PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) The Tram Car is rolling. The arcade games are polished. The smell of funnel cake and pizza are in the air. Summer 2016 is here. The Thursday before Memorial Day is more like Christmas Eve down the shore.
“They’ve been waiting for it all week. They knew we were coming down. So they’e been counting down how many more sleeps until the shore” said one mom taking her 3 kids on the boardwalk in Ocean City.
For many families the summer isn’t official until there’s a walk on the boardwalk.
“Just relaxing and enjoying the nice weather” said Tu Vu from Haverford. She’s visiting Ocean City with her husband and 2 kids for the weekend.
Over in Stone Harbor the cocktails were flowing at the legendary Fred’s Tavern on 96th Street. The bar was packed on Thursday afternoon including many who just arrived in town for the holiday weekend.
Waitresses were busy preparing for the crowds.
“People are still trying to get their places together from the hurricanes but everybody is ready and everyone is excite. Bring on Memorial Day” said waitress Kristen McClure.
Beachgoers may find smaller than normal beaches this summer. The punishing winter eroded many Jersey Shore beaches all beach towns tell Fox 29 their beaches are open.
Along the boardwalk in Wildwood the town’s unofficial anthem “Wildwood Days” played through speakers as visitors strolled past ice cream shops and arcades.
“It goes from zero to a hundred my friend” says Carl Galucci. Galluci owns 2 ice cream shops along the boardwalk. He says he’s not stressed about opening weekend.
"All chaos is about to break loose. But I tell you my best advice is to stay calm. I’m calm. Because I’ve been doing this for 20 years” he said.
State officials say Jersey Shore accounts for about half of the state’s $42 billion annual tourism revenue. And the start of this summer season is already looking good at least weather wise.
The Fox 29 Weather Authority is expecting a hot sunny holiday weekend.