NJ Seafood Festival kicks off one month early to prevent overcrowding

The New Jersey Seafood Festival in Belmar kicks off one month early to prevent overcrowding. Crews were out preparing for the festival Thursday.

The New Jersey Seafood Festival in Belmar kicks off one month early to prevent overcrowding. Crews were out preparing for the festival Thursday. (5/12/16)

BELMAR - The mayor of Belmar says that scheduling the New Jersey Seafood Festival earlier this year will help prevent a massive crowd of people from converging on the borough like last year.

In previous years, the annual festival was held in June. Last year, more than 200,000 people attended the festival and made traveling in the area next to impossible.

“The thing that changes it for us is the weather,” says Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty. “If it's in the high- to mid-60s, that's great.  When it's 85 and sunny we get overpopulated with visitors.  We love visitors, but when it's nice like that and we have a seafood festival, it's a recipe for too many people."

This year it will kick off Friday, May 13 and will last through the weekend.

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