(Sold only at the gate at the event; no advance sales.)

Adults - Thurs or Fri: $12
Adults - Sat or Sun: $20

Jr. & Sr. - Thurs or Fri : $10
Jr. & Sr. - Sat or Sun $15

"Adult" -18 to 65 yrs old
"Jr." - 12 to 17 yrs
"Sr." - 66 yrs and older
"Children" - 11 & under

Children admitted FREE to car show when accompanied by adult.
Children need a ticket for Fri, Sat & Sun night Oldies Concerts.

Appleton Productions
PO Box G
Long Valley, NJ 07853
(908) 876-9100

Website designed by
PLP Graphic Design

Copyright Appleton Productions
All rights reserved

Click to see the
2010 Lead East
Highlight Video

by Woodstar Productions

34 Oldies Bands & Doo Wop Groups!
1,800 Vintage Cars from 22 States!

The 30th LEAD EAST
was a blast!

The lucky winner of the 50-50 Raffle
took home $16,777.50!
Congratulations, Joanne Thurlow!

We raised over $2000 for the Salvation Army this year,
to benefit those in New Orleans hit with flooding.

LeadEast has been a proud supporter of the
Make-a-Wish Foundation for many years,
raising a total of $110,000 and granting
20 wishes over the past nine years!!

World's Biggest 50's Party!
New York/New Jersey Metro's
Biggest Old Car Event!

Wednesday, Aug. 28 thru Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013
Parsippany NJ Hilton Hotel

Welcome to LEAD EAST, an Oldies Music and Old Car Weekend unlike any event held anywhere. This is the 30th 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. Tens of thousands of 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 not just a car show!

LEAD EAST is a giant 50's PARTY, offering more unique events than 15 normal car shows added together. 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 anywhere 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. We GUARANTEE there is no other event remotely like this on the planet. If you don’t have a great time at LEAD EAST, check your pulse to see if you are still alive!

Over the three decades that LEAD EAST has existed, it has evolved into offering a virtual smorgasbord of 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.    

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 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!

Many people told us they wished the event lasted longer, so we’re starting it Wednesday afternoon August 29th. At night we’ll have a kickoff party with the rockin’ 5-piece band THE GREYHOUNDS performing in the Ballroom from 7:30 to 11:30 PM. Numerous people told us at the 29th LEAD EAST how much they loved this band, which set the oldies mood for the weekend. As a courtesy to those people who are registered and staying at the Hilton and Hampton Inn Wednesday night, we will offer a VIP SIGN UP for the 2013 event starting in the afternoon as they enter the event. In this way, those people will not have to wait until Friday morning at 10 AM to reserve their rooms and Plan A parking spots for the following year.     

The word LEAD is a synonym for "customized car." We fill four adjacent parking lots with 1,800 restored classic 1972 and earlier cars, customs, lowriders, and street rods. Many are for sale. Last year it attracted 1,800 cars (honest count) from more than 22 states, as far as Canada, Florida and Wisconsin, because it offers activities and non-stop entertainment unlike any other "car show" or oldies concert. This year we even have a car coming from Oklahoma!

If you love custom cars — a true American art form — year in and year out LEAD EAST gathers more leadsleds than any other event on the planet. This event was created in 1983 to promote the custom car movement, and it has done just that. Many cars have been built and finished with LEAD EAST as the deadline, the event being an incentive for guys to start and complete their dream car. There are always a number of fresh, incredibly high quality customs on display at the event that we guarantee you have not seen.

Providing 94-year-old John is still in good health, the King of Ghouls and MONSTER MASH will return Saturday and Sunday in the 50’s COLLECTIBLES SHOW signing autographs, and will probably be found Saturday night hanging around Gup’s Enclave in the rear of the Hilton parking lot.

One unique feature of LEAD EAST that makes it unlike any other car event is the fact that a one-way flow of traffic cruises around the Hilton/Hampton Inn parking lot. You can drive your old car in this flow and tour the Hilton and three other parking lots, or you can just sit in your lawn chair and watch all the cars file by you. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, this “spin cycle” action gives the event a life, a pulse, and an atmosphere unlike any car event on planet Earth!

We'd love to see your car at LEAD EAST 2012! You can register your car at the show or pre-register in advance. Every year a higher percentage of the cars entered are pre-registered! For the 2011 event, two-thirds of the cars pre-registered and reserved their parking spot. Several years ago participants told us they wanted to reserve their old car parking space in advance for an additional fee. We tried the concept and it has become so popular, virtually all of the Hilton-Hampton Inn parking lot is reserved spaces. In 2011 all of the Kraft or “B” Lot was reserved in advance, as well as 400 spaces in the Daiichi parking lot. The event is growing in popularity and every year more and more people pre-register, and we expect the entire B Lot will again be reserved in advance for the 2012 event. You can reserve your spot when you pre-register. See the link below for parking lot maps.

Every Plan A (4-5 day) and Plan B (3 day) car entered receives a PARTY PASS, which can be taped down in that car’s parking space so once it is there, that is your spot for the remainder of the weekend! There are no PARTY PASSES or Reserved parking spots for One Day (Sat. or Sun.) old car participants. If you want to make sure you can park next to your buddy, or if there is a specific spot you want, you can reserve your exact old car spot when you Pre-Register. The sooner you pre-register, the better your pick of spaces.

Because we respect our repeat customers, we gave anyone with a reserved spot until December 31st to reserve the same spot for the 2012 event. On January 1, all unreserved spaces became available for anyone to reserve them. Reserving a parking spot is your option and is not required. LEAD EAST is the only event we know that offers old car owners this option, which eliminates the “power parking” hassle, stress, and inconvenience that occurs at many ordinary old car events.    

Click here for all old car parking  lot maps

Click here to Register

While LEAD EAST is restricted to 1972 and earlier cars to keep it as a true “oldies" event, because we are all getting older and so are our cars, on Sunday, September 2nd we will allow 1976 and earlier cars to enter the event as One Day Entries. They will park in the Daiichi parking lot (formerly known as Deloite & Touche), but they will be allowed to cruise the entire events as all other entries do.

Car clubs wishing to come for Sunday ONLY can call Linda at (908) 876-9100 to register 10 or more cars for Sundayonly.

NOTE: As in past years, as a courtesy to those who are thoughtful enough to register in advance, Pre-Registered B cars will be admitted to the event a few hours in advance of the non-pre-registered on-site B cars, on Friday.  This also reduces congestion at Registration. 

If you want to stay at the host hotel, the Parsippany NJ Hilton and Hampton Inn (two adjoining hotels in the center of the event), both were SOLD OUT with reservations for 2012 a few days after the event in September of 2011. 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.

SHUTTLE BUS TO HANOVER MARRIOTT: 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.

We hold the event at a first class Hilton Hotel with many air-conditioned indoor activities and exhibits, plus clean first class indoor restrooms. Outdoors, the cars and exhibits are on clean asphalt with grassy areas to set up your 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. 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. Since the Hilton / Hampton Inn is SOLD OUT, we strongly recommend the Hanover Marriott across the street because of the convenience of the Free Shuttle bus. This is the ONLY hotel offering a shuttle service, and it is for Marriott guests only. The Marriott takes credit card reservations. Call 973-538-8811 and be sure to mention LEAD EAST. The minimum stay to reserve a room at the Marriott is 2 nights.

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. At least 12 Doo Wop A Cappella Groups will be singing 5-part harmony in the Hotel Ballroom Saturday and Sunday afternoon, and three Oldies Concerts Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night feature name groups with hit records from the 1950's and early 60's.

We’re always trying new ideas in a constant effort to improve and refine our event. This year, on Sunday afternoon Sept. 2nd from 1:30 to 2:30 PM we will stage the Elimination Round of our new 50’s IMPERSONATOR CONTEST on the Lobby Atrium stage. There, three finalists will be selected to perform one song each on the stage in the Ballroom at the Sunday night Oldies Concert. The winner there will receive a $300 prize! To enter each contestant must dress and sing the part of the celebrity they are impersonating.

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 three great Doo Wop groups for Saturday and two 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 offer DJ The GOLDEN GUP for a Welcome Party Thursday night 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!

Because it’s the 30th annual, we’re bringing back the “FONZIE” Award, which we will now call THE LEAD EAST HALL OF FAME. If you would like to nominate a person, living or dead, who is memorable for their persona at our event, we will consider the nominess and name a winner of the FONZIE AWARD at LEAD EAST 2012.

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!

Last year the dance floor at the Friday night indoor SOCK HOP was too small and too crowded, in 2012 we are expanding the dance floor and  rearranging the seating to make more room for dancing!


Site last updated 8/21/12