MANASQUAN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Many people enjoyed Memorial Day by spending the day on the beach or out on the waters off the Jersey Shore.
People CBS2’s Meg Baker spoke to told her they haven’t experienced such a picture-perfect kick-off to summer like this in years.
Manasquan Main Street beach was packed Monday. Carts were filled with boogie boards, beach chairs and umbrellas.
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“Memorial Day. It means the start of summer, best weekend of the year. America’s the best country, celebrating life,” one beachgoer told Baker.
“This was a great start to summer. Looking forward to many more weekends,” beachgoer Bob Conrad said.
An American flag waving in the breeze signaled the Main Street Beach was open for business.
Nikki O’Neil said she couldn’t ask for better weather on her birthday.
“This is all my family. They all live close by, and yeah, go enjoy the boardwalk tonight… spend my birthday being local. I love it here,” she said.
For the past two years, Memorial Day weekend was a washout. It rained and fireworks were canceled. But not this year. Wally Wall, the beach manager, says they have had record beach tag sales.
“Yesterday was a banner day. Yesterday, over 3,000 daily’s. We don’t usually see that until maybe we get to a weekend in July. So with the two days combined, about 4,000, that pretty doubles what we’ve done in the past two years,” Wall said.
The only people in the water were lifeguards running through drills: It will chill you to the bone at 50 degrees.
Two beach taggers told Baker they have the best summer job.
“I was always at the beach as a kid anyways, so to get paid to be at the beach everyday is nice,” said tagger Gabriella Farneti.
Homes along the beach showed their patriotism with flags on balconies. With the nice weather, it wasn’t a day to be inside.
“This weekend, we had a family barbecue, definitely comes to the beach. Last year it was a little rainy, but definitely love having this day off, love enjoying our home beach,” said Vittoria Saccomanno of Manasquan.
Nick Pallodino started the summer off with 25 of his closest friends. They are in a share house for the season.
“Very clean… everyone follows the rules… I always wake up with all of my cash,” he said sarcastically.
One group that went in on a share house together for the whole summer spoke with Baker. Friday was move-in day.
“How many of us? Fifteen to 20, but we made the living room a fourth bedroom,” said Tommy Foley of Pennsylvania. “It’s tight… but fun.”
The Walsh kids from Brielle say they are counting down the days until school is out.
“We may got to the yacht club, we’ve been at the beach, and we went to our pool,” one told Baker.
Those that have to travel back home before work Tuesday say they’re a little nervous about traffic on the Parkway because so many people are down the shore. One tip a man gave Baker: Maybe wake up early Tuesday and drive to work, that way you can enjoy the whole day and evening down the shore.