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Long Branch Summer Events Schedule Could Be Altered

LONG BRANCH: The city's summer event schedule could see some changes in 2016.

Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider said he would like to see some changes made to the events, which include concerts, festivals and car shows held between Memorial Day and the end of September.

"One of the things we need to start looking at is what every single event costs to put on, look at its benefits for the city and see what we want to do for next year," Schneider said. "We're looking at every event in terms of concerts, who puts them on and who plays and who pays for them; for the more expensive events we want to see if we are getting as much out of them as possible."

At least half of the UEZ funding used to help finance the city's summer events schedule will not be available.

"I think we can make it up out of the budget, but that's a decision the council is going to have to make," Schneider said.

He said the Fathers Day Car Show is "not overwhelmingly popular" with the city's employees because it keeps them from their own families and that his feeling is to get rid of it as there is already one car show in West End and that people are already at the beachfront where it is held each year.

"If an event is going to take place in the summer, it has to add something to what we already have," Schneider said.

The mayor said he has met with representatives from the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation (JSJBF) which hosts the Jazz Fest and helps pay for the Sunday night concerts in West End. The Jazz Fest runs the weekend before Labor Day and Schneider said he would maybe like to see it moved to after Labor Day to help bring more crowds to the beach after the summer season ends and make it easier on city employees.

"(The JSJPF) have some financial concerns because they do raise money from the event and if it was a different week they'd have to do things a little bit differently," Schneider said.

Schneider said he suggested to the JSJBF that they use the money usually allocated for fireworks to get a nationally-known band to get an even bigger crowd.

Councilwoman Joy Bastelli said she agreed but just wanted to make sure the festival remained on the city's schedule.

"I think the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation has done a tremendous job in town and I think they are a viable non-profit that helps us not only get great music in Long Branch, but also helps with scholarships for young people and gets our own local bands to Memphis," Bastelli said.

Schneider said he would like to see more events after the summer season such as Funk Fest, which was held two weeks after Labor Day in West End and was still successful.

Councilman John Pallone agreed with the idea.

"It helps the businesses, it extends the season and it's still a nice month," Pallone said.

Schneider said he would also like to see some new, younger bands play to add some diversity to the summer lineup.

Schneider said no decisions have been made, but that he would like to have a plan in place before the end of the year so summer preparations can begin.

"I'm not looking for anything dramatic," Schneider said. "A couple new bands, a couple new events and let's see how we do."

Read more from: Long Branch

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