BELMAR, N.J. — It happened during the 29th Annual New Jersey Seafood Festival, the crowds got so big, Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty tweeted:
"Belmar has reached its capacity and we are shutting down all traffic into town from Route 35 effective immediately."
"We're going to sit down and meet with our Police Department and Department of Public Works, see how we can address this going forward because we don't want this to happen again," said Doherty
The mayor says usually they see about 100,000 people over three days, but that they easily doubled that number this year.
Ivan Rella is a resident who had trouble getting home.
"I've never seen that before, I've been in Belmar the past three summers and not once has that happened," said Rella.
While the popularity of the festival is great for Belmar, the mayor says, they have to come up with a solution so what happened on Sunday doesn't happen again.
"We want the crowds, and we want them to come and patronize our small businesses here in Belmar and rest of the Jersey Shore, but this got to the point where it started to become a public safety issue," said Doherty.
The mayor said it may have been a combination of the great weather, people were coming to the beach and the crowds at the festival.
Route 35 reopened about 4 hours after it was closed.
The mayor said even though they had to close, the town did not receive any complaints about the large crowds.