Jersey Shore LobsterFest canceled 2 weeks before event

BRADLEY BEACH, New Jersey (WABC) -- The wildly popular Jersey Shore LobsterFest has been canceled less than two weeks before it was supposed to happen, a decision leaving seafood lovers shell-shocked.

The two-day festival draws tens of thousands of people every year, and now, town leaders are scrambling for an alternative.

The event has been a big hit as mostly tourists decent on the Bradley Beach Boardwalk and Promenade for the annual event.

Organizers said the festival had to be canceled when it was revealed that the local Chamber of Commerce -- which has hosted past events -- had not put in the proper paperwork to maintain its non-profit status.

The beachfront community was left with no option but to cancel LobsterFest.

The whole event got caught up in politics when a resident who was upset at a councilman started to look into the chamber's filing records and found the problems. Mayor Gary Engelstat said the borough tried to rescue the event.

"The chamber fell apart," he said. "And it's unfortunate, because there's some really good members to our chamber. But no one was going to step forward and take a leadership role."

Resident reaction has been mixed, with many folks living on Ocean Avenue and neighboring blocks saying they won't miss the event that brings loud food truck generators, crowds, people using the public street as a bathroom, and the seafood smell they say lingers for days.

* More New Jersey news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.