WANTAGH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A party was under way at Jones Beach late Thursday afternoon, as Jimmy Buffett fans got ready for his concert.

As CBS2’s Jill Nicolini reported, the throng of Parrotheads started a tailgating party straight out of Margaritaville ahead of the concert at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater.

The Buffett fans came from near and far just to start enjoying themselves hours before the concert. And while we have all seen tailgaters in action, there is something different about die-hard Parrotheads.

They sing along to their favorite Buffett tunes, display decorated tents, serve up food of all kinds on the grill, and sometimes even bring the unexpected.

“We love the girls who just come in and jump in the pool,” said Marty Giandalia of Bellmore, who brought a wading pool.

Cara Sheppard of Ridge was the first to arrive at 1 a.m., and was proud to display her personal creation.

“I designed and brought my own personal porta-potty,” Sheppard said. “I made an umbrella with shower curtains, and I put a towel as a door, and I have a personal porta-potty with a garbage bag and toilet paper hanging inside where I can go in and do my business.”

Around 10 a.m. Thursday, Chopper 2 showed a massive crowd already in place in the parking lot. Thousands more later arrived – including a tropical Santa.

“Santa’s on vacation — what could be better?” he said.

Some people even brought live parrots.

“He’s been going to concerts for almost 18 years, and he jams,” said Michele Lorenzo of Holbrook.

Gavan James drove brought his own tour bus from San Diego all the way to here to Jones Beach because he said it’s worth it.

“Jimmy at 70, it’s like he’s 45. He’s rocking,” James said. “But it’s the people and the parking lot.”

The concert began at 8 p.m., but many tailgaters didn’t actually go. They made their own experience by listening to Buffett live on satellite radio.

From what Nicolini hears, this is the biggest tailgate party every summer at Jones Beach, and fans can’t wait until next summer.


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