By Cleve Bryan


WILDWOOD, N.J. (CBS) – The Jersey Shore is gearing up for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Up and down the coast, towns and merchants are putting on the final touches.

The Wildwood boardwalk saw some foot traffic Thursday, but it’s is about to get a whole lot busier as the shore town braces for Memorial Day weekend.

“I’m really excited, a lot of people coming down,” Dominique Diaco, of Washington Township, said, “it’s going to be really busy.”

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“I’m really looking forward to the heat and the energy of this place,” Sarah Hickenbotham, who works at Boardwalk Chapel, said.

Restaurant and entertainment providers are getting ready for business to heat up and stores with summer merchandise, like the Five Mile Marketplace, are making sure the shirts are pressed and the shelves are stocked with mugs, key chains, hats and just about any other souvenir you can think of.

“It’s a tremendous amount of work,” Five Mile Marketplace owner Michelle Rutkowski said. “We can turn over almost 90% of the merchandise in this 5,000-square-foot store and the other two stores every year. It’s always new, it’s always fresh, it’s always the latest and greatest, but that’s a lot of work to do.”

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Also getting ready for the holiday weekend are organizers of the Wildwoods International Kite Festival.

Now in its 34th year, the four-day event draws thousands of kite enthusiasts and spectators who are wowed by high-flying stunts and colorful kites.

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“They come down off the boardwalk and they begin engaging in conversations about kites,” Sky Festival Productions event organizer Beatrix Pelton said. “Before you know it, we get a whole slew of new kite flyers because everybody is so excited about it.”