Dawn Mahler, Joe's granddaughter, knew there were very big shoes to fill as she coordinated the beloved event, free and open to the public of all ages for the SouthCoast. She did a wonderful job of honoring Joe's memory and sending downtown New Bedford back in time in August of 2019. The community loved coming out to see the classic and antique cars on August 22. Some even got dressed up for the occasion, with poodle skirts and leather jackets. We were all happy to see Joe's legacy live on.

Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented us from letting 50s Night go on as scheduled in 2020. What would have been the perfect July night in a family-friendly atmosphere, could no longer be considered safe due to the novel coronavirus. The event draws too many people from all over and there is no way to safely practice social distancing measures downtown with that kind of crowd. Ensuring the health and safety of our community is critical during these unprecedented times. Mahler was hopeful for bringing this event back in 2021 and making it better than ever before.

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Unfortunately, Joe Jesus' 50s Night will have to wait one more year before we can safely celebrate the 50s again. The pandemic has created many obstacles in terms of planning, but maybe we will appreciate the event that much more when we can finally gather again for some family fun.

“Thank you to all who continue to support this beloved tradition and honoring my grandfather," Mahler said.

While New Bedford will miss 50s Night again this year, we look forward to its return during the summer of 2022.

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