Seaside Heights, NEW JERSEY (PIX11) – Just two days after it’s neighbor to the south was ravaged by an inferno, Seaside Heights, as New Jerseyans have learned to do, moved forward.
“You have to go forward. You went forward from Sandy, you have to go forward from this,” said Gina pallis of Ortley Beach.
Thousands of people packed the boardwalk to celebrate the borough’s 100th anniversary Saturday.
“This is the first time this year. Finally, a great turnout,” Seaside Heights resident Mickey Miller said.
The festival marks a major milestone for the iconic shore front community that lost most of its boardwalk during Hurricane Sandy.
“The last year has been rough. But the turnout today has been fabulous. I’m glad to see it,” Ken Delapietro said.
The unexpected crowds hopefully bringing a much needed economic boost after a disappointing summer.
“I think that it’s great that the businesses have some people here to spend some money and bring the shore back,” said Lou gallipoli of Toms River.
Meanwhile just blocks away. firefighters continued to sift through the ashes of the last remaining section of the original boardwalk in Seaside Park.
The section withstood Sandy, but fell to the flames.
“I think maybe a lot of people came out to see the disaster that happened this past week but i mean the businesses are doing well and they have all these stands and people are spending money and that’s what’s important,” Linda Gale Alati said.
Even though most people here in Seaside Heights say they were surprised by the crowds for the centennial celebration, they say this is evidence for the people in Seaside Park that they too can rebuild.
“That says a lot about New Jersey, it says a lot about the shore, and it says a lot about Seaside Heights in particular that really nothing is going to stop them,” Jane Owen said.