By ED SALVAS
AsburyFest, the three-day music, food and fun event sponsored by the Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce, may move from September to June in 2024, according to Executive Director Sylvia Sylvia Cioffi.
Cioffi told the City Council that she’s looking into a new date for the 15-year-old event after this year’s AsburyFest was a total washout by the storm that caused extensive flood damage along the waterfront and also in downtown Asbury Park.
“It wasn’t just the rain, it was also the dangerous winds,” Cioffi said that were the problem. “Our fence was blown down and we had Porta Johns floating away in the wind.”
She added, “I’m tired of having AsburyFest during hurricane season.”
Cioffi said later she is talking with the chamber’s Board of Trustees about moving the event to the weekend of June 7 to 9 in 2024, just before the North to Shore music event which comes in the following week as the kick-off to the summer season. June also has longer days and AsburyFest would open two hours before sunset.
Cioffi said she chose the June dates after checking the Asbury Park events calendar for June and finding no other events in the area that weekend that would be a potential conflict.
Not having AsburyFest this year is a financial blow for the chamber. It’s their biggest fundraiser of the year, bringing in 20,000 to 25,000 people over three days to Bradley Park. The money raised supports three local non-profits, Habitat for Humanity, Community Affairs Resource Center and Community Karma “Compassion through Action.”
AsburyFest began as Oysterfest at the Carousel Parking lot. A name change and new location made it the large event it is today, and Cioffi said this year she had to turn away vendors as space was so tight.