cape May County Herald a weekly newspaper with news and information for residents of Cape May County.
- The Star-Ledger a major daily newspaper based in Newark which prints a local edition for Cape May County.
- Philadelphia Daily News a major daily newspaper based in Philadelphia with local editions for Cape May County.
- The Philadelphia Inquirer a major daily newspaper based in Philadelphia with local editions for Cape May County.
According to the Köppen climate classification system, Wildwood, New Jersey has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) with hot, moderately humid summers, cool winters and year-around precipitation. Cfa climates are characterized by all months having an average mean temperature > 32.0 °F (> 0.0 °C), at least four months with an average mean temperature ≥ 50.0 °F (≥ 10.0 °C), at least one month with an average mean temperature ≥ 71.6 °F (≥ 22.0 °C) and no significant precipitation difference between seasons. During the summer months in Wildwood, a cooling afternoon sea breeze is present on most days, but episodes of extreme heat and humidity can occur with heat index values ≥ 95 °F (≥ 35 °C). The Atlantic Hurricane Season lasts from June 1st to November 30th, which can bring storms, most typically between August and late October. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy destroyed much of the Wildwood Boardwalk, which has since been restored.  During the winter months, episodes of extreme cold and wind can occur with wind chill values < 0 °F (< −18 °C). The plant hardiness zone at Wildwood Beach is 7b with an average annual extreme minimum air temperature of 6.7 °F (−14.1 °C). The average seasonal (Nov–Apr) snowfall total is between 12 and 18 inches (31 and 46 cm), and the average snowiest month is February which corresponds with the annual peak in nor'easter activity.
|Climate data for Wildwood Beach, NJ (1981–2010 Averages)|
|Average high °F (°C)||42.0
|Daily mean °F (°C)||34.9
|Average low °F (°C)||27.7
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.36
|Average relative humidity (%)||66.3||65.7||64.1||62.3||66.9||71.2||70.5||73.1||69.7||68.8||67.7||66.9||67.8|
|Average dew point °F (°C)||24.8
|Climate data for North Cape May, NJ Ocean Water Temperature (8 W Wildwood)|
|Daily mean °F (°C)||37
According to the A. W. Kuchler U.S. potential natural vegetation types, Wildwood, New Jersey would have a dominant vegetation type of Northern Cordgrass (73) with a dominant vegetation form of Coastal Prairie (20).
In popular culture
- Bruce Willis worked as a bartender in Wildwood in his early days and can be seen on the Wildwood Days documentary.
- Cozy Morley, a once popular entertainer and club owner here, recorded a song called On The Way To Cape May.
- Wildwood is home to the beverage known as the "Lime Rickey".
- The song "Wildwood Days" by Bobby Rydell is about the shore town.
- The song "Everything's Wild in Wildwood" by The Treniers was inspired by summers in the early '50s during which they played residencies at a night club in the town.
- "Wildwood Blues", the 1967 song by the psychedelic rock band Nazz, is based on the Wildwood scene.
- A portion of the rock band Kiss's 1975 album Alive! was recorded from a July 23, 1975 concert at the old Wildwoods Convention Center.
- In the 1987 movie Wall Street, when Charlie Sheen's character tells Daryl Hannah's character she could have bought a beach house for four hundred thousand dollars (the value of a painting they were looking at) she sardonically replies, "Sure you could, in Wildwood, New Jersey".
- WWE Raw came to the Wildwood Convention Center late summer of 2005. WWE SmackDown came to the Wildwood Convention Center late summer of 2006. WWE Raw broke an attendance record at the Wildwood convention center on August 10, 2007.
- A CKY song entitled "The Boardwalk Body" was written about a body found under the boardwalk on one of lead singer Deron Miller's childhood trips to Wildwood.
- The video for Jason Aldean's song "Laughed Until We Cried" is set in Wildwood.
- In the 2008 movie Wipe Out, the beach scenes were shot in Wildwood.
- A season 4 episode of Hoarders features Randy Senna, the owner of "Randyland" based out of Wildwood.
- On June 20, 2012, Kenny Chesney performed a free concert sponsored by American Express as part of their Unstaged series. The event took place on the Wildwood beach with 20,000 in attendance.
- In early 2016, filming began for a movie titled Wetlands, featuring actress Heather Graham.
In the summer of 2016, the Travel Channel filmed their season 8, episode 6 television show “Hotel Impossible” with host Anthony Melchiorri at the White Caps Motel in Wildwood.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Wildwood include:
- Joseph R. Applegate (1925–2003), linguistics expert who was the first black faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- J. Thompson Baker (1847–1919), represented New Jersey's 2nd congressional district from 1913 to 1915, and was the first mayor of the consolidated city of Wildwood
- Randy Beverly (born 1944), former NFL cornerback who played for the New York Jets
- Edwin Corle (1906–1956), author
- Ace Darling (born 1975), professional wrestler
- Remy Hamilton (born 1974), Arena Football League player, Los Angeles Avengers
- Joy Bright Hancock (1898–1986), one of the first female U.S. Navy officers
- Wes Hills (born 1995), American football running back who has played in the NFL for the Detroit Lions
- Ernest Ingenito (1924–1995), mass murderer who shot nine people and killed five in a 1950 rampage
- Sue Lowden (born 1952), former member of the Nevada Senate who was Miss New Jersey in 1973
- Joey Maggs (1969–2006), professional wrestler
- Guy F. Muziani (1925–1988), politician who served in the New Jersey General Assembly from the 1st Legislative District from 1982 to 1988 and served 11 years as mayor of Wildwood
- Bernie Parent (born 1945), goalie for Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs and most notably Philadelphia Flyers where he back-stopped the team to two consecutive Stanley Cups
- Mickey Shaughnessy (1920–1985), actor
- George Sheldon (1947–2018), Acting Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families who served in the Florida House of Representatives
- 2019 Census Gazetteer Files: New Jersey Places, United States Census Bureau. Accessed July 1, 2020.
- US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990, United States Census Bureau. Accessed September 4, 2014.
- Commissioners Office, City of Wildwood. Accessed May 14, 2022. "The Wildwoods are composed of five separate municipalities consisting of Wildwood, North Wildwood, West Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and Diamond Beach which is governed by Lower Township."
- 2022 New Jersey Mayors Directory, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. Accessed March 1, 2022.
- Administration, City of Wildwood. Accessed May 14, 2022.
- 2012 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, March 2013, p. 8.
- "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 11, 2022.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: City of Wildwood, Geographic Names Information System. Accessed March 14, 2013.
- "Census Population API". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 11, 2022.
- GCT-PH1 Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - State -- County Subdivision from the 2010 Census Summary File 1 for New Jersey Archived February 12, 2020, at archive.today, United States Census Bureau. Accessed October 18, 2012.
- Look Up a ZIP Code, United States Postal Service. Accessed September 4, 2011.
- Zip Codes, State of New Jersey. Accessed November 10, 2013.
- Area Code Lookup - NPA NXX for Wildwood, NJ, Area-Codes.com. Accessed November 11, 2013.
- U.S. Census website , United States Census Bureau. Accessed September 4, 2014.
- Geographic Codes Lookup for New Jersey, Missouri Census Data Center. Accessed April 1, 2022.
- US Board on Geographic Names, United States Geological Survey. Accessed September 4, 2014.
- DP-1 - Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 for Wildwood city, Cape May County, New Jersey Archived February 12, 2020, at archive.today, United States Census Bureau. Accessed July 2, 2012.
- Municipalities Sorted by 2011-2020 Legislative District, New Jersey Department of State. Accessed February 1, 2020.
- Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2010 for Wildwood city Archived May 28, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Accessed July 2, 2012.
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- Kocieniewski, David. "And the Sand Won't Burn Your Feet", The New York Times, April 22, 2007. Accessed September 4, 2011. "About 20 miles north in Wildwood, where the streets on a March weekend were so deserted that the traffic lights were operating in blink mode, the seasonal desolation is a kind of spectacle unto itself. While the town often swells to 250,000 people on summer weekends, in springtime it offers a case study in depopulation for photographers, painters and travelers who crave solitude."
- Staff. "Wildwood Ousts Its Woman Mayor; Mrs. Bradway, First of Sex to Hold Post in Jersey, Loses in Recall Election She Lays Move To Hague Although a Republican, She Has Aided Democrats, but Shifted Back Last Fall Wildwood Ousts Its Woman Mayor Says Hague Dominates Move Indicted After Inquiry New Petition Circulated", The New York Times, February 19, 1938. Accessed May 17, 2011. "Mayor Doris W. Bradway, New Jersey's first woman Mayor, was defeated today in a special recall election in this resort city. Ousted with her was City Commissioner Frederick McMurray, also a Republican."
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- "Jersey Shore Town Where 'The Twist' Began Dedicates Mural to Chubby Checker", MBC10, September 8, 2015. Accessed May 14, 2022. "Music legend Chubby Checker was on hand for the unveiling of a 12-by-40-foot mural in Wildwood paying homage to "The Twist" singer, who first performed his iconic dance at a local club."
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- Nitkin, Karen. "Wild at heart in The Wildwoods: Music lovers and thrill seekers will feel right at home in The Wildwoods of New Jersey", The Baltimore Sun, May 12, 2011. Accessed September 4, 2011. "Visit the Doo-Wop Experience Museum Opened in 2007, the museum has a bandshell for outdoor concerts and houses a collection of doo-wop era signs and memorabilia. There's no admission fee."
- Gilfillian, Trudi. " Doo-wop comes back to the Wildwoods; Annual celebration of the decade begins today", The Press of Atlantic City, October 17, 2013. Accessed February 25, 2014. "Businesses like Wawa and Acme have built stores locally using the doo-wop style, but she pointed to the hundreds of condominiums built in the 2000s that have little to do with the island's history."
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- "11 Most Endangered Historic Places: Doo Wop Motels", National Trust for Historic Preservation. Accessed March 14, 2015. "Families have been vacationing at the Jersey Shore for more than a century and the Wildwood Doo Wop motels have been a popular beach destination since their construction from 1956 to 1970."
- Via Associated Press. "Wildwood to remain tough on rowdy visitors", Reading Eagle, May 25, 1986. Accessed March 14, 2015.
- Zoppo, Avalon R. (June 20, 2018). "Senior Week in Wildwood: A money-making machine that residents love to hate". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- Urgo, Jacqueline L. "Triumph for South Jersey", The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 23, 2008. Accessed October 29, 2015. "Neighboring Wildwood Crest came in second, followed by Ocean City, North Wildwood, Cape May, Asbury Park in Monmouth County, Avalon, Point Pleasant Beach in northern Ocean County, Beach Haven in southern Ocean County and Stone Harbor."
- Spoto, MaryAnn. "Surfers fighting to save dwindling free beaches", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, May 20, 2015. Accessed October 30, 2015. "New Jersey has five free guarded ocean beaches – Atlantic City, Wildwood, North Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and the Strathmere section of Upper Township."
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- The Beach, New Jersey Wildwoods. Accessed August 25, 2015. "The Wildwoods' free beaches offer plenty of room for a variety of summertime activities — everything from surfing to boogie-boarding to body surfing to tossing a Frisbee to reading in the shade."
- Suit, Lauren. "Wildwood Ultimate returns for 19th beach tournament", Shore News Today, July 28, 2011. Accessed September 4, 2011. "Adlis said they started with 12 teams the first year, last year the count reached 400, this year they expect about 430 teams with approximately 5,000 participants from throughout the country and a few international teams."
- Di Ionno, Mark. "Canadian tourists continue to flock to Wildwoods as vacation destination". The Star-Ledger. August 3, 2010. Accessed September 9, 2017.
- Suit, Lauren. "Wildwood Opts for Ipe Wood Over Black Locust in Boardwalk Construction", Cape May County Herald, December 23, 2008. Accessed November 11, 2013.
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- "'The Race of Gentlemen' Vintage Car & Motorcycle Beach Drag Races", The Press of Atlantic City, October 3, 2019. Accessed March 13, 2020.
- Moreno, Jose F.; Williams, Tyger. "Beat the tide: Hot rods and motorcycles take over Wildwood for the Race of Gentlemen", The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 6, 2019. Accessed March 13, 2020. "More than 100 drivers brought their best to Wildwood, N.J., this weekend for the annual Race of Gentlemen. They gathered with their machines of choice — hot rods or motorcycles — to race on the beach, a tradition organized by vintage car and motorcycle enthusiast group, The Oilers Club, since 2012."
- Romalino, Carly Q. "Marbles & mibsters on the Jersey Shore; For 95 Years Wildwood Has Hosted The National Marbles Tournament On Its Beaches. Who Represents NJ In The Competition?", The Courier-Post, June 19, 2018. Accessed March 23, 2020. "The National Marbles Tournament was established on this Jersey Shore beach between Wildwood and Pine avenues in 1922, hosting children ages 8 to 14 from all over the country for one week in June. The four-day competition ends Thursday when the winners of the boys' and girls' divisions will be crowned the King and Queen of Marbles."
- About, National Marbles Tournament. Accessed March 23, 2020.
- "A look at the USBL", The Record, May 29, 1985. Accessed December 22, 2020. "Wildwood Aces (Wildwood Convention Hall) Pete Monska's club received a big boost this week when it signed Villanova's Gary McLain, the point guard who made the national champion Wildcats go."
- Inventory of Municipal Forms of Government in New Jersey, Rutgers University Center for Government Studies, July 1, 2011. Accessed November 18, 2019.
- Suit, Lauren. "Updated: Wildwood voters pick Troiano, Byron and Leonetti for Commission", Shore News Today, May 10, 2011. Accessed November 11, 2013. "Voters also decided that the municipal election in Wildwood should be moved to the general election day in November 739 to 416. A yes vote supported moving the next municipal election to November 2015."
- 2022 Municipal Data Sheet, City of Wildwood. Accessed May 14, 2022.
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- Rickman, Rick. "Wildwood, NJ mayor, former mayor charged with state health benefits fraud, records tampering", NJ101.5, June 26, 2022. Accessed July 8, 2022. "Mayor Peter Byron, former Mayor Ernest Troiano, and current City Commissioner Steven Mikulski are each charged with unlawful taking and tampering with public records. Acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin announced the charges late Friday. Byron, 67, a Democrat, and Troiano, 71, a Republican, were first elected as city commissioners in 2011. Prosecutors said that the same year, they voted to pass a resolution declaring themselves as full-time employees working at least 35 hours each week."
- About Us, Wildwood Housing Authority. Accessed January 20, 2018.
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- via Associated Press. "Wildwood Mayor Recalled", The New York Times, December 12, 1984. Accessed May 17, 2011. "Residents of this resort in Cape May County voted tonight to recall Mayor Earl B. Ostrander and replace him with City Council President Victor DiSylvester."
- Gilfillian, Trudi. "Wildwood votes out mayor, commissioner in recall election", The Press of Atlantic City, December 9, 2009. Accessed May 17, 2011. "City voters ousted Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. and Commissioner Bill Davenport from City Commission in Tuesday's tax rate-driven recall election, selecting two newcomers to city government to replace them."
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- U.S. Sen. Cory Booker cruises past Republican challenger Rik Mehta in New Jersey, PhillyVoice. Accessed April 30, 2021. "He now owns a home and lives in Newark's Central Ward community."
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- Frequently Asked Questions, Cape May County Technical High School. Accessed October 27, 2019. "All residents of Cape May County are eligible to attend Cape May County Technical High School.... The Cape May County Technical High School is a public school so there is no cost to residents of Cape May County."
- Technical High School Admissions, Cape May County Technical High School. Accessed October 27, 2019. "All students who are residents of Cape May County may apply to the Technical High School."
- DiPasquale, Donna (June 22, 2010). "After 92 years, Star of the Sea School closes its doors". Cape Publishing, Inc. Retrieved September 11, 2020. - The author was the principal of Our Lady Star of the Sea Regional School.
- Gilfillian, Trudi. "Cape Trinity Catholic School opens in Wildwood Catholic building", The Press of Atlantic City, September 8, 2010. Accessed May 18, 2011. "Wildwood Catholic High School, which once occupied the entire building, will make use of parts of the second and all of the third floor, while Cape Trinity students will use the first and parts of the second floor. Both schools will share a first-floor cafeteria, but not at the same time.... The school hosts students who previously attended St. Ann's in Wildwood and Star of the Sea in Cape May, which includes students who once attended St. Raymond's in Lower Township."
- "Five Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Camden to close at end of school year", Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden, April 17, 2020. Accessed February 22, 2022. "The Diocese of Camden announced today that five schools in the diocese will close, effective the end of the current school term on June 30, 2020. The three elementary schools and two high schools are: Good Shepherd Regional Elementary School in Collingswood; Saint Joseph Regional Elementary School in Hammonton; Cape Trinity Catholic Elementary School in Wildwood; Saint Joseph High School in Hammonton; Wildwood Catholic High School in Wildwood:
- Yates, Riley. "5 N.J. Catholic schools to close, including South Jersey football powerhouse", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, April 17, 2020. Accessed February 22, 2022. "The schools also include Wildwood Catholic High School and Cape Trinity Catholic Elementary School, both in Wildwood; Good Shepherd Regional Elementary School in Collingswood; and Saint Joseph Regional Elementary School in Hammonton."
- Franklin, Chris. "2 Jersey Shore Catholic schools slated to close have been saved", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, June 4, 2020. Accessed February 22, 2022. "The Diocese of Camden approved a proposal to combine the Wildwood Catholic High School and Cape Trinity Catholic school to the newly formed, K-12 Wildwood Catholic Academy"
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- Time Series Values for Individual Locations, PRISM Climate Group Oregon State University. Accessed March 18, 2020.
- Water Temperature Table of All Coastal Regions, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Accessed March 18, 2020.
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- Schaad Jr., Jacob. "In another time: Three actors, three different takes on Wildwood life", Shore News Today, January 4, 2011. Accessed November 11, 2013. " According to his biography, Willis first worked at a clothing store at the corner of Pacific and Garfield Avenues in Wildwood during the summer and then as a bartender one night a week at the popular Red Garter nightclub in North Wildwood. After a few weeks he headed for New York City where, so the story goes, he was spotted by a movie person and signed to a contract."
- Staff. "'On the way to Cape May' composer, Cozy Morley, 87, dies; Comic legend was dubbed 'Bob Hope of the Jersey Shore'", Courier-Post, August 26, 2013. Accessed November 11, 2013.
- Staff. "Cocktails and Drinking Games for Smartphones and Mobile Devices", p. 149. MobileReference, 2007. ISBN 9781605011042. "The Lime Rickey is also known as a Gin Rickey. Rumored to be named for Colonel Rickey, an English officer once based in Washington, D.C., it is more popularly cited as originally being from the seaside resort community of Wildwood, New Jersey."
- Strauss, Robert. "The Heart of Rock 'n' Roll Is in Wildwood", The New York Times, September 4, 2005. Accessed October 28, 2019. "The Treniers even recorded a song called Everything's Wild in Wildwood."
- Sullivan, Dan. "2 Combos Blasting In City's Rock Pile; Candymen and The Nazz Do Their High-Decibel Thing", The New York Times, September 29, 1967. Accessed November 11, 2013. "The group does have some interesting rhythmic notions, notably a stop-the-beat effect gin the orgiastic climax of 'Wildwood Blues,' and, whether by accident or design, they sometimes fall into a kind of atonality that has a certain punch."
- Horning, Rob. Kiss: Alive!, PopMatters, April 27, 2004. Accessed November 11, 2013.
- "Wall Street (1987) screenplay, sfy.ru. Accessed August 18, 2008.
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- Harris, Chris. "CKY Almost Done With LP But Not Ready To Discuss Dead Body Yet ...; Drummer Jess Margera also reveals new side project with members of Clutch, Fireball Ministry, Moistboyz."", MTV.com, March 9, 2007. Accessed November 11, 2013. "Without giving too much of the macabre story away, drummer Jess Margera revealed that the track is about a childhood trip Miller took with his family to Wildwood, New Jersey, where he 'full-on found some dead body under the boardwalk.'"
- Callahan, Michael. "Pulse: 60-Second Critic: Music Video: Jason Aldean, 'Laughed Until We Cried'", Philadelphia, December 2007. Accessed July 23, 2013. "Aldean, the latest crooner trying to claim the mantle of Kenny Chesney Lite, strolls the Cape May beach and Wildwood Boardwalk with suitable pathos in this video, as he warbles your boilerplate 'Weren't things great back when' country tune from his latest CD, Relentless."
- Suit, Lauren . "Senna sees 'Randyland' the shot in the arm that Pacific Avenue needs", Shore News Today. August 3, 2011. Accessed October 18, 2012. "Senna wrote two autobiographies and is nearing completion on a documentary film about himself has also enjoyed his 30 minutes of fame when word of his collection drew producers from the A&E hit reality show Hoarders."
- DeLuca, Dan; and Urgo, Jacqueline L. "Kenny Chesney hits the Wildwood beach for free concert", The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 20, 2012. Accessed October 18, 2012. "With a Ferris wheel to his right and a roller coaster to his left, country-pop star Kenny Chesney took the stage Wednesday for a free concert before a crowd of 20,000 on the Wildwood beach as the sun was setting on the first night of summer."
- Argos, Greg. "Wildwood Acts As Home To New Major Motion Picture". KYW-TV, April 13, 2016. Accessed May 3, 2016. "The movie, called Wetlands, will star Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Heather Graham and Christopher McDonald. Location manager Alex Starke says Wildwood is not just the perfect place for filming."
- Joseph R. Applegate Archived February 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, Blacks at MIT History Project. Accessed February 8, 2016. "Born in 1925, Professor Applegate grew up in Wildwood, NJ, where his parents ran a small boarding house frequented by black entertainers such as Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong."
- Jacob Thompson Baker, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed August 4, 2007.
- Narducci, Marc. "South Jersey Football Standouts Score In The Nfl This Year, Nine Former High School Stars Are Suited Up In The Pros, Among Them Irving Fryar And Ron Dayne.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 13, 2000. Accessed June 14, 2007. "Wildwood's Randy Beverly had two interceptions for the New York Jets in Super Bowl III."
- Finding Aid for the Edwin Corle Papers, 1930-1956, Online Archive of California. Accessed November 11, 2013. "Edwin Corle (1906-1956) was born in Wildwood, New Jersey. He wrote several books and contributed articles and stories to the Atlantic Monthly, Harpers, New Yorker, Scribner's, and others."
- Ace Darling, Cagematch: The Internet Wrestling Database. Accessed November 11, 2013.
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- Saxon, Wolfgang. "Joy Hancock Dies; Last WAVES Chief", The New York Times, August 25, 1986. Accessed October 28, 2019. "Born in Wildwood, N.J., Miss Bright briefly belonged to the Naval Reserve in New Jersey and then stayed on as a civilian employee at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station."
- Raven, Benjamin. "Wildwood's Wes Hills nearly brought to tears upon learning of start after long journey to NFL", The Press of Atlantic City, December 16, 2019. Accessed February 5, 2020. "Wildwood High School graduate Wes Hills, left, of the Detroit Lions, battles for yards in the fourth quarter against Andrew Adams of Tampa Bay on Sunday. Hills scored two TDs in his NFL debut.... The Wildwood native and former Press High School Male Athlete of the Fall started in Detroit’s 38-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at Ford Field."
- Schaad Jr., Jacob. "In Another Time: A story of terror and murder started with a Wildwood birth", Shore News Today, November 9, 2013. Accessed November 11, 2013. "Ernest Ingenito was born in Wildwood on May 27, 1924.... His parents frequently traveled between Wildwood and Philadelphia and by the time he was 13 they had separated.... Subsequent crimes sent him to reformatories until he was paroled and sent back to his mother in Wildwood."
- Edge, Wally. "Former Miss New Jersey now leads Harry Reid by 13 points in Nevada Senate race", Politicker NJ, March 5, 2010. Accessed November 11, 2013. "Miss New Jersey 1974, Suzanne Plummer Lowden, leads U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid by 13 points, 51%-38%, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll released today. Lowden grew up in Wildwood, was Miss Cape May County, and was the second runner up for Miss America."
- Pena, Daniel. "Former WCW Wrestler Joey Maggs Passes Away", ProWrestling.com, October 16, 2006. Accessed February 1, 2011. "Maggs made his wrestling debut in 1987 at the age of 18. He was from Wildwood, New Jersey."
- Janson, Donald. "A Resort Seeks End To Turmoil", The New York Times, December 25, 1984. Accessed November 18, 2017. "The recall campaign also focused attention on a long-running feud between Mr. Ostrander and Assemblyman Guy F. Muziani, who had been Mayor of Wildwood for 11 years - when the voters elected commissioners and the commissioners selected one from their ranks to be Mayor - until the new form of government was implemented.
- via United Press International. "Lifetime pay for Parent?", Ellensburg Daily Record, April 22, 1975. Accessed February 1, 2011.
- Kaplan, Peter W. "Mickey Shaughnessy Dead; Comedian and Movie Actor", The New York Times, January 26, 1985. Accessed December 15, 2012. "Mickey Shaughnessy, a barrel-chested, pug-faced comedian who appeared in 41 movies, including From Here to Eternity, died of heart failure Tuesday in Cape May Courthouse, N.J. He was 64 years old and lived in Wildwood, N.J."
- George Sheldon, Acting Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and Families. Accessed November 11, 2013. "Born in Wildwood, New Jersey, George received both his B.A. and J.D. from Florida State University."
- Wildwood City website
- Wildwood, New Jersey Police Department
- Doo Wop Motel District Web site
- Wildwood Public School District
- School Performance Reports for the Wildwood Public School District, New Jersey Department of Education
- School Data for the Wildwood Public School District, National Center for Education Statistics
- New York Times article about endangered historical sites
- Wildwood Doo Wop History
- Doo Wop Motels: Architectural Treasures of The Wildwoods by Kirk Hastings 2007