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Jersey Shore’s big gay weekend

Beachfront Asbury Park hosts annual Sand Blast

Saturday afternoon’s The Beach Party. Credit: Barnett

Thousands of gays and lesbians will converge on the charming and newly popular seaside town of Asbury Park, New Jersey for Sand Blast, an annual LGBT party weekend on the Jersey Shore that runs Jul 19-21.

Festivities will feature two-dozen activities from surfing to guided bike rides, beach dodge ball to a burlesque show, downtown art gallery walk, two pool parties, and nighttime dance extravaganzas. The Beach Party, the weekend’s main event, will feature DJs Tony Moran and Hector Fonseca.

“Bringing the legendary producer and remixer Tony Moran to headline Saturday afternoon’s The Beach Party has been a goal of ours for years,” said Brad Hurtado, event founder and executive producer. “Securing the super hot Hector Fonseca to spin the first three hours is a double whammy.”

More than 4,000 people attended last summer’s event. 

What makes Sand Blast Weekend different from other gay party weekends is that in addition to its high-energy dance parties, Sand Blast offers many relaxing activities to enjoy. 

“Sand Blast is about discovering Asbury Park as a gay-friendly resort community and making it your own,” says Hurtado. “We want our guests to go off and explore the entire town and boardwalk and enjoy all that this Jewel on the Jersey Shore has to offer. It’s not just a place to come once a year; it’s a destination we hope guests return to again and again.”

Visual entertainment will include Olympic-caliber trampoline athletes at Saturday’s Beach Party and Team New York Aquatic’s sexy gay water polo crew performing a 10-minute scrimmage and an in-pool synchronized swimming show during Sunday’s Riptide Pool Party.

The gay community began pilgrimaging to Asbury Park in 1999 and 2000 when the city was in terrible condition with an abandoned mile-long boardwalk and vacant storefronts downtown. New York City gays discovered a residential neighborhood packed with turn-of-the-century Victorian houses in falling down condition selling for under $100,000 and started buying up properties for summer vacation homes. New residents started throwing an a summer party to invite their friends to come see the stunning beach and gorgeous old houses a few blocks from the ocean that were selling for under $100,000.