If you listen to 94.3 then you know the radio station broadcasts from the Chamber of Commerce’s boardwalk booth on the weekends in the summer, because the Chamber wants you to know that Asbury Park is open for business.
Many people find themselves curious about what the Chamber of Commerce actually is and does. Mainly their role is to advocate, promote, and support the success of the business community in Asbury Park. Here are a few other insights.
The Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce is a 501-C6, not for profit organization. They are a separate entity which is not part of the City of Asbury Park. If you have an issue pertaining to a parking violation, a lost item, or any other traffic or security concerns you can go to the city website at www.cityofasburypark.com, or call 732-775-2100.
However, the Chamber can help guide you on what department to call or who you can speak to if you’re not sure where to direct your questions or concerns.
The Chamber of Commerce is a great place to go if you’re looking for a recommendation on where to eat, stay, or shop. They can also give you information on special events happening in town.
The Chamber holds several events throughout the year and helps to spread the word about other events in town through their email campaigns and Chamber calendar. If you’re running an event you can add it to the chamber calendar here. Submission is free to Chamber members.
They also put out a city guide to help you navigate your way through Asbury Park. New maps come out the end of May.
Additionally, the Chamber hosts monthly Networking events that take place on the third Wednesday of each month at various locations throughout the City. Anyone can attend these events.
What the AP Chamber of Commerce would most like people to know is that Asbury Park isn’t just open in the summer, we’re open all year. Asbury Park is a thriving community from January to December.
There are all kinds of events that occur throughout the year in Asbury Park. So many in fact that I like to divide them into categories: Major events, Mid-level events, and Local or Community events. Major events bring crowds of several thousands of people, (10,000 or more) to Asbury Park. Like the Sea.Hear.Now. Surf and Music Festival that took place for the first time last September on the beachfront, where 20,000 people attended. Or the LGBTQIA+ Pride Festival that’s held in June where 10-15,000 people attend every year. Mid-level events can draw crowds of several hundred to a few thousand people, and local/community events are mostly attended by residents in Asbury Park and surrounding areas. These events usually have an attendance of a few hundred people.
There are so many events that it would be difficult to name them all, and not even in the same post, but I will mention a few of the most popular. Some of which have been ongoing for many years.
Events and Happenings Inside Asbury:
The first event of the year, and one of the largest is the Light of Day Music Festival a major event which takes place in mid-January and lasts for 10 days. This concert series is held at multiple venues throughout town and is a benefit for Parkinson’s Disease, ALS and PSP. The festival draws thousands of people to Asbury Park from all over the world. This year I met people from England, Germany, Switzerland, and Finland, who came to Asbury Park just for the LOD festival.
A new event took place this February, the Asbury Park Mardi Gras on February 23rd and of course there’s always special deals for Valentine’s Day in the restaurant scene, with many options to choose from. A wonderful community event is the City of Asbury Park’s Black History Month luncheon where they celebrate and give awards to honor the many people who have made a contribution to Asbury Park.
The second Sunday in March, is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade attended by nearly 10,000 people. Another new event is Reel Jersey Girls Film Festival hosted by The Showroom= and is the prelude to The Garden State Film Festival, held the last weekend of the month and begins the Thursday before. Also happening in March is the Women’s Convention. This year was the 2nd annual event and was held on March 30th at the Stone Pony.
In April we have the 2nd annual Catsbury Park Cat Convention held this year, Saturday and Sunday, 4/13 and 4/14 on the boardwalk in Convention Hall. Where you can adopt a pet and so much more. This mid-level event, still in its infancy, is gaining popularity with cat lovers of all ages. I can totally see it turning into a major event in a few years.
April is also the host month of the Asbury Park Music and Film Festival held on the last weekend beginning Thursday, 4/25 to 4/28. The AP Chamber Restaurant Tour is always held the last Sunday in April as well. A local event that is gaining momentum each year. For more info go to the Chamber website.
Another popular event this April is the City-Wide Yard Sale on Saturday, 4/27. There have been over 30 homes join this event in the past and 20% of the proceeds go to Wag-on-Inn and Rescue Ridge animal rescues. If you’d like to participate, email firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is April 20th. For shoppers you can find maps of participating locations on the AP Citywide Yard Sale Facebook page, the Chamber calendar, The Coaster, or at 1104 5th Avenue the day of the event. The sale is from 9 AM – 3 PM.
And let’s not forget the 84th annual Easter Parade and Pageant on the boardwalk, happening this year on April 21st. Hundreds of people turn out for this local event and favorite Asbury Park tradition. Rain or shine, the parade begins at 1 PM in front of the Paramount Theater and Robinson’s Ale House, or inside Convention Hall under inclement weather.
Look for Part 2 and other news coming soon!
This post was edited on April 17th, 2019. The Local events category has been changed to Mid-level events.