TOMS RIVER, NJ – After a full year of lockdowns, Downtown Toms River is showing signs of life as America moves out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks in part to former President Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed” which accelerated the COVID-19 vaccine approvals by years, the annual Pride Festival returns to kick off the 2021 season of festivals downtown.
Nightlife has been a common place in Downtown Toms River after a portion of Washington Street was converted into a makeshift outdoor dining area on weekends, but now, the events are coming back too.
“With inclusivity and collaboration at the core of our mission, the Toms River Pride Committee and Exit 82 Theatre Company invite the the community to participate in Toms River’s 3rd Annual LGBTQIA2S+ (Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual/Ally, Two Spirit, Plus) Pride Festival,” wrote sponsors B98 of the festival. “There is hope that this ever-growing tradition will spark meaningful collaboration that not only benefits the evolving Downtown District, but advances the mission of fostering a safe and welcoming environment for members and allies of the LGBT+ community in the Greater Toms River area and neighboring counties. This festival welcomes all and will be family-friendly with food, vendors, performances, shopping, giveaways and festivities!”
Every Friday and Saturday night, the streets are closed for Downtown Night Out. Wednesday’s are Toms River Farmers Market days and there are several Cruisin’ Downtown events scheduled this summer. On June 12th, the Toms River Fire Company will host its 125th annual anniversary celebration. As of now, other annual festivals have not been scheduled according to DTR’s website.