🔴 Pop-up beach parties are being promoted for Seaside Heights and the Wildwoods

🔴 2 people died in an unsanctioned pop-up car rally in Wildwood

🔴 Officials are planning to keep the parties away by legal means

UPDATE: Organizers cancel pop-up parties

Two Jersey Shore communities are bracing for pop-up beach parties being promoted on social media for the first two weekends in May.

The parties promoted on social media are not licensed or sanctioned and sometimes wind up attracting rowdy throngs of young adults who fill the streets while smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol, officials say. Marijuana and alcohol are not allowed on beaches.

A pop-up in Long Branch in 2021 led to vandalism of businesses near the beach at Pier Village. Law enforcement including tactical teams were brought in break up the party.

Long Branch, Asbury Park and Point Pleasant Beach in 2022 successfully asked a judge to issue a court order to stop the promotion of pop-up parties targeting their towns.

Now the parties begin again.

Pop up parties in Seaside Heights, the Wildwoods
Pop up parties in Seaside Heights, the Wildwoods (rratedparties via Instagram)

Legal steps to stop the pop-ups

The first party, "Project Takeover at Seaside," is planned for Seaside Heights May 5 and 6 starting at noon and going until "whenever." It promises dance battles, twerking contests and beer pong plus YouTube influencers. The "Wildwood Beach Linkup" will have the same activities plus a boxing match. Specific locations are not included on Instagram posts about the parties.

Seaside Heights Police Chief Tommy Boyd said he's already been planning how to stop the party.

"We're involved with Homeland Security, the county prosecutors office, State Police, the FBI. They're involved because of the cyber aspect of it. We have our attorneys right now getting involved with a cease and desist injunction," Boyd said.

The chief believes that the threat of legal action will make organizers think twice about going through with their parties.

H2Oi rally in Wildwood 9/22
H2Oi rally in Wildwood 9/22 (Cape May Prosecutor's Office)

Cape May County Jeffrey H. Sutherland said the towns that make up the Wildwoods — Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and North Wildwood — have used legal channels to contact the organizers, RatedRParties.

If the party does proceed, Sutherland said that police will try to stop it.

"Law enforcement will utilize all the appropriate resources and take the proper legal steps necessary to shut down the event. Law enforcement will also criminally charge and/or issue citations to any organizers or participants who violate our state laws and local ordinances," Sutherland said.

He recalled the unsanctioned car H2Oi rally that took place in Wildwood in September that led to two deaths, many injuries and extensive property damage. Law enforcement and first responders were stretched to their limits and businesses were damaged by the party.

North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello told New Jersey 101.5 there has been "great communication" between all Cape May County communities in addressing the planned parties.

Why do the parties continue year-after year despite the threat of legal action?

"Teenage brains aren't fully developed," Rosenello said.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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