The Big Story? There’s a Jim Gardner Tailgate Planned for Tonight’s Newscast
Philadelphia can be SO Philly sometimes. We love tailgating, right?
So I guess I'm not even really surprised to find out that there's an actual tailgate planned for Jim Gardner's final broadcast on 6 ABC later tonight.
Replacement for Jim Gardner at 6 PM Announced
Seriously. A group of Philadelphians will be gathering in West Philly outside with signs and fun to prepare for a television newscast.
Gardners's legendary 46-year career will end tonight when he anchors his final 6 pm broadcast (earlier in the year he stepped away from the station's 11 pm broadcast).
Rick Williams Replaces Jim Gardner at 11 PM
Wednesday afternoon's tailgate will start at 4 p.m. in the back corner of the Target parking lot on City Avenue. That Target store is located right across the street from the 6 ABC studios.
Chris Miko, a resident of Wilmington, DE, is the organizer. He first shared the idea on Twitter back in November 2021 when Gardner's retirement was first announced.
"Philadelphians will tailgate anything, especially if it's important to them," he said. "Who's more important to the city of Philadelphia than the Jim? The greatest of all time," Miko told PhillyVoice.com this week.
Miko encouraged attendees to come with signs on Twitter as well.
In fact, he even ordered T-Shirts featuring vintage photos of Jim, and he's hoping to set up a television screen in the parking lot so guests will be able to watch the final broadcast.
What music will be playing during the tailgate? You guessed it.
He also is planning on playing the Action News theme song on a constant loop. You know the song we're talking about, right? "Move closer to your world, my friend..."
Target's management has not responded to Miko's request for a tailgater, but the contingency plan for this afternoon is to move the festivities to the nearby public sidewalk, apparently.
How many Philadelphians will actually show up? It's not clear, but with more than 240 likes on Twitter so far, we suspect that quite a few fans will arrive.
"I'd like to say Jim Gardner is important to everyone," Miko told PhillyVoice.com. "Even if you're partial to NBC10 or CBS3, everyone loves and adores Jim. He's been a staple of the community for decades and seems to be one of the most sincere, humble media members we've had the pleasure of getting to know. We are all going to miss him."
Tributes continue to pour in from across the area too. Here's how CBS 3 paid tribute to Jim last night: