On your way to Atlantic City for Memorial Day Weekend?
Chickie’s & Pete’s hopes to turn crabby traffic-weary commuters happy.
Drivers on the Atlantic City Expressway will get free tolls between 5-6 p.m. May 24 at the Egg Harbor Toll Plaza, courtesy of Chickie’s & Pete’s.
In addition to the free tolls, Chickie’s & Pete’s is offering free family fun at Frank S. Farley Travel Plaza between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
This is the sixth year in a row Chickie’s & Pete’s will pay for tolls for travelers. It’s also in memory of CEO Pete Ciarrocchi’s military family.
“We’re excited to be back at Farley’s Plaza hosting one of our favorite annual events this year,’ said Ciarrocchi. “We love to send everyone off to the shore in good spirits before a big holiday weekend!”
Free toll honors military veterans
Ciarrocchi chose Memorial Day Weekend to pay the tolls as a way to honor his family’s military tradition.
“My dad and my uncles were all in the military,” said Ciarrocchi.
“In fact, my Uncle George, who was my restaurant mentor, won the Silver Star for bravery. He was quite the guy and I couldn’t think of a better way to honor him.”
On Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial start of the summer, at least one million people will travel through New Jersey for the holiday.
An average of 285,000 motorists are expected to use the Atlantic City Expressway between Friday and Monday.
Free festival planned as well
But it’s more than just free tolls.
On Friday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., Chickie’s & Pete’s and the South Jersey Transportation Authority (SJTA) will be hosting festivities at the Farley Travel Plaza. Included in the fun are free giveaways of the restaurant’s legendary Crabfries, and free samples of food and beverages from Starbucks, Hershey’s Ice Cream and Fresh Attractions.
The free samples come courtesy of the plaza’s restaurateur and operator, HMSHost.
Families will not only enjoy a chance to stretch their legs and get free food, but there will also be some entertainment.
For instance, the NJ State Police dog search and rescue team is planning a free demonstration, and the Cape May Carriage Company is also bringing a small group of Dalmatian puppies for children to meet, greet, and pet in a supervised area.
The traffic on the AC Expressway on the weekends and holidays is enough to drive anyone to the funny farm. And on Friday, there will literally be a Funny Farm, an animal rescue sanctuary that provides a home for farm and zoo animals.
Fire and rescue equipment from Atlantic City International Airport and the State Police, which operates a station at Farley Plaza, will also be displayed.
Oh, and keep your eyes to the sky for when the New Jersey State Police lands one of its helicopters.
Save a little money for your Atlantic City trip
With the money saved on the Egg Harbor toll (and those free snacks), those on their way to Atlantic City’s casinos will have a few extra dollars to use at the slots, tables, or the sportsbooks.
Here are a few Atlantic City casino promotions for the holiday weekend:
If you’re going to Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, the property will mark the last few weeks of NJ sports betting at the Race & Sports Book before it goes back to a horse-racing only room.
You’ll be able to place your sports bets and get a bit more elbow room on June 29 when Borgata opens its new 8,000-square-foot Moneyline Bar & Book.
But on Saturday and Sunday, Borgata is also giving away 500 bonus slot dollars to one winner every 15 minutes from noon to 7 p.m. Players can enter by inserting their M life Rewards cards into any slot machine or opening any table games rating from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Hard Rock AC & Caesars
If you have off of work on Friday (or are calling in “sick”), you can start the holiday weekend early with Hard Rock Atlantic City’s Beat the Traffic sweepstakes. On Friday, 80 winners will be drawn between noon and 7 p.m. to win up to $1,000 in bonus free play or promo chips.
And beginning Friday, all new Caesars Rewards members will receive $10 table play, one complimentary beverage, or $10 hotel credit.
It’s not New Year’s Eve but Resorts Casino is dropping the ball.
The Sixth Annual Beach Ball Drop gets bouncing at 5 p.m. when 5,000 beach balls drop on the Boardwalk.
If guessing is your game, enter your guess for how many baseballs are in the container on the casino floor one time per day at any kiosk until May 27 for Resorts’ Guessing Game.
Then, at 6 p.m. on May 27, the 10 players who guessed closest to the actual number without going over will win $500 slot cash.
Ocean Casino Resort is running a $250,000 Mercedes Benz Giveaway from May 31-June 29.
There will be a 5X entry multiplier every Tuesday. Qualifier drawings are every Friday and Saturday between 6 and 10 p.m. Five winners every hour will receive up to $1,000 and qualify for the grand prize drawing.
And three winners will get their choice of a C300, CLA 250 or GLA 250. Entries are earned on slot and table play, but poker play is excluded.