Looking back on last year, there is a ton of local Long Beach Island news to celebrate! Plus, we’re already seeing clues for what lies in summer’s awesome 2019 new LBI attractions. Here is one final shoutout in memory of the past year before we dive into a new season! See our pick of 18 best moments of 2018.
1. Ahhh… the beach is your back yard
We love this photo that was shared last summer on a perfect beach day on LBI! It lets us appreciate the ability to see amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean. Do you know what a luxury it is to have the beach right in your back yard? The vast majority of people in this country can’t see an ocean without first boarding a plane. Let that sink in!
When you live at the Jersey Shore, or spend vacation at an oceanfront hotel, you’ll have the benefit of walking directly to the beach from your room. Avoid traffic and parking and take a short walk to enjoy warm sun, soft sand, and calming ocean waves. At Spray Beach Hotel and others along Atlantic Avenue, the beach is in your backyard. It doesn’t get any better than that.
2. Old-school charm and entertainment
There’s nothing like eating ice cream at Show Place Ice Cream Parlour because the waiters are trained performers ready to entertain you. Whether or not you bought tickets to a show, guests are treated to a song and dance as they enjoy desserts. Show Place employees are talented performers who work in conjunction with Beach Haven’s Surflight Theater. The silly photo above shows the personality and whimsy of the old-school ice cream parlor that’s making Long Beach Island news.
3. Surf’s up at Jetty Clam Jam 2018
In other Long Beach Island news, a Nor-easter postponed the Clam Jam for over a month, the 12th annual Jetty Clam Jam finally took place on the last Sunday of October. This annual event is a contest for the surfers. There’s typically about a hundred surfers to compete against. According to the official press release, “what differentiates this contest from others is two things: 1. It randomly pairs a more experienced surfer with a younger one, and 2. Surfers must have LBI roots.” The contest was judged, winners were announced and ended with a “shellabration” at The Old Causeway Steak & Oyster House. Jetty, a successful local company that was started by a group of Jersey boys, hosted a similar surfing contest for females called Coquina Jam in July.
4. $168,354.56 raised by Jetty Rock Foundation
Even more impressive is Jetty’s ability to bring people together to support local causes. Last year, they raised a whopping $168,354.56 through the Jetty Rock Foundation. They really made Long Beach Island news and they have a lot to be proud of! Here is how Jetty plans to allocate the funds to support the costal community:
PEOPLE – $114,077.62 – Providing assistance for people in coastal communities whether they are dealing with Cancer, house fires or any sort of medical / less fortunate type issues.
ENVIRONMENTAL – $33,300.00 – Our Oyster Recycling Program, grammar school Eco-trip and William Butler Park Pavilion.
EDUCATION – $10,673.24 – Our Future Leaders Entrepreneurship program, scholarships, Bridge Walk school donations, and more.
STORM RELIEF – $10,303.70 – Specific and immediate response work toward coastal communities in the Carolinas and Florida after Hurricanes Florence and Michael.
5. Hot and spicy Long Beach Island news
Speaking of community ties and family fun, here’s another hugely successful event on the Island. Every year, LBI starts off the summer with the HopSauce Festival, a brainchild of Spice It Up and Jetty. This is a family friendly event that draws crowds of people out to celebrate the beginning of LBI’s number one season. Enjoy beer, bands, and spicy foods, not to mention shopping at the local vendor tents. This year’s HopSauce festival falls on June 1st at 11am-6pm in Veterans Memorial Park. Grab your tickets and plan on it!
6. Biggest kite festival in America
LBI FLY is a fairly new event. The LBI International Kite Festival was established five years ago and is held at the close of every season. It’s a free, family friendly event that includes demos and displays, workshops and competitions. LBI FLY has something for everyone at every age and level of experience. Another cool piece of Long Beach Island news is that a new kite shop is said to be opening in Barnegat Light. This year’s LBI FLY is to be held on Columbus Day Weekend in October. Check it out!
7. Fish stories with photo evidence
It’s hard to believe some of the fish stories that people tell, but this photo surely backs it up! The men pictured above are the 2019 champions of the White Marlin Invitational Tournament. These gigantic blue marlins were caught last summer and the winning fish weighed more than 350 pounds! There are several fishing tournaments in LBI each year plus events to encourage kids to get “Hooked on Fishing, Not On Drugs.” With a thriving fishing and crabbing industry on the north end of the Island, it’s no wonder that LBI is the fishing and seafood mecca of the region.
8. Full lineup of theatrical entertainment
When Surflight Theatre reopened it’s doors, the LBI creative community was thrilled. This charming downtown theatre is where artists gather – the singers, the dancers, the performers – to perfect their craft and put on incredible shows. Under the leadership of Steve Steiner, Surflight Theatre attracted play-goers from all over the tristate area with its great lineup of shows last year. Comedy, concerts, children’s theater, musicals, and plays are lighting up the stage again this year. Buy tickets to see Holiday Inn, Flashdance, Mamma Mia, Matilda, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Baskerville, and more!
9. Reducing litter is great Long Beach Island news
Many Jersey Shore towns are moving away from single use plastics, especially the disposable bags used at grocery stores and shops. Harvey Cedars was first on the Island back in 2017 to pass a ban discouraging businesses from using plastic bags. Now, Long Beach Township and Beach Haven are following suit to discourage shoppers from generating so much litter. The less plastic shopping bags used, the less litter will be blowing around our beaches and landing in our oceans. This is considered to be a great step in sustainability and environmental responsibility – probably the biggest such Long Beach Island news since Beach Haven banned smoking three years ago.
10. Nature and native animals
Nature hikes, science seminars, guided tours and field trips at Long Beach Island Foundation are educational and fun for all! If you love nature and animals, get involved with the LBIF. Whether you live on LBI year round or only visit for a week in the summer, there are ways you can learn, observe, and help. In 2018, LBIF hosted various programs that supported natural life in the salt marshes and along the nature trails. They also partnered with other organizations to help injured animals and to protect birds, turtles, mammals and aquatic animals. All around, LBIF’s science programs are good Long Beach Island news for everyone.
11. Keeping Safe at the Beach
Beach Haven Beach Patrol posted this photo of their 2018 lifeguards. The lifeguards keep people safe all summer, all over the Island. The requirements to be a lifeguard on LBI are intense, ensuring that every beachgoer is placed in capable hands. When the water is unsafe or the riptides are too strong, lifeguards use flags to show swimmers the safest places to enjoy the waves. LBI’s lifeguards have tryouts and competitions each season to test swimming capabilities, strength, and lifesaving skills. They practice drills and renew certifications to do their part in keeping everyone safe at the beach. Safety and prevention is key to keeping Long Beach Island news happy and good.
12. Cookie Wars – Victory was sweet
Long Beach Island is known for their strong community of small businesses and entrepreneurs. There’s a friendly spirit of competition on the island and every year there are many contests and tournaments held for locals and visitors to enjoy. At Christmastime, YuleTIDE hosts the annual sugar cookie baking competition called Cookie Wars. You can hear Jack from YuleTIDE talking about it on a local community radio program. The video above shows the girls at Country Kettle Fudge celebrating their recent win!
13. LBI Kids Learning and Teaching Crafts
LBI Creative Minds is a place where kids and adults can learn and practice a variety of arts and crafts from owner, Lisa Ball. Here in this video, one of the kids in LBI was actually teaching for a change! “Making slime” was one of the most popular art projects of 2018 among young crafters, but Lisa teaches other forms such as ceramics, painting, sewing, etc. There are additional how-to episodes you can watch online at LBI Creative Minds. The art studio is located on Bay Avenue in Beach Haven.
14. Chowing Down on Chowder at CHEGG
The Chicken or the Egg – CHEGG – posted a shoutout to LBI’s famous Chowderfest event. The 2019 event will be held October 5-6th. Here’s the list of winners that made Long Beach Island news this past year:
Grand Champion: Howard’s Restaurant / 2nd Place: The Chicken Or The Egg / 3rd Place: Clam 03 – Country Kettle Chowda
Grand Champion: Lefty’s Tavern / 2nd Place: Stefano’s LBI / 3rd Place: Buckalew’s Restaurant and Tavern
Most Creative Chowder
Grand Champion: Blue Water Cafe LBI / 2nd Place: Nancy’s Barn Ballyliffin / 3rd Place: The WooHoo
Rookie of the Year: Nancy’s Barn Ballyliffin
Best Interpretation of the Theme: Clam 03 – Country Kettle Chowda
Best Shore Motiff: Black Whale Bar & Fish House
Most Enthusiastic: Nancy’s Barn Ballyliffin
Most Creative Booth: Delaware Avenue Oyster House
15. LBIF awarded for Best Summer Camp
The Foundation of Arts and Sciences hosts a summer camp for kids and teens, and last year they won an award for it! Discover Jersey Arts named LBIF for “Favorite Summer Camp” in the People’s Choice Awards. The camp offers programs for kids ages 3-16 with specialized tracks including pottery, ballet, tennis, cooking and baking, nature studies, and marine biology. New this year, LBIF will be hosting classes on surfing and theatre, with a concentration on vocal studies. LBIF also celebrated their 70 year anniversary last year! This center for arts and sciences is a rich resource for kids and adults on LBI. They also play a huge role in the annual Lighthouse International Film Festival which is hosted on LBI – a mentionable piece of Long Beach Island news!
16. Free outdoor concerts in Beach Haven
Something everyone looks forward to in Beach Haven are the free outdoor concerts. The Beach Haven Community Arts Program schedules the gigs and local bands show up to play music well into the night. The Concerts on the Green 2019 schedule isn’t set yet, but it will likely include original music from talented artists as well as some local cover bands. Bring a chair or towel and enjoy the laid back atmosphere on a summer evening with great tunes and fresh air. It’s a great way to end the day with your family.
17. Guide to enjoying summer vacation on LBI
There is so much to see and do in Long Beach Island that it’s hard to plan a relaxing trip. You deserve time on the beach to work on your tan, not to mention the best food and fun the island has to offer. BestofLBI.buzz can help you prioritize what your family will enjoy most, so you can schedule activities without compromising the R&R. Each and every spring, we publish a complete guide to summer vacation on LBI. Get it for free and see where to go, what to do, where to eat, and plan a summer vacation that gives you exactly what you want.
18. LBI was great last year – Here’s to 2019!
The spirit of love and appreciation is made clear in this video produced and shared by Surlight Theatre. You can’t help but notice the carefree, happy-go-lucky, wind in your hair, sand in your toes, summer-loving feeling of spending the warm season on LBI. We want to say THANK YOU to everyone that worked to make 2018 another great year on LBI for locals and vacationers alike!
Let’s get ready to do what we do all over again in a few months. See you this summer!