Before it had even begun organizers of the 25th Annual 50's Night in Downtown New Bedford were declaring success. Thousands squeezed into the downtown area for what has become a much anticipated event each summer. organizers say it was a record crowd for the event.

For those of us who remember seeing or operating the vintage cars on the streets of New Bedford when Elvis was king and Purchase Street was the place to be seen on a Thursday night, 50's Night brings back some mighty happy memories. The sounds of a more innocent time when you could go out and leave your front door and windows open fill the air on 50's Night. The music, upbeat and happy not angry and raunchy like much of what we're offered today. The 1950's were a time of prosperity and growth here at home. The World Wars and Korea were over and family life and dreaming big were as hot as Patti Page. Rock and roll was here to stay.

50's Night in Downtown New Bedford is an escape for some and a trip down memory lane for others. But for most of us 50's Night is an excuse to gather together to celebrate our diversities, our common interests, our love for nostalgia and most of all each other. For no matter how often we are told these days that we are a nation divided there was no evidence of that in Downtown New Bedford on a warm and steamy night in July.

Here's to Joe Jesus for organizing this wonderful event so many years ago. His vision transcends generations and daily concerns and if for only one evening unites our community in a joyous way.

Already looking forward to next year's event.