40th Annual Festival of the Sea Saturday

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POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Saturday’s Festival of the Sea will look to take festival goers back to the “groovy” age of tie dye and disco on the 40th Anniversary of the popular annual event. 

The Sept. 16 festival will be held along downtown Arnold Avenue, which will be closed off to accommodate the roughly 50,000 people expected to take part.

Along with live music and free games, there will also be a wine garden, provided by Laurita Winery, New Egypt.

“We’re a great Jersey Shore destination town to begin with that has put on a successful festival for a long time,” said Carol Vaccaro, director of the Point Pleasant Beach Chamber of Commerce. “It’s a celebration of the end of the summer season where you can shop, eat, be entertained, see old friends, make new friends and have a glass of wine all in one place.”

More than 200 vendors have signed up to take part in the event and some 40 local businesses and nonprofits will also be participating — including local restaurants looking to give festivalgoers a taste.

“The most important thing is that Point Pleasant Beach puts our best foot forward and we are showing off our town,” Mayor Stephen Reid said. “We have people who love coming to Point Pleasant Beach.”

Last year, the 39th Festival of the Sea had to be called off early due to a bomb detonation at a military themed 5k in nearby Seaside Park. Police closed down Arnold Avenue while armored vehicles and bomb sniffing dogs searched the area, finding nothing suspicious. Mayor Reid said a repeat of last year is not expected and that the borough is working closely with the business community to ensure the safety of visitors and the success of the festival. “I know that our chief and our police work really closely with the businesses and they will take that added steps,” Mayor Reid said. “Everything will be safe like it is every year.”

The rain date for the event is Sunday Sept. 17.

For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.