By TIM KELLY
Banner planes were flying. The beach, Boardwalk, and shopping districts were jammed with residents and visitors. The waves were good.
You could say this weekday in May was a preview for the expected Memorial Day crush next weekend, except it actually felt very much like a rousing holiday weekend.
Skies were sunny, a light breeze and low humidity kept things refreshing, and temperatures were in the mid-60s and topped out at 70, according to a local weather forecast.
And as anyone who lives in Ocean City or comes here to visit will tell you, those types of conditions bring out people in droves.
On Park Place beach, longtime friends Chris Townsley, Brett Herron, Brooke Holden, all of Williamstown, and Cade Longo, of Mullica Hill, were engaged in a lively game of spike ball.
“We all love the beach and we’ve been coming down on day trips for years,” Herron said. “It’s just a 45-minute drive for us and we just love it. It’s easy to jump in the car and come down. Today is a perfect day for that.”
Evan Beidler and sister, Dora, noted, “We’ve been on the beach all day,” he said, and the siblings had the tans to prove it. Now we’re going to head back to Princeton and meet some friends to keep the party going. It’s a simple celebration, but sometimes those are the best.”
Gary Lindley, an artist, and surfer, and year-round resident of Third Street, had just emerged from the water after an hour-long session catching the waves, estimated to be between three to five footers when we caught up with him.
“My friends might give me a hard time for wearing (a winter wetsuit), but I’ve been out here all winter,” Lindley said. “That’s why I’m not cold. I caught a few. It was fun.”
On Asbury Avenue, mother-daughter duo Sharon and Lyndsey Lipson, of East Brunswick with a vacation home in Ocean City, were finishing up an afternoon of shopping and preparing to head home for dinner.
“It was a nice day to be out and about. We enjoy shopping. Today was a great day to get out here,” Sharon Lipson said, summing up the feelings of almost everyone we spoke with.
It looked as though folks were in mid-season form for sun and fun in Ocean City, even if they were a few days early.