For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and resuming a tradition that began on a yearly basis in 2013, "Free Toll Friday" will return to the Atlantic City Expressway as the Memorial Day Weekend getaway begins.

Philadelphia-area sports bar chain Chickie's & Pete's will pick up the tab for all cars traveling through the eastbound Egg Harbor toll plaza exit on Friday from 5 to 6 p.m.

Costs will be covered for both cash and E-ZPass customers during that one hour, accounting for a fraction of the 285,000 motorists who traditionally use the Expressway during this holiday weekend, according to the South Jersey Transportation Authority.

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Chickie's & Pete's also plans to give away free orders of Crabfries at the Frank S. Farley Plaza between 12 and 5 p.m., with Starbucks, Hershey's Ice Cream, 7-Eleven, and Fresh Attractions from Apple Green, the plaza's food service operator, also offering free food and drink, according to a release.

Coca-Cola will give away Monster energy drinks.

The release also said Farley Plaza will host face painting, the animal rescue sanctuary The Funny Farm, a dog search and rescue demonstration from the New Jersey State Police, and a display of fire and rescue equipment brought over from Atlantic City International Airport.

The Patriot Fund, which provides support to military veterans returning from active duty, is another one of the promotion's partners.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com

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