SEASIDE HEIGHTS – A holiday tradition returned during Easter weekend on the borough’s boardwalk.
The holiday weekend saw the return of what resembled the old normal in the shore area – but it did include masks and other state guidelines and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The borough’s Business Improvement Association held a full schedule of offerings over the weekend which unofficially kicks off the beginning of the season for many boardwalk businesses. There was a provided a virtual version of the annual Easter Egg Hunt, a popular event for children and parents for generations. It continued this year on Saturday and Sunday.
Egg Hunt participants were able to hunt at their leisure from noon to 5 p.m. on April 3 and on Easter Sunday. The free child-oriented event featured “C-Side the Easter Rabbit” who offered clues and encouragement throughout the quest for eggs.
Families scanned QR codes so that way they didn’t have to touch anything other than their smartphone.
Participants filled out an entry online and will be mailed at least one prize coupon. Prizes provided by the coupons range from one-day beach badges, to slices of pizza, to arcade game play.
Egg hunters could even enter for a bonus prize drawing by submitting a photo of their Hunt group with one of the egg posters.
The hunters were requested to visit exit82.com/egghunt before they left their home in order to access complete instructions and a guide that they could download, print, and carry with them during the hunt.
The annual Easter Promenade, an Easter tradition on the boardwalk for decades, was not held due to the pandemic. Mayor Anthony Vaz and members of the borough council were in front of the Webster Avenue Lifeguard Headquarters directing people to pick up free flowers on a table.
“We can’t hand out the flowers because of the restrictions so we are telling people to pick them from the table. It is still a good day and great to see so many people up here enjoying the day,” Vaz said.
The mayor recalled Easter celebrations of the past which featured sunny weather and sometimes some chilly winds that called for the Promenade judges to have to cover up with blankets to warm up for the judging. Mayor Vaz said he was looking forward to next year’s event which should be COVID-19 pandemic restriction free and would include all the usual activities.
There was one visual reminder via an electronic billboard sign that dogs were no longer allowed on the borough’s boardwalk or beaches in the offseason.
The borough recently banned dogs from the boardwalk and beach after a buildup of complaints by residents and tourists as well.
Those who do bring their canine friends to the borough’s oceanfront will face fines in the amount of $100 at minimum and $1,250 at maximum.
Another part of the holiday weekend was the return of the annual Casino Pier and Breakwater Beach big pre-season ticket sale. Many Pier attractions were also open. Season beach badges were available for purchase during the weekend.