VENTNOR – If you enjoyed the Downbeach Seafood Festival at Ski Beach on Saturday, you might want to save the weekend after Labor Day 2020 for double tastings of the sea’s bounty. If everything goes as planned, the festival could morph into a two-day event.

Thousands of seafood lovers flocked to the bayfront park for the festival, which relocated to Ventnor this year after many years at Bader Field in Atlantic City. It was a coup for Ventnor, which has been working to provide the public with quality events not only in summer, but in the off-season as well.

Vendors offered the much sought after lobster roll, grilled shrimp served up in pineapple, and even fried alligator. Local restaurants, such as Red Room and the Cardinal Bistro, which plans to open on the Orange Loop in Atlantic City in a few months, participated along with casino restaurants and regional craft breweries.

Bands played on the big stage, while the Pacific Island Dancers entertained the crowd with their Tahitian and Hawaiian dances. A chowder cook-off was held to raise money for the FoodBank of New Jersey.

The event went smoothly, without major any major hiccups, public safety officials said.

“There were a few bumps and scrapes, a bee sting, and one person had a diabetic episode and was transported to the hospital,” Emergency Management Coordinator Donna Peterson said.

She was stationed in the OEM tent taking notes about minor issues that could be addressed before the next Downbeach Seafood Festival is held in September 2020.

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.