The last time the Joe Jesus' '50s Night celebration occurred in Downtown New Bedford was 2019, just months after its founder, Joe Jesus, passed away. The future of the event that drew thousands of people from near and far into the downtown area each summer remains in doubt today.

The final Joe Jesus' '50s Night was Thursday, July 22, 2019. Jesus died in March that year. Friends and supporters gathered sponsors to hold an event in Joe's honor. He would have been proud.

The last time Joe Jesus presided over his beloved '50s Night was in 2017. The event was called off in 2018 due to concerns about road re-construction in the downtown area. The COVID-19 pandemic claimed '50s Night in 2020 and 2021.

So far, no one has publicly expressed an interest in reviving the popular event that mixed live oldies music with classic cars from the 1950s. WBSM has heard that there is someone interested in taking up the running of the event, but nothing is in place as of yet.

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The event was always held on a Thursday night because that's when everyone who was anyone went downtown. Jesus owned several businesses in the downtown area and sought to recreate that excitement.

"The Joe Jesus '50s Night was a community staple for years, as it had the uniqueness of connecting families, residents, and visitors from all generations for a fun-filled evening," City Council President Ian Abreu said. "I hope some community group or organization steps forward and brings this lively event back."

Abreu said "we could certainly use more fun in our lives" following the COVID pandemic.

As of now, there are no plans for a Joe Jesus '50s Night this summer – but of course, that could change, and if it does, we'll be sure to let you know.

Did you go to the Joe Jesus '50s Nights in New Bedford? Do you wish someone would revive the event?

New Bedford's '50s Night Over the Years

Joe Jesus' '50s Night was a longtime staple of New Bedford's summer schedule before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. Take a look at '50s Night over the years.