~~~Check out the updated post here~~~
LBI Thank You Fest has taken the place of previous years’ LBIFest. It was decided that this year’s “fest” should be a little more personal, a thank you to all those who helped LBI get back on its feet. LBI was not just assisted by the LBI United Emergency Services, but police all the way from Louisiana as well as the NJ National Guard and many others. These people, as well as our local firefighters, medical personnel and police no doubt had damage to their homes and were separated from their family, but they continued working to make this island safe for us to come back and begin rebuilding.
Louisiana State Police drove all the way up here to help get our utilities back on safely. Members of the 150th Engineers and other New Jersey National Guard units had access to heavy equipment to help move sand and debris. The 177th and 108th Fighter Wing of New Jersey Air National Guard helped with the search and rescue on LBI and the 328th Military Police Company patrolled the island to keep everyone safe. Our local authorities and first responders not only rescued people who stayed through the storm, but they went and found residents’ pets to bring them to their owners on the mainland. They were on this island before the National Guard or any other authorities, they never left. The LBI United Emergency Services worked side by side with the military and utility crews to get LBI back as quickly as possible once Sandy finally moved through.
They slept on floors (if they slept much at all) , had no hot water, minimal food and had to look at this destruction day in and day out. I sure am thankful for what they have done and I’m sure you all are too. Some of these local responders I went to school with, some were family friends, others I had just seen around town.
LBI would not be alive without their help; which is why we are thanking them through a (free) weekend long event. But don’t worry; we get to celebrate with them too!
LBI will be transformed into a huge reopening party in this 3 day event! Friday (June 14th) the party begins in Ship Bottom with a live concert series from 4pm-8pm. The party continues Saturday (June 15th) in Brant Beach and Harvey Cedars from 11am-8pm. There will be live music all day, a dance house, laser tag, kid’s activities, a dunk tank, food vendors, arts & crafts and retail vendors. Finally, Sunday the 16th in Beach Haven, there will be countless sidewalk sales and Fantasy Island will be open.
There will be more information as the event gets closer, so be sure to check back here and at LBIthankyoufest.org.