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Celebrating A Jersey Shore Thanksgiving

This year at the Jersey Shore, we have a great deal to be thankful for. Our boardwalks are back, our beaches are being replenished, and in many ways, the bounce-back from Sandy’s destruction has become a symbol of inspiration. A full year has gone by and we have proven to be “Stronger than the Storm”. For that, we are thankful.

A Jersey Shore Thanksgiving is very similar to everyone else’s. We get together with family, we volunteer at soup kitchens, and we stuff ourselves with turkey, gravy, and vegetables. What makes it different, however, is our proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. With the ocean right in our backyards, we can spend part of our day throwing a football or Frisbee on the beach, collecting seashells, or simply taking a stroll arm-in-arm along the boardwalk.

Thanksgiving also marks the start of a weekend of tree lightings and Santa parades, which are held all along the oceanfront and the river. This Friday kicks off Red Bank’s Town Lighting and Santa Parade, and is also the start of Red Bank’s “12 Days of Christmas Scavenger Hunt.” In addition, free Classic Horse & Carriage rides are offered every weekend in December starting with this weekend.

Bradley Beach is holding their annual Menorah lighting on Saturday, and their Tree Lighting and Santa arrival on Sunday. Both events will take place at Riley Park.

Spring Lake will hold their Tree Lighting ceremony on Saturday, with hayrides, Santa’s workshop, Clayton Livery Miniature Village Train Spectacular, dancers, and holiday treats. Shops will be open until 8:00pm.

Long Branch will launch the season with free hot chocolate, the Tree Lighting, live entertainment, and a visit from Santa Claus, who will be stopping by with free toys for the children on Sunday. They will also be unveiling the Carousel of Hope, which will remain on Festival Plaza in Pier Village through the month of December. All of this takes place with the Atlantic Ocean as the backdrop.

Tenth Avenue Freeze Out will be sponsoring their 2nd annual event to help rebuild Belmar on Saturday. While so much has been rebuilt in Belmar since Sandy, there is still some more work to be done. The children’s portion will take place from 12:00-2:00pm with music, games, free hotdogs, and ice cream. Mayor Doherty will say a few words at 2:00pm and then the adult portion will kick in. It’s only $20/person and includes two free drink tickets for any bar in Belmar/Lake Como, free buffet, and door prizes.

Don’t forget that Saturday is Small Business Saturday! Come support the small businesses of the Jersey Shore, while finding fantastic presents for friends and loved ones.

So, enjoy your Thanksgiving with your family and, if you live here, take advantage of the beautiful oceanfront. If you’ve been thinking about taking a trip to the Jersey Shore, this is a perfect weekend to make it happen!

Happy Thanksgiving from your Jersey Shore Specialist!