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Clownfest Leaving Seaside Heights After 25 Years

Seaside Mayor: 'They Were Good For Our Community'
FILE - Clowns (credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

FILE – Clowns (credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

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SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – No more clowning around in Seaside Heights this summer.

Clowns from around the country are packing up their squeaky red noses, floppy shoes and funny hats as the show hits the road.

Clownfest started in Asbury Park in 1981 before moving to Seaside Heights in 1987. For the past 25 years, hundreds of clowns descended on the shore town for the annual festival.

Organizers announced that Clownfest will be moving to Lancaster, Pa. this year for financial reasons. Seaside Heights Mayor Bill Akers said this is a big loss for the community.

“The clown parade that they do and just as important, it’s all the events that they do up to it. The interacting with the community, the face-painting,” Akers told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney.

Akers said it’s especially hard to see the family fun go after Sandy decimated the shore.

“I was disappointed, I really was,” Akers told Putney. “And when you’re trying to get back on your feet after such devastation, I think anything that you lose is a big thing.”

Akers said Clownfest, typically held at the end of the summer season, always brought in big crowds for face-painting, balloon animals and laughs.

“They were good for our community,” Akers said. “I would always welcome them back.”

A message on the Clownfest organizer’s website said their hearts go out to Seaside and that they have every hope for the restoration of the town and boardwalk.

Are you sad to see Clownfest go? Sound off in the comments section below…