By JOANNE PAPAIANNI and DON STINE
Shore residents have had enough of the dreary rain and cold temperatures and are ready for some fun in the sun.
But it may not happen.
The forecast for the three-day Memorial Day weekend is not the best with possible rain Sunday and Monday. But towns and businesses are still prepared for all scenarios.
Asbury Park Beach Utilities Manager Gary Giberson said the city is ready for the first holiday weekend of the summer season. He said new signage is being “tweaked” to make them more accurate.
He also said accessibility mats have been installed at some beach entrances with additional mats being donated.
Giberson also said lifeguards are ready to keep the beaches and swimmers safe.
He said 28 to 30 guards will be on duty during the three day weekend. The city has a roster of 55 guards.
The bathrooms and beaches are clean and ready for beachgoers.
Beach pass prices remain the same with a charge of $20 for those 62 and older and teens between the ages of 13 and 17. Season passes for ages 18 to 61 are $70.
Children 12 and under are free.
Daily passes are $5 on week days and $7 on weekends and holidays.
As they did last year Asbury Park will give free passes to disabled veterans along with active duty military and their families.
Last year, he said, about 3500 veterans took advantage of the free beach passes.
Giberson said the city is also beefing up the number of handicapped chairs for visitors to the beach. The city is purchasing two more and the Asbury Park Wall Elks Lodge 128 is donating two which brings the total the city has to six.
The annual Memorial Day weekend festivities start Friday evening with a mile long vendor fair from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. along the oceanfront.
Saturday at 10 a.m. the parade kicks off in the south end of Ocean Avenue and travels to the north end.
After the parade the fun begins with continuation of the vendor fair, crafters, rides and games for the kids and many, many food vendors from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday is also 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Musical entertainment at the 5th Avenue pavilion can be heard all weekend long.
This is a fundraiser for the Bradley Beach First Aid Squad and other borough organizations
No pets are allowed on the promenade during the event.
Unlike other businesses John Esposito, owner of the Beach Cinema in Bradley Beach, said the rain helped his business over the past rainy weekend.
“The rain helped us tremendously over the weekend, you could say it was a perfect storm, a good combination, the rain and a popular movie,” he said.
The movie, “The Book Club” started last weekend and will run for two more weeks, Esposito said.
“That group of actors they’re tremendous,” he said. “This movie is bringing them in, the nice part is they go out smiling and happy. That’s what I like. It’s also nice to hear people laughing from the lobby,” he said.
Many movie goers stop at Vic’s Restaurant for dinner before coming to see a movie.
“It’s a perfect combination, Vics and a movie,” he said. “It’s like a tradition now.”
Esposito said his theater’s ticket prices are the lowest in the area with $8 for adults and $7 for seniors, children and matinees.
The snack bar offers a full array of movie snacks including the most popular, popcorn with real butter.
“Our popcorn has real butter, that’s unheard of now a days,” he said.
“People ask is that real butter, your popcorn has real butter? when we say yes they say OMG!”
The theater is now open Mondays for the summer season.
There will be no Memorial Day Parade in Ocean Township this weekend due to a lack of participation but the annual Memorial Day service will be held, rain or shine, on Monday at 11 a.m. in front of town hall.
If you like golf, you might want to check out the nine-hole William F. Larkin (formerly Colonial Terrace) Golf Course on Wickapecko Drive.
“The course is pristine and beautiful right now after all of this rain. We have not raised the prices and they are very reasonable. It’s the best deal in town,” Mayor Christopher Siciliano said.
The golf course is open from sunup to sundown and there is now plenty of parking after the township recently acquired an adjacent piece of property. The Mayor’s Cup Golf Tournament will be held at the golf course on June 16.
The township’s pool complex, on W. Park Ave., will be open for all three days this weekend but then only on weekends until June 27, when it opens daily for the summer. The pool complex also boasts a new water-activity park for young people.
Six outdoor tennis courts, which are free to residents and near the new tennis complex on W. Park Ave., are expected to open soon. Movie night will be held in Joe Palaia Park on Friday, June 22 at dusk.
The third annual Ocean Township community-wide garage sale will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 1, 2 and 3. For more information go to www.oceantwp.org.
In Neptune the annual Memorial Day Parade begins at 10 a.m. in front of the municipal complex on Neptune Boulevard Mon., May 28. and ends up in front of the Youth Temple in Ocean Grove.
Beaches in Ocean Grove will be open for just Memorial Day weekend (all three days) and then only be open on weekends until June 16, when it opens on a daily basis. Daily badges are $8 and seasonal badges are $80. Staffing levels at the beach are expected to be about the same as last year.
The Atlantic Wind Ensemble will perform patriotic music at the Great Auditorium on Saturday night at 8 p.m. The Ocean Grove Ladies Auxiliary will have a plant sale at the Pavilion, across from the Great Auditorium, this Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.