LONG BRANCH:Saturday at the Great Lawn made for a most successful summer at the shore for the Jersey Shore Jaz and Blues Foundation, its fans and promoters.
Beginning in June in Point Pleasant and picking up the summer musical pageantry in Asbury Park in July, the summer-long festivities ended at the August 29 finale in Long Branch on a sunny afternoon overlooking the Atlantic with music, music, music at the bandstand.
The day itself has become a tradition, with the National Anthem starting the event.
Rebecca Ryann, an 11 year old from Middletown sang God Bless America followed by the Star Spangled Banner, with a voice that filled the park. Holding Old Glory high was Matthew Raymond, a Middletown lad of 8 who waved the flag slowly to show its unfurled splendor.
Emcee Lou Acevedo introduced the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Youth Ensemble and the tone was set for great music and enjoyment for the day, when later the full moon lighted the sky.
"Magnificent," one J&B volunteer thought aloud.
The Promenade was very busy with merchants and food servers, everything to eat from many different cuisine and cultures.
There were games for kids. Displays by home builders, lending institutions, interior decorators, and fortune advisors made a colorful scene, as many visitors just took a foot tour of the displays. The Beach was packed, life guards on duty and police keeping traffic under control, a touch task with the huge crowd.
Once again it was the shore, the summer, Long Branch and its neighbors from near and far who made the day a huge success.