ALLENHURST’S 72nd OCEAN DYE SEES SPLASHY RECORD ATTENDANCE
In between cheers and laughs, Allenhurst beach goers of all ages dove and dipped into the emerald green water Sunday during the 72nd annual ocean dye.
“The ocean dye always caps a wonderful summer season with dear friends,” said Donna Shucavage of Wayside, who has been enjoying the event for 25 years. “There are families here today who have been celebrating this for 70 years – now with their grandchildren and great grandchildren. We are so lucky to have this tradition here.”
In 1943, Bob Fountain, owner of Bubble Land amusements in Asbury Park dropped green dye in the ocean to celebrate his daughter’s birthday. Today, his granddaughters Gail Matarazzo and Joan Desmarais, both of Oakhurst, continue the tradition by emptying plastic containers (similar to large mayonnaise jars) filled with 10 pounds of EPA-approved powdered dye into the ocean just before high-tide.
“This was the most crowded year ever,” said Matarazzo, covered in green dye. “I always hope the event runs smoothly every year because I want everyone to be happy. Afterwards, I am thrilled to see the kids’ faces. People here are so grateful. It was even better that the water was so warm this year.”
After a short parade of children led by bagpiper Rich Mayo of Eatontown, an, err… sea of people celebrated friendship, community and the end of summer in the emerald green ocean water. Children competed to bottle the “greenest” water. Many adults believe a dip in the ocean is good luck until next summer.
“The Allenhurst lifeguards are always a huge part of the ocean dye’s success,” continued Matarazzo. “And this couldn’t happen without the support of the borough.”
The Allenhurst ocean dye is the longest-running event of its kind in the country and the only to take place on Labor Day. Chicago’s famous river dye began in 1961.
For past coverage of the ocean dye in The Coaster, click here.