The sun, the food and the fun made a visit to the Festival of the Sea a great time for my family, friends and I on Saturday afternoon.
And getting in and out quickly and easily via free shuttle bus was a big improvement over fighting traffic, driving around looking for a parking spot and then walking a long distance just to get to the beginning of the street fair.
Residents from Point Beach, Point Borough, Brick, many parts of New Jersey and beyond, ate, drank and partied at the 2012 Festival of the Sea in downtown Point Pleasant Beach.
The Point Pleasant Beach Chamber of Commerce, which planned and ran the popular seafood festival, could not have asked for more spectacular weather. The sunny skies and warm, balmy weather attracted crowds in droves.
The festival offered a wide array of seafood and landlubber fare alike, beverages, desserts, a wine garden, pony rides, games and arts and crafts for the kids and some entertaining live musical talent.
For the first time, I took a free shuttle bus from Point Pleasant Borough High School to the western edge of the seafood festival on Arnold Avenue and I'm glad I did. My family, friends and I walked from our house in Point Borough to the parking lot behind the Borough High School.
The bus, which was actually a comfortable passenger van, was waiting as we walked into the high school parking lot, got us there quickly and dropped us off. It felt great not having to drive around looking for a parking space.
When it was time to leave, we had only a brief wait before a bus arrived to whisk us back. The drivers were quite efficient and nice. I always wondered if it would be a good idea to take a shuttle bus to the festival. Now I know it is and our friends, who live in Monmouth County, agreed.
I would recommend the shuttles to anyone interested in avoiding traffic and parking shortages. There were plenty of parking spaces in the Borough High School lot.
There were also, as there have been in prior years, so that's an option to keep in mind for next year.
But no matter how you go, earlier is still better. The crowds had really thickened and the lines for lobster rolls at Point Lobster got really long by late afternoon.