Lead East worlds biggest 50's Party Lead East worlds biggest 50's Party
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  • Lead East World’ Largets 50’s Party
  • Lead East World’ Largets 50’s Party
  • Lead East World’ Largets 50’s Party
  • Lead East World’ Largets 50’s Party
  • Lead East World’ Largets 50’s Party
  • Lead East World’ Largets 50’s Party
  • Lead East World’ Largets 50’s Party
  • Lead East World’ Largets 50’s Party
World’ Biggest 50’s Party

A 1950's Nostalgia Vacation getaway Weekend

World's Biggest 50's Party!


Loads of Oldies Bands & Doo Wop Groups along with 1,400 Vintage Cars


Wednesday, Aug. 31 through Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016


Parsippany NJ Hilton/Hampton Inn Hotels

Lead East

Is a five day Oldies Music and Old Car Festival Weekend unlike any event held anywhere on this planet. The word Lead is old car vernacular meaning customized car. It's what auto body men used before Bondo auto body filler was invented.

We deliver a series of events that celebrates the 50's decade. Over the years more than 250,000 people have come to our events. Many have told us it is the best, most fun, most nostalgic event they have ever attended!

Because of what our customers told us in a recent survey, we are keeping the car vintage 1972 & earlier Sat/'74 and earlier Sunday, with a strict enforcement to keep newer cars out. And we are keeping the music 50‘s.

Our Mission

Since 1983 we have produced a 100% American, 100% family, 100% fun weekend of old cars and 1950's music (1955-'63) with a full array of activities unmatched by any other event anywhere. From the beginning we believed that old car and oldies enthusiasts deserved a higher quality event.

With the exception of our first event at a dusty dirt race track, we have always held our event at a paved facility, well illuminated, so people could see at night. Our event is held at a first class hotel with indoor bathrooms and air conditioned indoor events as well as outdoor stages with entertainment. We have had “oldies” Drive-In Movies for all 33 years! At most car events there is nothing to do but look at cars and vendors and then go home at 4:00 PM. Our party goes from 9 AM to Midnight, and beyond, with a smorgasboard of activities and entertainment!

The Host Hotel Venue

We hold the event at a first class Hotel with many air-conditioned indoor activities and exhibits, plus clean first class indoor restrooms.
World's biggets 1950's partyoutdoor exhibits and cars
The optimum way to enjoy LEAD EAST is to stay four or five nights at the Parsippany Hilton / Hampton Inn (two adjoining hotels) where the party happens. Outdoors, the cars and exhibits are on clean asphalt (no parking cars on dirt) with adjacent grassy areas to set up your pop-up tents, BBQ's and picnic chairs, etc. Mercury vapor lamps illuminate the car areas at night so you're never in the dark. If it should rain, there is no mud as all cars park on paved asphalt.

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 have rooms available for the Aug. 31-Sept. 4, 2016 event! You need to book a four night stay. Call 973-267-7373, ext. 7353 between 9-5 Monday-Friday to book yours fast! OR email leadeastinfo@aol.com and we will forward it to the hotel. Do not call the Hilton Hotel's 800 central booking number because their computer shows the entire hotel being blocked for that date for our group, but rooms ARE AVAILABLE. If you have difficulty reaching the Reservation line, call our office at 908 876 9100 and we'll help you.

Free Shuttle To Hotel Accross The Street

When the Hilton gets sold out, or for people who can’t stay four nights, we recommend the Hanover Marriott across the street where you can stay 2-3 nights. The Marriott will be operating a Free Shuttle bus from 9 AM to midnight to the front gate of LEAD EAST for hotel guests ONLY. The Marriott is the only hotel offering a shuttle service. There will be a portion of the Marriott parking lot designated for OLD CAR PARKING ONLY.

The Marriott takes credit card reservations. Call 973-538-8811 and be sure to mention LEAD EAST. You can book a two or three-night stay at the Marriott for various prices, or you can book a Friday or Sunday ONLY reservation for one night.

The Festival Atmosphere

LEAD EAST is not just another "run of the mill" car show where nothing happens. It's a giant 50's PARTY, a Festival of the Fifties, offering more unique events than 15 normal shows put together! People come together every year, set up their pop-up tents and BBQ's next to one another, and kick back to wallow in the good vibrations that permeate the air for this magic, nostalgic weekend. The mellow atmosphere that glows day and night 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 a PARTY for your entire family! Join us to relive and revisit the best decade in history. We GUARANTEE there is no other event remotely like this. If you don’t have a great time at LEAD EAST, check your pulse to see if you are still alive!

Over the three-plus decades that LEAD EAST has existed, it has constantly evolved, offering a virtual smorgasbord of indoor and outdoor activities. From start 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, every day offers a long list of fun things to do for young and old alike.

World's biggets 1950's partylate night dance party
Most car events have virtually no activities and are over by 4:00 in the afternoon so people pack up and go home, but LEAD EAST is just getting started! It rocks from 9:00 AM to Midnight, 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 (and only) Oldies Nostalgia weekend anywhere! No other event even 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!

Food & Beverages

World's biggets 1950's partyGreat Food & Beverages
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 grilles 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!


(Prices include tax)

Adults - Thurs:$15
Junior - Thurs:$10
Adults - Fri-Sat-Sun: $20
Juniors - Fri-Sat-Sun: $15

"Adult" -18 and older
"Jr." - 12 to 17 yrs
"Children" - 11 & under

**Children 11 & under admitted FREE to car show when accompanied by adult. Children need a ticket for Sat & Sun night Oldies Concerts & Fri night Dance Party. Because we dropped the Admission price $10, there is no Senior Discount.

Weekend Adult Wristband: $55
Weekend Junior Wristband : $40
(Kids under 12 accompanied by Adult are FREE)


  • NEW: FREE shuttle vans for spectators to and from GAF, Campus 4 and 6 Spectator Parking Lots and Trailer Parking Lot to Main Ticket Booth, morning ‘till night.
  • NEW: Spectator Ticket prices reduced to 2006 rates of $20/Adult; $15 Junior 12-17. No more Discount coupons.
  • NEW: Half Price Spectator Entry for Active US Military or all Veterans with proof of service.
  • Two wristbands for each Old Car Plan B Entry returns.
  • NEW: FREE Wristbands for Juniors in Plan B Cars.
  • NEW: $100 prize Sat. & Sun. for best 50's dressed.
  • Strictly enforced pre-'75 Car vintage admittance. As always, later true customs welcome. Cars/trucks of any vintage with chopped top, extensive custom body modifications, hydraulics or air bags welcome. Since 1983, this has always been an event for true customs.
  • Muffler Rapping Returns.
  • Expanded indoor seating area for Karaoke
  • NEW: Meet Special Guests LARRY ERICKSON, designer of CADZILLA, rod builder DERRICK PESKO from CT and ROY BRIZIO (tentative) from California.
  • NEW: More Porta-Potties. Cleaner indoor hotel restrooms.
  • NEW: Supercharged AA/FD & Funny Car "CRACKLEFEST" Sunday.
  • NEW: Adding a venue: Four stages (2 indoors, 2 outdoors) with live entertainment simultaneously Sat. & Sun.
  • NEW: Outdoor entertainment by the Gazebo Sat. & Sun. with tables and chairs for spectators to sit down and rest.
  • NEW: Fishing Derby and Radio Controlled boats in "Lake Pb".
  • NEW: Official Guinness Book of Records "Longest Stroll" record attempt.
  • Pie-Eating Contest returns with Junior, Adult and Senior categories.
  • NEW: Elvis/Johnny Cash/Buddy Holley/Roy Orbison Impersonator Contest Sunday with $300 cash prize.
  • NEW: Redesigned snow fence for expanded grassy pop-up tent BBQ area for Kraft Plan B cars.
  • Prom Queen Parade around the event in convertibles returns. No charge for Prom tickets this year but quantity limited due to size of room.
  • Tables and seating by outdoor food vendors for people to sit down to eat or just rest.
  • NEW: Burgers by the outdoor pool with steel drum "Tiki" music & atmosphere. Another outdoor place to sit and relax.
  • NEW: Parade of the Tri-Five Chevies around the event Sunday following 1955-’57 Car & Truck Mini Meet from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
  • Improved Concert lineups Sat. & Sun.
  • NEW: Combination Concert & Spectator Packages reduced $5 to $85 Gold VIP, $75 VIP and $65 Orchestra.

Music & Dancing

Friday Night Indoor Dance Party

Rockin’ band The GREYHOUNDS in the Ballroom for our Friday Night Dance Party.


Saturday and Sunday evening we have GOLDEN OLDIES CONCERTS in the ballroom with top groups, Saturday at 7:00 PM starring The HEARTBEATS, EUGENE PITT, CLEVELAND STILL & The DUBS, The FIREFLIES, A cappella groups MEMORIES OF YOU and CLASSIC SOUNDS plus the winner of Saturday’s DOO WOP IDOL Competition!

Sunday’s Concert in the Ballroom starts earlier at 4:00 PM and features CHARLIE THOMAS & The DRIFTERS, LARRY CHANCE & The EARLS, KID KYLE plus FOUR MAN TRIO, Doo Wop A Cappella Groups MAGIC TOUCH and ECHOES OF TIME, The winner of Saturday’s DOO WOP IDOL Competition and the winner of Sunday’s ELVIS/ROY ORBISON/BUDDY HOLLY Impersonator Competition. Concerts are MC’d by COOL BOBBY B of Sirius XM radio fame

Afternoon A Cappella

We are continuing a tradition we’ve had for decades at LEAD EAST with four fabulous DOO WOP groups in the ballroom Saturday at 1:00 PM including MEMORIES OF YOU, The WHIPTONES, STILL AROUND and CLASSIC SOUNDS. FREE to anyone inside the event (no reserved seats). Groups Sunday include MAGIC TOUCH, DESIRE, ECHOES OF TIME and PARTY OF 5. We will also have strolling and spontaneous Doo Wop acappella groups. We’re doing our best to keep this American tradition alive.

Doo Wop Idol

On Saturday in the Lobby Atrium from 12:30 to 2:30 PM, 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 the winner and present them with a $300 cash prize! The winning individual or group will also earn the right to perform one song in Saturday’s and Sunday’s Oldies Concert onstage in front of the big audience in the Ballroom. Here’s a great opportunity for you or your group to perform onstage in front of an audience, and win! Open Mike and 50’s KARAOKE will take place the rest of the allotted time on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


We present our 30th annual SENIOR PROM Sunday evening with a DJ giving the ladies an excuse to get all dolled up. Because Prom-goers prefer to have their exclusivity, this event will take place in the Heritage Room. D.J. LIL’ JIMMY will provide the tunes. Tickets are FREE, available at the event in Main Hallway, but number of tickets available limited due to space. The Prom Queen Parade around the event will return with gals riding in convertibles, but for insurance reasons they must sit in the seats of the car, not atop the trunk.

Friday Night Outdoor Sock Hop

The RAVE ON Band on our outdoor stage for our 34th annual Sock Hop. DJ Lil’ JIMMY will spin when the band takes a break so there will be non-strop dancing. Dance Contest preliminaries at 10:30 PM.

50's Karaoke

The Lobby Atrium area will be used exclusively for 50’s KARAOKE and OPEN MIKE performances supervised by D.J. PAT FERANTE. This will run from Noon to Midnight Friday, from 11:30 AM to Midnight Saturday and 11:30 AM to 10:00 PM Sunday! This will include the 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM DOO WOP IDOL Competition on Saturday and our new Elvis/Buddy Holley/Johnny Cash/Roy Orbison Competition on Sunday. The Lobby Atrium seating layout was dramatically improved for 2015, and that area will have even more chairs for 2016 to provide expanded space for anybody to sit and relax throughout the event in air-conditioned comfort while watching non-stop oldies entertainment. The Junior Greaser, Nerd Contest, Best Bobby Soxer Contests, etc. will take place on the Lobby Atrium stage conducted by PAT FERANTE. Times to be announced.

New: Impersonator Competition

Sunday afternoon from 12:30 to 2:30 PM we will conduct an Elvis/Roy Orbison/Jonny Cash/Buddy Holly/etc. impersonator Competition in the Lobby Atrium. Professionals welcome. There will be a $300 prize and the winner can perform one song in front of the big audience in the Sunday afternoon 4:00 PM Oldies Concert in the Ballroom.

Outdoor Live Music with New Seating & Free Shuttle Busses

We have our outdoor stage, grandstands and dance area for entertainment Friday night through Sunday afternoon plus a new Gazebo Area with entertainment Saturday and Sunday. Both of these venues have seating, as well as our new picnic tables by the two outdoor food vendors so spectators can sit down. Three FREE hotel shuttle vans will continuously operate from the spectator parking lots and Trailer parking lot to the event main gate and back to the parking lots so you can ride rather than walk.

New: Outdoor Gazebo in the Garden

To provide a place outdoors for anyone inside the event to sit down and watch entertainment, we are putting tables and chairs in front of the outdoor Gazebo. Oldies band THE JERSEY SHORE ROUSTABOUTS, solo act DAVE (Bop with the Beas) BEASLEY and an A cappella Group on stage Saturday afternoon & killer blues band THE MEDICINAL PURPOSE from MA at 8:00 PM. Sunday afternoon band FOUR MAN TRIO performs at the Gazebo.

Additional Activities & More...

"Cracklefest" & Muffler Rapping

Sunday afternoon and evening we’re bringing in BRIAN BEATTIE’s restored JIM & ALLISON LEE “Great Expectations” front engined AA/FD and the ROCKY’s ROD SHOP supercharged fuel burning ’72 ”Time Bomb” Vega Funny Car to fire up their engine and “cackle” the motor. And we’re bringing back the Muffler Rapping Contest (we invented it in 1984). All in the in the "echo chamber" by Wolfman. Bring earplugs.

Reserved Parking Spaces

Unlike any other car event anywhere, we offer old car owners the option to choose and reserve their weekend parking space in advance for $50 additional. This was their idea, not ours. When you arrive there is a "Party Pass" inside a clear plastic baggie already taped down in your parking spot waiting for you. This is your space all weekend. No "Power Parking" stress.

Special Guest Larry Erickson

One of our celebrity guest will be LARRY ERICKSON, chief designer of the 2005 Mustang Design Team at Ford and designer of ZZ Top's CADZILLA.

Hopefully he will be joined by ROY BRIZIO of CA and CT rod builder DERRICK PESKO. Sat. & Sun. they will conduct several seminars on Rod & Custom Design and Building.

50's Collectibles Show

World's biggets 1950's partyCollectible Juke Boxes
Collectibles show in Rear Ballroom and Ballroom Pre-Assembly area and expanded into Elements Ballroom: Juke boxes, vintage clothes, Elvis, Marilyn, and James Dean memorabilia, and lots of other goodies for sale!

Other Survey Feedback

We got a lot of great suggestions from our Sept. survey of 1,500 Lead East supporters. We asked, we listened, we’re lowering prices, making many improvements and adding new activities.

We’re getting more porta-potties, cleaner hotel restrooms, redesigned snow fencing along the west side of the Kraft B lot to provide a lot more grassy area for pop-up tents and BBQ’s, better Concert lineups, tables where people can sit down outdoors near the food vendors and by the Gazebo, strict enforcement of the pre-’75 car vintage rule, wristbands for B Juniors, Prom Queen Parade returns, lots of new activities like “Crackelfest”, cash prizes for Best 50‘s Dressed, and more to come!

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