We thrive on summer. The beach at sunrise, the hot days on the bay, the brilliant shades of green on the marsh, those tuna trips to the Canyons and welcoming so many families who return here each year.
But while things get a little loose after Labor Day around Parker’s, there’s not much time to rest as we jump right into the LBI region’s busy event season. As we mentioned in a blog post last fall, we care a lot about our community. Being involved in these events is a great way to show that. Not to mention, we have a really good time.
Things will kick off this Thursday at Old Causeway when we host the Jetty Clam Jam Team Selection Night. We’ve been working closely with Jetty for 13 years now. It’s been amazing watching them grow and become leaders in our area. We were fortunate enough to be involved in the very first Clam Jam back in 2007, serving ice cold clams on the half shell. Through the years, our staff has competed and we’ve hosted the after parties. We remain one of the major sponsors of the event and will again be on the beach whenever the Clam Jam goes down.
On the Team Selection night, all the competitors’ names are written on clam shells and picked from a hat to see who’s paired together and which teams face each other in the first round. We’ll have Jetty Session Ale specials and Ted Hammock playing on the porch.
This Saturday, September 15 is also the Maker’s Fest at Manahawkin Lake, a festival that brings together over 100 artisans showing their work. There’s so much creativity in our area and the ladies of the Make Shift Union do a fantastic job of showcasing that with original music, food and drink.
For mainland folks that don’t get down to Beach Haven as often as they would like, in addition to our raw bar, we’ll be offering Parker’s Garage signature Tuna Crackers and Lobster Corn Dogs. In addition, we will have the Mud Shuttle running form Southern Regional Middle School to the Fest all day to alleviate some parking concerns.
September 29 is all about the kids for us as we host the start of the 9th Annual Community Bridge Walk. We put a lot of emphasis on our youth as the future of our community and so we are happy to offer the Old Causeway as a meeting place where participants gather to walk the length of the causeway bridge into Ship Bottom. It’s a fantastic day that really tells the story of the connection between LBI and the mainland as a fundraiser for the Jetty Rock Foundation. All of the money raised then goes to all of our local elementary school programs.
Then there’s the big weekend of September 29 and 30. This year, the Black Whale Bar and Fish House will be representing at the Chowderfest Cook-Off Classic at Frank Panzone Memorial Park in Beach Haven. In what has become an amazing fall tradition for LBI, all of the local restaurants put forth their New England and Manhattan Clam Chowders to let the people decide on who’s got the best. Last year saw a record 15,000 people and 3,000 gallons of chowder served. We walked with third place and we’re confident that Chef Kevin down at the Whale will give us a great showing.
That will be a busy weekend, as for the first time ever, we’re going to split our efforts in order to be part of Sea.Hear.Now in Asbury Park. This festival is very much aligned with our own tastes as it combines many of our favorite artists with professional surfing and art in the famed city by the sea. We were approached by event organizers because they wanted to give attendees choices of the very best food at the New Jersey Shore.
Picture enjoying our Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Sandwich, Raw Bar items, or Crab Poutine Fries while seeing Jack Johnson, Incubus, Incubus, Social Distortion, G Love, Blondie and two dozen other amazing acts on the beach with surf expression sessions all afternoon. We can picture it, and Mud City is stoked to be a part of it.
On October 6 we take part in the first ever Long Beach Township Oyster Shellebration. With the Follow the Shell program that we were part of the pilot program for, the exciting oyster reefs being created in our bay, our signature Parker’s Pearl, the Follow the Shell recycling program, and so much interest in clams and oysters, LBT and the Jetty Rock Foundation are hosting this first time event at Bayview Park featuring fresh oysters, beer, wine, food, shucking, music, and games for kids. It should be, as we say “shucking awesome.”
As we get into the fall, we host Pints for Pops Oktoberfest at the Old Causeway on October 18. This is all about awareness and money for Piece of the Puzzle, a local nonprofit that creates structured learning experiences and employment opportunities to students and adults with autism and spectrum disorder through collaboration with our local school districts and community outreach in NJ. Tickets include a pint glass to keep, a few brews, food and music.
Keeping the good vibes rolling, we present Crabbin’ For A Cure on October 25 at Parker’s Garage, which is a community dinner that raises money for the Jetty Rock Foundation , to get one more Parker’s Sunset before we close for the season.
On November 14, we will host Bourbon and Bites, a wonderful night of fantastic food, and friends, with favorite aged bourbons. This is a fundraiser for the Hunger Foundation of Southern Ocean County, which is on a mission to raise enough money to ensure that no child or family in our neighborhoods go hungry this winter.
Then in February, we will host the Arctic Outreach in the parking lot at Mud City. In addition to food, fire pits and games for the kids, we aim to teach the public about our efforts with Follow the Shell. But most of all, this event raises money for local families and we run it in the memory of our dear friend, Mallory, who taught us what it means to fight. And beyond that is Hop Sauce Festival in May, where we’ve always enjoyed pairing our menu favs with different craft beers.
We’re invested in our local environment, our staff, our economy and our community. Come see us at a few events these next few months and learn all about it.