Put away the flip-flops and dust off those old cowboy boots because it’s time for a hoedown. Though summer may be coming to an end, Long Beach Island is still kicking in the fall. To celebrate the change of season, Beach Haven will be holding a town-wide country line dance, flash mob-style.
|Photo via Oak Leaf Media|
Bonnie Wells shows Beach Haven's lifeguards
and badge checkers how to do the dance steps.
The event will kick off the borough’s second annual Fall Festival, hosted by the Long Beach Island Historical Association, as well as help support the community’s businesses and happenings through the creation of a promotional video and photographs. Oak Leaf Media will record footage of participants dancing downtown on Bay Avenue as well as at the ocean and bay beaches in September. The culmination of the video will be shot at the festival on Oct. 22, where performers will gather for one large flash mob at Veterans Memorial Park, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Area business owners, residents and visitors are encouraged to join the flash mob donning Beach Haven/LBI attire and autumn-inspired line dancing fashions. Students from Beach Haven School and the Southern Regional School District are expected to join the fun.
“We want everyone to participate!” said Bonnie Wells, who’s organizing the event. “Having a flash mob dance through our town will allow us to promote all of the fun-filled activities Beach Haven has to offer.”
Though the very idea of a flash mob is to appear spontaneous, it takes time to coordinate and choreograph a large group of dancers. Early and late practices will be offered to help suit participants’ different schedules. Half-hour rehearsals at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. will be held Monday through Saturday at 333 Pearl St., beginning Aug. 29. Attending the group practices is encouraged although a YouTube video will also be available for people to practice at home.
The Fall Festival will offer autumn comfort foods and drinks, including a variety of fall beers, wine and cider, as well as pumpkin painting, pumpkin bowling, pony rides, a petting zoo, town-wide scarecrow contest, pie eating/baking contest, seasonal merchandise, live country music and more.
Last year’s inaugural event attracted more than 3,000 people to the area.
“It brought a wonderful sense of community to Beach Haven, with scents and sounds that embraced this wonderful time of the year,” Wells said. “There was something for everyone as Beach Haven came together to celebrate fall, family and friendship.
“As a town, Beach Haven has taken great strides since (Superstorm) Sandy. But we would love to see more activity and families join us in the most beautiful season Beach Haven has to offer – the fall. When people come back to the Island in the off-season, the businesses prosper, the Island comes alive, and people enjoy this nautical paradise,” she added.
The promotional funding is being provided by the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, Beach Haven borough and Coastal Living Real Estate Group.
For more information about the event, visit beachhavenevents.org or call Wells at 609-492-4444 or Barb Cona at 609-492-1715.
— Kelley Anne Essinger
This article was published in The SandPaper.