Don’t leave just yet, bennies! Jersey Shore ‘summer’ runs through October
Do you hate that summer's almost officially over? Head down the shore to calm your nerves.
The state's coastal communities don't shut down after Labor Day weekend. In fact, these next few weeks are big moneymakers, as long as out-of-towners are willing to visit.
There's no shortage of special events planned, aimed at bringing in folks who'd otherwise stay at home.
Labor Day marks the beginning of the "third season" in Wildwood, according to Mayor Ernie Troiano, Jr. These shoulder-season weeks can bring in up to 30 percent of a business' yearly revenue, he said.
"We have events every single weekend," he said. "September and October may be the nicest two months of the season."
And the weekend of Sept. 22-24 may be the biggest of the entire year for the Wildwoods, Troiano said. Visitors have their choice of a classic car show and auction in Wildwood, an Irish festival in North Wildwood and the Seafarers' Celebration in Wildwood Crest.
Adding to its already-packed schedule for the cooler months, Seaside Heights will run its first Oktoberfest event on Oct. 1 and 2, featuring seasonal craft beer, food trucks and a kid zone.
Mayor Tony Vaz said the borough has focused sharply on making most events family-friendly.
The following weekend, Grant Avenue will shut down for an Italian street festival and the 25th annual Columbus Day Parade.
"If it's a nice day, it's thousands and thousands of people," Vaz said.
Steel Pier in Atlantic City is running deals on ride tickets and wristbands to attract a post-summer crowd. And the pier will be packed with musical entertainment during the first weekend of October.
"We do our best to keep our season extended," said pier president Anthony Catanoso.
According to Gerald Cioci, president of the Monmouth County Chamber of Commerce, the county's shore businesses are hoping the next month or so will help make up for lost revenue over Labor Day weekend — the product of a gloomy storm forecast that prompted vacationers to cancel their plans.
"It's a really important time of year for us," Cioci said. "We really hope we get good weather on the weekends."
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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at email@example.com.