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Posts Tagged ‘Tourism in Ocean Grove’

OG Saturday Giant Flea Market June 2016. Gridlock. Blogfinger photo. ©  Where else can you find this?  Click once to make the crowd bigger.

 

OG mega Flea Market. Blogfinger photo 2016 ©

 

By  Paul Goldfinger, MD.  Editor@Blogfinger.net

May 5   Spring Fling  Chamber of Commerce closes down Main Avenue:   gridlock

May 19  Vintage Car Show  CC  closes down Main Avenue:  gridlock

June 2   Giant Spring Flea Market  CC floods Ocean Pathway with thousands of junksters:   gridlock

June 16 OGCMA  Giant Craft Show —-300 artisans:   Gridlock all over town

June 23   OGCMA Huge Christian festival:  Bridgefest:  Gridlock all over town.

August 4  OGCMA    Saturday of the Camp Meeting Week:   Gridlock all over town.

August 18  OGCMA   Beach boys:  Gridlock evening.

Sept 1 Doo /wop:   Gridlock evening

Sept. 8  Giant Fall flea Market:   CC floods Ocean Pathway —gridlock

Sept 16  British Car Show  CC closes down Main Avenue:   gridlock

October 6 Fall Harvest Festival CC  closes down Main Avenue: gridlock

Note: Every Saturday during the summer season is a gridlock day due to beach attendance and when residents and their guests crowd the town during all those weekends. But that is to be expected. This is a beach town.

But now we are addressing mega Saturday tourist events such as the Giant Craft Show on the Pathway which make the town hopelessly paralyzed.

So what other Jersey Shore towns have so many gridlock Saturday special events geared towards tourists and oppressively imposed  on the residents?

Consider Bradley Beach:  Just one–The Lobster Festival.  Holiday celebrations such as Memorial Day weekend don’t count because they are automatically part of summer.      The rest are things like line dancing, music on the boards, opera by the sea, Italian Festival, Bradley Beach Day etc. which are primarily for the residents and don’t cause gridlock.

Here is a link to our recent piece about the struggle in Bradley Beach over one such mega event.  It’s very interesting:

Bf reports on Bradley Beach struggle with mega-event

Consider Belmar mega:  Just a car show and the NJ Seafood  Festival.

Consider Avon mega:  no mega events

Consider Asbury mega:  Oyster Festival.  They have many activities including music, shows, farmers markets, fine restaurants, bars and boardwalk events like the Zombies,  but these enhance the image of A. Park and are not merely mega events to suck in huge numbers of tourists like we have. They have crowds and parking issues, but those crowds are drawn to the vibe of A. Park not to giant marketplaces where you can just buy stuff.

Consider Seaside Heights:  Nothing mega.   Jersey Shore Festival;  otherwise arts and crafts, boardwalk fun/food, and soccer tourney.

Consider Spring Lake:  Nothing mega.  Just sensible small events for residents and guests:    House tour, art in the park, garden tour, art walk, sidewalk sale, etc.

 

Only OG has huge  events that overwhelm the town.    What good does any of this do for the people of Ocean Grove?  The CMA mostly attracts crowds from outside the Grove.  All of the Shore  towns have events, but they are primarily for the residents, such as ballroom dancing, concerts on the boardwalk, competitions for kids, etc.

Of the towns listed, we are the smallest and the most paralyzed by contrived tourist events.  There is no reason to continue these overwhelming Saturday gridlocks—the Township needs to reduce the numbers to be in line with other Jersey  Shore towns.  But will they?  No.   These other communities make sure that their citizens enjoy the summer season in their home towns.  Tourism, yes, but sensibly done.

Do the people of Ocean Grove want their town to be a circus every Saturday in season?  Here is a march from Barnum and Bailey:

 

 

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#5 Broadway. Ocean Grove, before the Chamber of Commerce told us to decorate our houses. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Master-of-ceremonies @Blogfinger.net

We have known for some time that Asbury Park is heading towards year-round tourism to benefit their local commercial endeavors.  In addition, since they want to be “hipster city,” they need to have all sorts of activities to attract that young crowd of tourists as well as new homeowners,  besides the restaurant and bar scenes.

During the summer season, OG experiences parking gluts aggravated by A. parkers who love the free parking in the Grove, especially at the North End.  But that “season” is widening in both directions on the calendar.

So, now, in the latest issue of the Coaster, we learn that AP developer Madison Marquette will partner with the State’s largest provider of arts programing—-the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, to produce “live performances, arts education and community engagement events on the Boardwalk.”    They are primarily referring to large crowd shows to be booked at the Convention Hall and the  Paramount Theater.  They plan to “boost the number of nights that these venues will be active, while broadening the diversity of audiences.”  We don’t know what “community engagement events” are.

An executive with the NJPAC  is quoted as saying, “Our vision with Madison Marquette is to make clear the diverse opportunities for entertainment 12 months per year.”

But. even more interesting, is the announcement that the OG Chamber of Commerce is encouraging homeowners to decorate their houses for Christmas so that they can lure tourists into the Grove for more shopping action on certain nights of the week, and that of course will increase congestion at Christmas time—a deeply meaningful holiday for many residents in the Grove.

And if you think that they are doing this to liven up our “community and neighborhoods” for the sake of OG residents, you are naive. When was the last time the Chamber has done anything to specifically promote our community and its neighborhoods?

Those Grovers who decorate for Christmas are to be congratulated for enlivening the festiveness of that “most wonderful time of the year.”  But they don’t need an organized program to encourage them, including telling them when to turn their lights on.

This is from the Chamber announcement of town walks and house lighting events for one month this season:

light-tour-ocean-grove

When did the leading Christian organization in town push for such a plan?  I have never seen a mention of it in the OG history books.

Instead, the Camp Meeting Association celebrates Christmas with noteworthy organized non-commercial programs such as the Live Nativity, caroling, the Christmas tree lighting, religious services, and other community types of events that promote happiness in town and not an inducement to crowds of tourists who are oblivious to the fact that people actually live in the Grove. 

And this is from the OG Chamber of Commerce web site:

“Ocean Grove is a great day trip from Philly or New York. An easy train or bus ride can avoid all the shore traffic as well.
Experience the Jersey Shore in Ocean Grove.   We are open year-round!”

There are those OG big-shots who write off our congestion complaints by minimizing the problem, saying “Oh, it’s just a few weekends at the peak of summer.”  But they have agendas and they are probably pleased that the commercialism of the Grove will be maximized, not minimized, and the historic small town agenda of residents will continue to be ignored.

Christmas Day, 2015. the Bellizia family of Ocean Grove. Photo by Prosper Bellizia. ©

It’s the most wonderful time of the year….PENTATONIX:

 

 

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