By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr
Sea Bright – Normally you don’t many fireworks at committee meetings, however the May 13 Special Events Committee of the borough, started off with bang.
It was a virtual public meeting to discuss two topics, an application for a fireworks show at the Sands Beach Club and an application for a volleyball tournament.
Candace Mitchell, committee secretary, conducted the meeting along with Councilman Marc A. Leckstein, Police Chief Brett Friedman, Borough Clerk Christine Pfeiffer, OEM Coordinator Daniel Chernavsky, Beach and Recreation Director Don Klein, and Greg Hawriluk, Registered Environmental Health Specialist from Monmouth County Regional Health Commission.
Michael Chimento of Sands Beach Club, 825 Ocean Ave in Sea Bright, had asked the committee to approve his application for a summer fireworks show. “As we have in the past, the show will be 15 minutes and no shell larger than two inches,” said Chimento. Sands Beach Club, which is private, has held the show for years. “We don’t want to cancel the show as it’s our crown jewel.”
As a private club, Chimento said that they have the ability to close the club before the fireworks show and stage the beach and club in accordance with the social distance rules and regulations. “We are even exploring that no guests will be allowed during the event,” said Chimento. He also stated that they would hold off announcing the show until one week before the event and would hold it during the week so it would not interfere with the heavy weekend traffic.
Leckstein asked if approved how would the staff at the beach club enforce the social distancing rules. Chimento stated that he would work with Hawriluk from the department of health and the borough police department.
The committee took a vote and approved the application with the condition that it falls within the state requirements at the time of the show. They are looking at late summer dates hoping the social gathering restrictions are not as strict as they currently are.
Event number two was a volleyball tournament that Corey Wagner organizes. He has run a volleyball league for years on borough beaches. He was asking for permission to hold a tournament on Saturday, June 27. “I expect about 60 participants this year,” said Wagner. The tournament will have an 8:00 a.m. start time and he expects that it would be finished by noon.
Klein stated that the parking lots are usually filled by 10:00 a.m., and with the restrictions this year not as many will be allowed to use the lots. Sea Bright starts charging for beach access at 9:00 a.m., so they suggested that Wagner add the beach badge fee into his registration cost as Klein said everyone in the tournament needs a beach pass.
The committee approved the application with the same conditions they did for the Sands Beach Club. At the time of the event if state regulations prohibit the tournament, the application would be denied and no volleyball tournament will be held on borough beaches.
Wagner will purchase a bulk amount of one day passes and include that cost into his tournament registration so every competitor will have a Sea Bright beach pass for the day.