Seaside Heights, which renamed its bay beach Sunset Beach last year, will continue improving the park, which is often overshadowed by the borough’s ocean beaches on the opposite side of Route 35.
Last year, the borough began by cleaning the park and adding aesthetic improvements, and this year will look to lure people there in the evenings to watch the summer sun set over Barnegat Bay. Mayor Anthony Vaz said he’d like the park’s future crowd to resemble the nightly gatherings on Gulf of Mexico beaches on Florida’s west coast, which draws a large number of people to watch the sunset. Some towns even add light entertainment – another addition Seaside Heights is considering.
“In Naples, Anna Maria Island, Sarasota,” it’s a huge attraction, Vaz said.
The park will host simple entertainment – a guitar player, for example – and a calm environment. The borough is also planning outdoor movie nights on the bay this summer.
The nighttime attractions are part of an overall effort to improve the park and emphasize the borough’s bayfront, which for years has been seen as severed from rest of the town by the highway. A new pedestrian safety mechanism installed during the Route 35 rebuilding project has made it safer for pedestrian to access the park, giving borough officials hope that its popularity will grow.
“We want to make it, truly, an attractive area to go to the beach, swim and have fun,” Vaz said.