Jersey party moves to A.C.

Jersey party moves to A.C.

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An annual LGBT beach party will celebrate its 12th year with some changes. Sand Blast, the largest mid-Atlantic LGBT summer beach party, will move from North Jersey to South this summer — from Asbury Park to Atlantic City. The event will be held July 18-20.

Sand Blast has been held in Asbury since 2002. It was launched by a group of LGBT homeowners in the Asbury Park area, who sought to promote the town’s LGBT-friendly atmosphere.

But, because of the event’s growing population — attracting more than 4,000 people — it has outgrown its current location, according to Sandblast producer Brad Hurtado. Hurtado said Atlantic City has a lot to offer Sand Blast guests.

“Atlantic City, with its many hotels, attractions and party venues, was a natural choice, and this move allows us to continue our original mission to introduce our LGBT friends from cities along the East Coast to the wonders of the Jersey Shore,” he said in a press release. “Atlantic City’s airport opens the weekend event to an entirely new audience, from New England to Florida.”

In its 12 years, Sand Blast grew exponentially, and is credited with helping to revive Asbury Park’s historic downtown and bring in a wealth of new LGBT residents.

Sand Blast will kick off with its Lost At Sea party at The Chelsea Hotel, 111 S. Chelsea Ave. The following day, the party will take over the beach, with an expansive dance floor next to the Bungalow Beach Bar. The weekend will also feature a volleyball tournament and a performance at The Claridge Hotel’s theater, followed by an all-night dance party. Sunday will feature the Riptide Pool Party at Harrah’s,followed by the closing party at Caesars.

“We in Atlantic City are excited to host Sand Blast this year,” said openly gay Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian. “This is a great opportunity for the LGBT community to enjoy our beautiful city, free beaches and amazing hotels.”

Two host hotels will be announced in the next few days and will offer three-night-stay packages for $170 per night.

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