NEW BEDFORD (WBSM) — The spirits of both the 1950s and one of New Bedford’s most beloved icons will continue on again this July, as Joe Jesus’ 50s Night will return to downtown.

The free event is scheduled for its traditional date of the third Thursday in July. That means the event will be held on July 18, with a rain date of July 25.

The event will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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50s Night was the creation of New Bedford’s Joe Jesus, who ran the operation single-handedly for 30 years. The idea was to celebrate the great decade of the 1950s, a definitive one for Jesus and all who grew up during that era, visiting downtown New Bedford on a Thursday night with their car freshly waxed and everyone looking their best.

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Townsquare Media

After Jesus passed away in 2019, his granddaughter Dawn Mahler took over the event, along with Scott Pemberton. Joe Jesus 50s Night Downtown New Bedford is now a 501c3 nonprofit organization that teams up annually with local car clubs to put on this signature summer event.

Expect hundreds of vintage and antique cars, live entertainment, food trucks, refreshment vendors and more lining the streets of downtown New Bedford in celebration of the 1950s, of the summer and of course in celebration of Joe Jesus.

Don’t forget, too, that in honor of 50s Night, WBSM will have a special broadcast of all 50s music from 3 p.m. to midnight that day to get you ready for the event, keep you rocking during it, and then bringing you that “backseat music” for once the event is over.

New Bedford's '50s Night Over the Years

Joe Jesus' '50s Night was a longtime staple of New Bedford's summer schedule with 29 straight years until road construction held it off in 2018. It came back in 2019 following Joe's passing, but it missed 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It made a triumphant return in 2022 and is set to become an annual tradition once again. Take a look at '50s Night over the years.

Gallery Credit: Tim Weisberg

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Abandoned North Truro Military Base is a Peek Into 1950s Cape Cod

After closing in 1994, the North Truro Air Force Base has been left untouched. Decay, destruction and graffiti have taken over many of the buildings, but some family belongings can still be spotted. The area is now in the possession of the National Parks Service, and according to an update on Atlas Obscura from June 2021, the base had been fenced off and locked tight to visitors hoping to get a glimpse inside the historical Cape Cod site. Luckily, YouTuber @Exploring With Josh took viewers inside the base back in 2015, so we can still take a peek inside the long-abandoned property.

Gallery Credit: Kari Jakobsen

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