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Lead East 2013: Oldies Music and Car Show

Date: August 28, 2013 - September 1, 2013
Time: Throughout Labor Day Weekend

Welcome to LEAD EAST 2013, an Oldies Music and Old Car Festival Weekend unlike any event held anywhere on this planet. This is the 31st year for this cherished event. Over the years we've delivered a 100% American, 100% family, 100% fun series of events that celebrates the 50's decade. Over the years more than 200,000  people have come to our event and many have told us it is the best, most fun, most nostalgic event they have ever attended!

LEAD EAST is for 1972 and earlier vehicles (1974 and earlier allowed Sunday) but it's far more than just a car show! It is a conglomeration of dozens of groups of people who come together every year, set up their pop-up tents and BBQs next to one another, and kick back to wallow in the good vibrations that permeate the area for this magic, nostalgic weekend. The mellow atmosphere that glows over Parsippany every Labor Day Weekend is unmatched by any old car or oldies music festival anywhere! If you dig the good old days of greased hair, tail fins, and 50's rock n' roll, have we got a PARTY for your entire family! Join us to relive and revisit the best decade in history.

Over the three decades that LEAD EAST has existed, it has evolved into offering a virtual smorgasbord of indoor and outdoor activities. From the time the day starts in the morning with a Doo Wop A Cappella group singing our National Anthem over our public address system until the third 50’s movie in each night’s triple feature at our outdoor ACE DRIVE IN finishes, each day offers a long list of fun things to do for young and old alike.   

Most car events are done by 4:00 in the afternoon and people pack up and go home, but LEAD EAST is just getting started! It rocks day and night, with some people still dancing in the parking lot when the sun comes up! LEAD EAST is renowned and unchallenged as the best Oldies Nostalgia weekend anywhere! No other event event comes close. We offer an indoor and outdoor, day and night lineup of non-stop activities unmatched anywhere — Sock Hops, Drive-In Movies, Cruising, Jitterbug and Swing Dancing, Doo Wop A Cappella, Prom Night, and more!

If you want to stay at the host hotels, the Parsippany NJ Hilton and Hampton Inn (two adjoining hotels in the center of the event), both were SOLD OUT with reservations for 2013 a few days after the event in September of 2012. However, there are always some cancellations and there is a waiting list for reservations, so put your name on this waiting list. Call 973-267-7373 between 9-5 Monday-Friday. If you can’t get a reservation at the Hilton/Hampton Inn, the next best thing is to stay across the street at the Marriot. We’re happy to report that the Hanover Marriott will be operating a Free Shuttle bus from 9 AM to Midnight to the front gate of LEAD EAST for Marriott guests ONLY. There will be a portion of the Marriott parking lot designated for OLD CAR PARKING ONLY.

Food ranges from several restaurants and vendors inside the hotel to outdoor food vendors with a nice array of reasonably priced items. Many participants with old cars bring their own food and BBQ grills for the parking lot. The Hilton sells alcoholic beverages and beer in the hotel. Note: The police will not permit people riding in old cars inside the event to have an open container of alcohol! No riding around the event sitting on the roof, fenders, or trunks of cars. Everyone must be inside the car or trunk or pickup bed. Also, people allowing their underage children to sit on their lap and steer the car as they make laps around the event will be banned from the event for life!

In addition to playing recorded oldies and live Doo Wop over the P.A. system in the hotel parking lot, we have an outdoor stage for bands Friday night through Sunday, an indoor stage in the Hotel Ballroom providing live entertainment from Wednesday night though Sunday night, and a third stage in the Hotel Lobby Atrium area for Open Mike opportunities, plus 50's-60's Karaoke from Noon Friday to 4:30 PM Sunday. We also have a live band on that indoor stage Friday night, as well as another band on our outdoor stage. Tune your radio to 87.9 FM for our low-power broadcast of our outdoor P.A. system. You can listen to it on your car radio!

We also offer a Prom Sunday night with a DJ. This gives the ladies an opportunity to get dressed to the max.


Because of the popularity of “Doo Wop Idol," it's back! On Saturday from 12:30 to 2:30 PM, and on Sunday from 12:00 Noon to 1:30 PM, in the Lobby Atrium, we will let any single individual or group (amateurs only) that signs up get up on stage in the Lobby Atrium and sing one song in “Idol” competition. Judges will select one of those performances as that day’s winner and present them with a $300 cash prize! The winning individual or group will also earn the right to perform one song in that evening’s Oldies Concert onstage in front of the big audience in the Ballroom. Here’s a great opportunity for your group to perform onstage in front of an audience, and win! The regular hours of Open Mike and 50’s KARAOKE will take place the rest of the allotted time on Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday. 

A popular attraction that makes LEAD EAST really unique, we hire two great Doo Wop groups for Saturday and one on Sunday to wander around indoors and out to harmonize and entertain. Outdoors, our great DJ Jerry “The WOLFMAN” Burst spins oldies over our giant PA system. If that's not enough, we have a Welcome Party Wednesday night with The GREYHOUNDS band, colorful DJ The GOLDEN GUP for a Thursday night Party in the Ballroom, two Sock Hops with bands operating simultaneously Friday night, and bands onstage outdoors Saturday and Sunday afternoon! No other event we've ever seen has spontaneous Doo Wop groups singing a cappella into the early hours in the bar or hotel lobby! It's a magic atmosphere!

Dancing has always been part of our event, but in recent years it has grown to become even more popular. If you love to dance, from Wednesday night on through the weekend — sometimes until sunrise — we provide a variety of venues, indoors and out, with both live and recorded music where you can beat your feet or glide around the asphalt like a would-be Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

Normally we stage a dance contest at Friday night’s indoor Senior Sock Hop. This year we will determine thrre finalists on Friday night, and they will return to that dance floor Saturday night for  a DANCE OFF where the winning couple will win $300!

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