Fresh off the Labor Day weekend, our summer visitors have headed home and our children are heading back to school. It’s been a great summer for the County’s beachfront communities.
The beach season started off extremely well with great weather and very little rain. You may remember that July 4th was the first rainy weekend day of the summer. You may also remember that the weather cleared by 4 p.m. and gave most beaches, attractions and events a wonderful weekend to kick off the season.
Most beach towns have provided initial reports that beach badge sales are up over last year and some are reporting very strong seasonal badge sales. This means that repeat visitors are back! While final tallies won’t be in for another month, this indicates that we continue to make Monmouth County a great summer vacation location.
Record crowds were reported at Riverfest in Red Bank, Belmar Seafood Festival, Lobster Fest in Bradley Beach, Ocean Fest in Long Branch (after 4 pm), the Haskell at Monmouth Park Racetrack, Monmouth County Fair and the BBQ and Craft Brew Festival at Monmouth Park this past Labor Day weekend.
Here are a couple of notable items: Bradley Beach reported that attendance at their weekly Reilly Park concerts were up and that local restaurants and businesses saw an uptick in mid-week business and visitation. Monmouth Park hosted a successful new event this year-U.S. Pro Mini Golf Tournament in mid-August. It was a great success. Keansburg Amusements celebrated their 110th Anniversary on August 28th with throwback prices of $1.10 for some rides, food and games. New and old traditions keep people coming back to the New Jersey Shore every year.
All of this is important because visitors to Monmouth County spend $2.2 billion annually on food, accommodations, transportation, entertainment and retail sales. Visitors to Monmouth County also pay $281 million in state and local taxes. More than 30,000 people are employed in tourism related jobs in the county.
We expect the tourism season to continue on this upward trend through the remainder of the year. Some events to look for as we move into fall:
- Feast of San Gennaro in Belmar, September 20 -21
- Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival September 28
- Allaire Village’s Fall Harvest Festival September 27
- Highlands Oktoberfest October 4
Thomas A. Arnone is a Freeholder on The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders