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160,000 People Flock to 26th Annual Belmar Seafood Festival [PHOTOS]

More than 160,000 seafood lovers flocked to the Jersey Shore this weekend for the three-day 26th Annual Seafood Festival in Belmar at Silver Lake Park.

Saturday at the 26th Annual Belmar Seafood Festival (Leanne Vuksanic)
Saturday at the 26th Annual Belmar Seafood Festival (Leanne Vuksanic)

This year’s seafood festival was the largest ever.

“Over the three-day period we’re looking at about 160,000 people,” says Mary Brabazon, event coordinator for the Belmar Seafood Festival.

“Last year we started a half-day event, with Friday being locals night,” Brabazon explains.  She attributes the attendance boost in part to the half-day event that took place Friday night. “We were really absolutely thrilled with the numbers we had on Friday night.”

Brabazon says there were no injuries or incidents and that the event was a huge success.

“Vendors say there was a little bit more money around, which is nice to see. People were opening up their wallets a little bit more,” she says, adding that she always uses the festival as an economic indicator for Belmar’s tourism season.

New Jersey’s top restaurants from the Shore were there serving up grilled shrimp, steamed lobsters and crab claws, fried slam strips, crab cakes and fresh-squeezed lemonade to patrons who lined up eagerly at booths like Jack Baker’s Lobster Shanty, Klein’s Waterside, Mr. Shrimp, Jake’s Crab Shack and many others.

Saturday at the 26th Annual Belmar Seafood Festival (Leanne Vuksanic)
Saturday at the 26th Annual Belmar Seafood Festival (Leanne Vuksanic)

Jewelry, craft and artist vendors were on hand to sell items to those looking to do a little shopping.

26th Annual Belmar Seafood Festival (Leanne Vuksanic)
Saturday at the 26th Annual Belmar Seafood Festival (Leanne Vuksanic)

A craft beer and wine tent was set up for patrons over the age of 21 offering Leinenkugel summer brews and select wines from Martin Codax Wine.

Saturday at the 26th Annual Belmar Seafood Festival (Leanne Vuksanic)
Saturday at the 26th Annual Belmar Seafood Festival (Leanne Vuksanic)

On Saturday live music from Red Wagon, Holme, and the Manasquan Jazz Band entertained festival goers.  on Sunday, music was provided by Shore Blues Band, Blackberry Blues Band and the Gamblers.

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