Shore-goers start the holiday weekend

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The Jersey shore in ready for waves of eager sun and sand thirsty people this Memorial Day weekend. (WPVI)

The Jersey shore in ready for waves of eager sun and sand thirsty people this Memorial Day weekend.

In Wildwood, officials turned the giant key in the sand to officially unlock the ocean.

Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno encouraged people to come down.

"I think people should get in the car right now and drive to Cape May. Come to Wildwood especially and look at this beach. This is a huge, beautifully well-kept beach - people are welcoming them and they're waiting for them," Lt. Gov. Guadagno.

One gorilla eager to make his footprint in the sand is King Kong.

Shore-goers missed the big guy for decades but now his statue tops a new $1.6 million ride at Surfside Pier in North Wildwood.

Kites also lit up the sky over during the first night of the Wildwood International Kite Festival which also coincides with the holiday weekend.

Back on the boardwalk, you could find the tram car back in action along with kids up way past their bedtime and parents who didn't seem to mind.

"We're just spontaneous - we'll see what happens," said Eddie Tawfik.

In Sea Isle City, residents were disappointed the Townsend Inlet Bridge isn't open yet. It's a popular way for drivers to jump to different shore points - especially Avalon.

Alternative routes are Route 9 or the Garden State Parkway.

"Very inconvenient for me, the bikers and everyone down here - and it's a shame for the businesses," said Bobbie Frieberg.

But other shore spots started off the weekend without any major detours.

Businesses bank on the weather and Friday was surely a gift.

"We're excited - the things that we're hearing this year about the season - we're hearing good reports from our hoteliers, the rentals seem to be up. Weather always makes a good summer a great summer," said John Siciliano, executive director of the Wildwood Tourism Authority.

For merchants this weekend is a taste of how profitable the coming months could be.

"Turns into a hustle fest here on weekends like this," said Ron Schiltt, Springer's Ice Cream.

It's sure to be a flavorful weekend at Stone Harbor's ice cream staple Springers - which has more than 50 kinds on the board.

It'll be a weekend of service for Sam Day - a Boy Scout helping his brother with this Eagle Scout project to bring butterflies back to the Townsend Inlet.

In Sea Isle City, it's Senior Week for these college-bound Villa Maria Academy girls.

"We've been at the beach all day just sitting there and it's just so awesome compared to back when winter was," said Kenzie Haley.

In all both children and adult alike are happy to be in the sand and not the snow.

Related Topics:
traveltravelholidaymemorial daybeachesjersey shoren.j. newsboardwalkSea Isle CityWildwood
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