Tourism Director for Bradley Beach, Nicole Kienelen, owner of Paws and Anchor on Main Street, presented an update from the Tourism Committee to the Borough Council this week which included estabishing a new website.
Kienelen said she had done some research, asking people how they know what’s going on in town. She found that there was no set location to update residents and visitors of events.
In order to solve the problem of communication, Kienelen proposed that the tourism department construct a new website that would provide up to date information on events and an updated Bradley Beach Guidebook.
“There are a lot of potential places that are being underutilized,” Kienelen said.
As part of the 2016 events, which will include new events such as A Taste of Bradley Beach on June 11, School’s Out for Summer on June 18, and Bradley Beach Classic Car Show. Kienelen also proposed Summer Saturdays in the Park where live music, theme events, activities, and unique vendors will convene in Riley Park from 5 to 9 p.m on Saturdays in July and August.
“No one is doing anything on Saturday night,” Kienelen said. “We’re looking to create more diverse events with different music and consistent summer Saturdays where we can bring people into Bradley Beach.”
Mayor Gary Engelstad noted that many of the entertainment groups are free for those Saturdays due to Kienelen’s networking abilities. The Boardwalk Gazebo Summer Series will continue with Opera by the Sea on Monday evenings, Country Line Dancing on Tuesday evenings, Tango at the Gazebo with free lessons on Wednesdays, and Family DJ Dancing on Friday evenings.
Residents used this opportunity to discuss the Bradley Beach Lobsterfest, sponsored by The Chamber of Commerce, which was moved to June 25th and 26th.
Engelstad said it is the Chamber of Commerce’s largest fundraiser of the year and that he understood some residents’ concerns about noise. Councilman Thomas Volante said he’s happy that they moved the event to earlier in the summer season and that they will be sure to have the departments address the residents’ concerns.
“I don’t believe it benefits the businesses,” said resident TJ Cohen regarding the Lobsterfest. “It’s something that’s been going on for a long time. I’d like to compliment Nicole, it now seems that Tourism is now doing more for businesses than the Chamber does with this new schedule that we received tonight. I’m very excited about that.”
When contacted after the meeting John Esposito, president of the Bradley Beach Chamber of Commerce, noted that there is no more noise and trash at Lobsterfest than there is at the Memorial Day Festival.
“And the borough is compensated and does a great job with the cleanup operations after the event,” Esposito said. “This year we obtained from the Passion Group a special Bradley Beach business section at a special discount to promote businesses in our town. The Passion Group was very enthusiastic and wanted to help our town when we requested it.
“All Main Street beautification projects were made possible strictly from the money from Lobsterfest. Due to this event we have never had so many stores on Main Street since the beautification project began. That is the benefit Lobsgterfest has given to our town – a beautiful Main Street. We are also planning future donations to Main Street beautification from money raised from Lobsterfest. Have you ever seen or read anything negative about this event? There are only raves and positive comments saying Lobsterfest put Bradley Beach back on the map. This is great PR for our town.”