Oysterfest a Success Despite Rain

By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI

The Oystefest in Asbury Park, in it’s 11th year, was a success despite the fact that rainy weather interfered causing organizers to shut it down on Sunday.

Friday night and Saturday, however, were so successful they more than made up for the shutdown.

According to Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sylvia Sylvia-Cioffi the event brought in slightly more revenue than last year.

Sylvia-Cioffi said the final calculations are still being tallied but by counting the $3 admission fee and liquor sold she can estimate the revenues are slightly more than the $20,000 taken in last year.

Although weather forecasters predicted rain on Saturday attendees, said Sylvia-Cioffi, “customers looked out the window” and decided to attend.

“We were hit very hard this summer by inaccurate, not intentionally so, inaccurate weather reports,” she said.

But despite the clouds, on and off rain, and near constant drizzle people continued to pour into the fenced-in festival at Bradley Park.

However, more rain was predicted for Sunday and the event was closed.

“I made the call to cancel for Sunday for safety reasons. I did not think it was in the best interests of the vendors, or the bands to open Sunday,” Sylvia-Cioffi said.

Friday night, when the festival started, was also a success.

Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez performed, and Sylvia-Cioffi said although there was no admission charged due to it being community night, attendance was significant.

“And he stayed and walked around talking to people,” she said.

The main sponsor for this year’s event was Mini of Monmouth, the car dealer which sells Mini Coopers.

“They called me and told me they wanted to be the main car dealership sponsor, and they are so very Asbury. They are kitschy and cool and environmentally aware,” she said. “And I got to ride in one.”

The Oysterfest is the chamber’s main fundraising event of the year, with the restaurant tour second.

The event also has a charity partner and this year’s was Community Affairs Resource Center or CARC.

The event provides an opportunity for all city non-profits, such as the Asbury Park Historical Society and others, to have a booth and raise funds for their organizations.

This year ReStore set up an exhibit of a fully furnished room created by a decorator using wares from the store.

“People were amazed that this is the kind of furniture you can get there,” she said. “They think of it as a thrift store.

Sylvia-Cioffi said she believes moving the event from downtown or the carousel house area for the second year has been beneficial.

“It’s a high exposure area for the park,” she said.

“Our main goal is to promote Asbury businesses and tourism, she said.

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