Belmar, New Jersey was so full on Sunday that the mayor had to take an unusual approach to the situation by turning people away at the highway entrance to the suddenly very popular town.
So what does Belmar, New Jersey have that other towns don’t have? As it turns out, the town was hosting its 29th annual seafood festival this weekend, and Sunday was the perfect day for outsiders to spend a full day in Belmar checking out the sites or visiting the local beaches.
According to the Associated Press, the Monmouth County town usually holds about 6,000 residents. Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty was worried that the town was full to the max, and for good reason.
Thousands of people came to to the town of Belmar on Sunday, making the mayor consult with the local police about what to do next.
Mayor Doherty announced via Twitter around 3 p.m. that the town had “reached its capacity” and that traffic into the town from Route 35 would be “shut down immediately” to stem the flow of enthusiastic travelers into the town.
Full-time residents could still get into the town to their homes by showing appropriate authorities their driver’s licenses.
At 7 p.m., the roads were opened to the general public again and the town was no longer cut off to tourists and other travelers passing through the area.
According to NJ, over 200,000 people made their way to Belmar over the course of the weekend. Typically, the town swells to a population of about 60,000 over the summer.
Restaurants in the fuller-than-normal town were more than happy to serve the hungry tourists who managed to make it into the town before it was closed off to the rest of the late-to-the-party public. Some restaurants claimed business was no more than steady at most, while other establishments were so bogged down by customers that they couldn’t be bothered to spare the time to comment further.
One restaurant had lines of customers waiting to be seated while the building was already at full capacity.
The “perfect storm of good things,” including the day being “a perfect 10 weather wise” made the 1.6 square mile beach town of Belmar very full and the popular place to be on Sunday, according to the mayor.
[Photos via NJ.com; Alex Napoliello/NJ Advance Media]