Events and Happenings inside Asbury Park
When the Chamber of Commerce says Asbury Park is Open all year, they mean business. A plethora of events take place in this little City by the Sea throughout the year and not all of them are mentioned here. What I have included is mostly the annual events that take place the same time every year, or a new event that is likely to become annual. So if you want to plan to a mini get-away to Asbury Park to attend one of them, you’ll know exactly when to book your reservation. Not to mention the great deals most of the hotels in town have in the off season.
As the weather warms up so does the very popular month of May which is host to several annual events; three happening on the same day, and one of them being a new event for this year. Also, the Bonfires are back! See below for details.
Friday, May 3rd is the 7th annual Pink Prom at the Hotel Tides. Pink Prom is a fun fundraising event where the community will have the chance to support local organizations while revisiting prom season. This year proceeds will benefit The Brian Holland Legacy Foundation and Asbury’s LGBTQ Health Center.
Everyone loves the annual PUGAPALOOZA Event held at the Wonder Bar, happening this year May 3rd – 5th. Check out their calendar of events happening all weekend, beginning on Friday.
This is not an annual event but it’s very special: Deepak Chopra: The Nature Of Reality. Deepak Chopra will be at the Paramount on Saturday, May 4th.
BONFIRES ON THE BEACH: The Asbury Park Boardwalk, (aka Madison Marquette) hosts bonfires on the beach from May to September. They are FREE and open to the public. They begin at 7 PM on Friday’s in the off season, May and June. The first one begins on Friday, May 3rd at the Beach Bar, 5th Avenue beach. Check out their website for the full Bonfire schedule. Bring your chair, a beach blanket, and enjoy!
The first annual Asbury Park ALIVE! will take place on Saturday, May 4th. This event is part of an international ‘open streets movement’ happening in many cities throughout the U.S., Canada, and around the world. The route will run along Springwood and Lake Avenues all the way down to the beachfront, along Ocean Ave. It will be held from 1 – 5 PM. This event is FREE.
Also on May 4th is the 2nd annual Jersey Devil & Fable Festival in the downtown on Cookman and Mattison Avenues from 12 – 6 PM, hosted by Paranormal Books and Curiosities. Hear stories from the Pine Barrens of New Jersey to the Black Forest of Germany. This event is FREE.
May 4th will be the 11th annual Kentucky Derby Party at Watermark on the boardwalk, this have become one of Asbury Parks fun traditions and is also a fund-raiser for Second Call Thoroughbred Adoption and Placement . Doors open at 4 PM, race goes off at 6:30. There’s also a best hat contest, so don’t come empty headed! This event is FREE.
On May 5th The Mercy Center will hold its annual 2019 NJ AIDS Walk from 11:30am to 4:30pm.
Also on May 5th is the very first Cinco de Mayo Block Party which will be held on Bangs Ave. All net proceeds will benefit Food Justice at Trinity Church on Asbury Avenue to help prevent hunger in Asbury Park. The event is from noon to 6 pm.
If you’re looking for an elegant black tie event, on Friday, May 10th is the Carousel Awards Gala, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce to honor local businesses and community leaders, it will be held this year in Convention Hall. Always the first Friday in May.
Asbury Fresh returns to Kennedy Park Sunday, May 12th from 10am to 3pm. Asbury Fresh was born in the spring of 2012 out of a simple desire to bring fresh, local produce, artisan food, and handmade goods to downtown Asbury Park.
TEDx Talk – May 18th
A Few More Things you should know…
MUSIC: There’s music all year long in multiple venues throughout the city. Langosta Lounge, Pop’s Garage, APYC, Tim McLoone’s Supper Club, as well as the Wonder Bar, the Stone Pony, Asbury Lanes, Asbury Hotel, the Berkeley Hotel, and of course Paramount Theater on the beachfront. In the downtown there’s the House of Independence, Johnny Mac’s, the Brickwall Tavern. And in mid-town there’s The Saint and George’s. All of the above have music year round.
Gallery Art629 hosts the Asbury underground Art and Music crawl in the downtown a few times a year. This event is FREE and usually co-exists with other music events happening around town.
ART GALLERIES: There’s several art galleries in town that have openings throughout the year: Art629, Exhibit No. 9, Palette Gallery, Parlor Gallery, and Tony LaSalle, all on Cookman Avenue. Heaven also has a gallery on their second floor and is also on Cookman. There’s a gallery at The Tides Hotel on 7th Ave, Asbury Park’s north ocean side. A quaint little hideaway with a southern style rocking chair porch. Art openings are always free and many of the galleries hold workshops for drawing, painting, jewelry making, and writing.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for on the Chamber calendar, the City of Asbury Park has a weekly email that lists a host of events happening in town for the coming week. There’s also a dedicated event website called, Asburyparkdaily.com. And of course, you can always find some event information as well as interesting stories on asburyinsider.com.
COMING SOON: Two new eating establishments will be coming to AP’s beachfront this season. One is a long awaited Pizza kiosk on the boardwalk. Maruca’s Pizza originally from Seaside will take the previous Hoagito’s space, it will be owned and operated by Sammy Boyd and is expected to open in early May. Another boardwalk favorite is Tower Dogs, and not just any dog, they’ll have gourmet hot dogs. Originally from Princeton, Chef Tim Forkel will open his Asbury location the week of April 21st.
The band shell theater on the roof of the 5th Avenue pavilion does not have a completion date for the season yet, but look for more details out soon.