What is probably New Jersey’s best known piece of roadside kitsch, Lucy the Elephant, is turning 140 years old and there’s going to be a birthday party thrown by the city of Margate on Saturday, July 17.

According to New Jersey Monthly, the party will include a trackless train ride, 9-hole miniature golf course and other rides, games and inflatables. There will also be hot dogs, funnel cakes and refreshments, as well as appearances by Mackie the Stiltwalker. The Save Lucy Committee will break out Lucy’s cake at 3 pm.

The theme of the party is based on the movie “National Lampoon’s Vacation” since Lucy makes a brief appearance in the opening credits. They’ll be singing “Happy Birthday” and cutting the cake at 3 PM; you can get a free piece of cake while supplies last.

Lucy, which was designated as a National Historic Landmark In 1976, was originally built in 1881 by a real estate developer hoping to sell lots in Margate (then known as South Atlantic City), the six story pachyderm served as an office, a tavern, and a cottage before falling into disrepair in the 1960s. She was even scheduled for demolition.

The Save Lucy Committee was formed and raised the money to both move her and renovate her. In 1970, she was moved about 100 yards to a city owned lot and the original wood structure was buttressed by steel. She has now been in the same spot for 50 years. Tours became available in 1974 (and continue to this day). She was also used as an Air BnB earlier this year.

For more information about the party or about Lucy in general, she has her own website.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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