SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP) — As he belted out the words to "Nothin' But A Good Time," Poison singer Bret Michaels gave voice to the plans of residents and revelers alike as the unofficial start of summer arrived at the Jersey shore.
The hair band icon performed Friday on the Seaside Heights boardwalk before about 1,000 fans to kick off Memorial Day weekend.
"Forgive us for the party we're about to have on the beach this weekend!" he urged the crowd, many of whom had similar plans.
"We are going to have a good time every single day this summer," said Sal Negrini, of Pompton Lakes, who rented a house near the beach.
New Jersey tourism officials predict a strong summer season, the fourth after Superstorm Sandy. Much of what was damaged by the October 2012 storm has been rebuilt, though some homeowners in places like Toms River and Mantoloking still remain out of their homes.
"We're getting very good reports from businesses across the state," said Vicki Clark, vice president of the New Jersey Tourism Industry Association. "The rainy weather we had been having has everyone salivating for the good weather we have forecast for the holiday weekend."
Republican Gov. Chris Christie also visited the shore Friday, walking along the boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach.
Hoboken resident Diana Volaric ditched work Friday and went to the shore. She was rewarded with an autograph from Michaels, who is touring this summer with his solo band.
"This is the best way to start summer!" she said.
Elsewhere at the shore, the summer season was to be ushered in in quirky rituals. In Atlantic City, Mayor Don Guardian was to ceremonially "unlock" the ocean for the season. And in Ocean City, businesspeople march into the water in full boardroom regalia as "Pomp And Circumstance" plays over loudspeakers.
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