By David Madden

By David Madden

LONG BEACH ISLAND, N.J. (CBS) – There’s a party on Long Beach Island this weekend and you’re invited!

The locals are saying thanks to first responders who helped them recover from Hurricane Sandy.

It’s the “LBI Thank You Fest,” organized by Long Beach Township Mayor Joseph Mancini.

He recalls how more than 200 people came in to help out, some from as far away as Louisiana.

“They were kind of shocked, like ‘we really got hit.’ And I told them. I said ‘Look…I’m gonna bring you all back here when this place is cleaned up and you’ll see that this is the best island on the Jersey coast,’” said Mancini.

They’re holding events all weekend and for those first responders it’s all free; that includes accommodations for many of them, all donated by local businesses.

The public is encouraged to show up and show their appreciation as well.