Through a long and snowy winter and a cool and miserable spring the goal for many was just get to Memorial Day. Well it’s here. 

Sunrise at the beach in Bradley Beach (Bud McCormick)

It certainly doesn’t feel like it and it some ways it doesn’t look like it but the unofficial start to summer has arrived.  Depending on where you live and go the shore will in some cases open its doors this weekend and welcome locals and visitors alike.  From Belmar to Long Beach Island oceanfront areas will come alive, beaches will be open and many will start working on that summer tan and forget about an endless winter.


For businesses that have struggled along the barrier island in the wake of a long road construction project on Route 35 there is hope but still many concerns.  Things are getting better and most roads are open but will fears of long lines of traffic keep some away?

Of course in the second post-Sandy year there is another obstacle in Seaside Heights and Seaside Park and that is the recovery from the boardwalk fire last September.  Progress is being made but it will likely be mid-July before you can walk, jog or bike from one end to the other.  There is good news in that rides will be operating on Casino Pier and while there is work to be done there it’s a huge improvement from a year ago.

Music Express at Casino Pier (Casino Pier)

Even if there was no Sandy or boardwalk fire we would be talking about an uncertain summer season because that is the nature of the game.  Gas prices, the high cost of summer rentals and the economy in general make the 15 weeks between now and Labor Day a huge question mark and of course there is the weather.  If the sun shines, especially on the weekends, then business owners can overcome the obstacles that stand in their way.  However if Mother Nature decides to bring wet weather to the Jersey Shore over the next few months then those obstacles could become monumental.

On this Friday of Memorial Day weekend let’s decide the glass is half full.  Here’s hoping for a good start to a good summer in which we forget about the past and focus on the future.  Actually let’s not completely forget about the past.  On Monday while you are at the beach or a barbeque take a moment to reflect on what the day is about and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and given their lives for our freedom.