LONG BRANCH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The holiday weekend sent thousands of residents to local beaches.

As CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reported, Sunday was a breezy but beautiful day at the beach in Long Branch, New Jersey.

Sun, sand and surf ushered in the unofficial start to summer — Memorial Day weekend.

“Yea, it was really nice. Yea, it was a lot of fun,” said one man.

With temperatures warmer than on Saturday, beachgoers enjoyed a long, lazy day at the Shore.

“The beach was awesome. It was a little bit cold, but we sucked it up because it’s Memorial Day weekend,” said Samantha Walker, of Montville.

Although the wind got gusty late Sunday, it made for perfect conditions for wind surfing.

“Oh it’s beautiful. It’s a beautiful day,” said Donna Fidel, of Hackettstown.

Meanwhile, crowds in Asbury Park were treated to an explosion of light and color in the sky Sunday night. A Memorial Day weekend fireworks display dazzled the huge throng of people, Rapoport reported.

“Great way to kick off the summer. Yea,” said one resident.

“It’s nice to have some extra time with the family and get to do fun things and just spend some time together,” said Amy Sodano. “It’s really great.”