LBI hopes a ‘Hop Sauce Festival’ will attract a younger crowd

 Steve Seabury, owner of High River Sauces, is one of a dozen hot sauce vendors expected at next month's Hop Sauce Festival.

Steve Seabury, owner of High River Sauces, is one of a dozen hot sauce vendors expected at next month's Hop Sauce Festival.

A group of Long Beach Island residents are hoping to draw a younger crowd of tourists to the shore next month by tempting them with a hot sauce and craft beer.

Organizers hope the Hop Sauce Festival, (not a misspelling, really)  held for the first time this year, will become an annual tradition, similar to the island’s popular Chowderfest – except younger, hipper, and hotter. The event will be held in Beach Haven, N.J., on May 31, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

It will feature roughly a dozen craft beers and hot sauce vendors, as well as local food vendors and music by bands from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York each hour.

“There’s many generations of families that come to the island, which is great, and we hope we’re marketing to them, too,” said Regina Lotito, one of the festival’s organizers and the owner of a spice store called Spice It Up in Beach Haven, N.J. “But we kind of think we need some new blood, some new thinking on the island, and to bring in a new demographic.”

Want to burn your tastebuds and then dose those flames with a craft beer?  More details and ticket information at: www.hopsaucefest.com.

A portion of the proceeds will go to The Jetty Rock Foundation, to help the island continue to recover from Superstom Sandy.

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