Families get jump on July 4th holiday at Jersey shore

OCEAN CITY, N.J. (WPVI) -- Families flocked to the Jersey shore Friday for what many call a beloved summer family tradition.

"It's just fantastic," said Natasha Shelton of Northeast Philadelphia who was spending the evening with her 5-year-old son on the boardwalk in Ocean City. "The weather's great. The water's great. The whole atmosphere."

Although a bit humid, a slight breeze made for a comfortable night for many who chose to walk the boards, play games and enjoy tasty food.

Lauren Stanger, 13, of Bridgeton, spent the evening on the boardwalk with four friends.

"We're just running rides to celebrate my birthday," said Stanger who said her favorite rides include the drop tower and swinging pirate ship.

Isabella Russo of Bayville, New York, said she, her brother and cousin hit the rides first before stopping for ice cream.

"Because we don't want to throw up on rides after we eat ice cream," said her brother Jack Russo.

Some early birds arrived at the shore to get an early start on their Fourth of July holiday vacation.

But for Bob Eley of Williamstown, the night in Ocean City started a permanent vacation. The former elementary school principal retired at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

"I asked what do you want to do to celebrate your retirement? This is what he picked. Let's go to the Ocean City boardwalk," said Eley's partner Wendy Archer.

Eley said "I hadn't been here since I was a teenager. Certain things evoke memories of youth that's what Ocean City does. The smell of boardwalk, salt air. It's all good."
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