ASBURY PARK, N.J – Over 5,000 gays and lesbians will converge on the beach from July 20 to 22 for Sand Blast Weekend, Asbury Park’s LGBT Summer Festival. Now in its 11th year, Sand Blast features nonstop beach- and pool-side parties, great food and drink, and some of the hottest dance music around pumped out by a dozen DJs including Alyson Calagna, Brett Henrichsen, Corey Craig, Susan Levine and Steve Sidewalk.
“Sand Blast celebrates what Asbury Park is most loved for – our beaches and boardwalk and all the fun of that classic Jersey Shore experience – surrounded by thousands of other gays and lesbians playing, dancing and soaking up the sun. It’s just the perfect weekend,” said the Sand Blast executive producer, Brad Hurtado.
The fun starts on the sand with BUMP, SET and SPIKE: the Sand Blast Gay Volleyball Social on Fri., June 20. Things then move into overdrive when over 1,000 revelers dance the night away at the LOST AT SEA PARTY in the famed Convention Hall.
That’s just the beginning, as the weekend continues on Saturday with signature events like the Sand Blast Beach Party complete with a huge dance floor built next to the ocean, and DEEP BLUE – the Saturday night dance party. For the ladies there are sexy events like SIREN OF THE SEA: The Women’s Pool Party and WET Dance Party and Surfer Girl Beach Party.
For a cool-down, there are organized events that take you into the heart of downtown Asbury Park. The BRUNCH AND SHOP events are a fun way to see the town that Bruce Springsteen made famous, while sampling local restaurants and shops. Also not to be missed is the ASBURY PARK ARTS CRAWL. Or, for fitness enthusiasts, there are YOGA ON THE BEACH, beginner surfing lessons and a Sunday morning bike ride through Asbury Park’s historic shopping district and turn-of-the-century grand Victorians and seaside cottages.
Sand Blast was founded in 2008 by Asbury Park resident Brad Hurtado. What started in 2001 by a small group of gay and lesbian homeowners as a way to promote the downtrodden, crumbling turn-of-the-century beach town to their friends in New York City, has grown into one of the largest LGBT dance parties on the East Coast.
The growth of the event has mirrored the resurgence of Asbury Park, thanks in great part to the influx of over 600 gays and lesbians who bought weekend homes in there over the last decade. Today, Asbury Park boasts a bustling downtown, lined with gorgeous Victorian buildings, housing chic shops, restaurants, bars and music clubs. The once-abandoned boardwalk and beaches draw thousands of visitors daily and pack the beaches.
Block after block of derelict buildings, pavilions, stores and home have been restored to their former glory over the last 10 years. “Even during one of the toughest economic periods in our history we’ve seen new businesses constantly opening and thriving in Asbury Park because people love a comeback story,” says Brad Hurtado. “This town has so many fond memories for people who grew up coming here when they were young, and after so many decades of decline, the tide has turned and the town is back on the radar. That’s what we celebrate when we throw our hands in the air and dance on Sunset beach.”
Tickets, accommodations, sponsors and complete schedule of events may be found online at www.sandblastweekend.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Business Wire