Busy weekend at the Jersey shore expected to test new rules

Trish Hartman Image
Friday, June 16, 2023
New rules at the shore being put to the test this weekend
New rules designed to curb unruly behavior will be put to the test at the Jersey shore this weekend.

SEA ISLE CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- This coming weekend is a big one down the shore.

With schools out for summer and a long weekend for many, some will experience the new rules in some of these shore towns for the first time.

James' Fudge in Sea Isle City is bustling and staff are excited for the season to start in full swing.

"After the high school kids and middle school kids in Pennsylvania get off from school and come down here more, we're hoping for a little bit more pickup for business so we're very excited for skimmer weekend," said Kayla Jones, whose family owns the business.

The business just off the promenade has been in close proximity to large - sometimes destructive - groups of teens that have been known to gather late at night in the summer.

"They used to gather right outside of the store just up on the promenade here," said Jones. "We haven't really noticed that with the cops being up there policing it a little bit."

RELATED: Teen curfew, evening backpack ban now in effect in Ocean City, New Jersey

Effective immediately, an 11 p.m. curfew is in effect for juveniles, and a bag ban will be in effect on the beaches, boardwalk and beach street sections next to the boardwalk after 8 p.m.

Sea Isle officials say things are going "very smoothly" since a new 10 p.m. curfew and evening bag ban went into effect this year.

The new measures came about after large groups of teens were causing trouble in town at night.

Similar ordinances were just passed Thursday in Ocean City: an 11 p.m. curfew for juveniles and a bag ban on the boardwalk and beaches after 8 p.m.

Emergency council meetings were held to pass the ordinances after police responded to nearly 1,000 incidents Memorial Day weekend including vandalism, underage drinking and assaults.

In Wildwood, a new ordinance bans alcohol in any form on the beaches and boardwalk, including closed containers.

RELATED: Jersey shore towns crack down on unruly youth gatherings, vandalism and underage drinking

Ocean City officials said the emergency order is in response to large unruly youth gatherings, vandalism and underage drinking that created havoc this past Memorial Day weekend and last summer.

"When I grew up we were out all night long. But it's a different world now," said Jackie Cline, visiting from Slate Run, Pa.

Most people we spoke with say they hope the new ordinances - especially the curfews - will help.

"It's gotten worse every year," said Dottie Roth from Garnet Valley, Pa. "There's just hundreds of kids out and they don't seem to think about the danger they might be creating and what they're doing."

There are exceptions to the curfews - including teens on their way home from a job, an organized city-sanctioned activity or an emergency situation.