It's easy to overlook Manasquan as one drives through southeast Monmouth County on Route 71. Brielle to the southwest and Sea Girt to the north are also communities of Victorian houses on tree-lined side streets. Manasquan also boasts about a mile of beaches, and a town center focused around ??? what else? ??? Main Street, within walking distance of the train station.
Location: The borough is east of Wall, and its southeastern tip ??? along with northern Point Pleasant beach ??? flank the Manasquan River Inlet from the Atlantic Ocean
Size: 1.4 square miles
Population: 6,322 (Monmouth County Planning Board 2004)
"Manasquan" was taken from the Lenape Indian Man-A-Squaw-Han, stream of the Island of Squaws or manatah-squawhan, an island in the middle of a stream where women and children would be safe while men hunted for food.
Manasquan was settled by Europeans in 1685, when proprietors of Manasquan Beach Co. bought the area from American Indians. Howell was formed from Shrewsbury Township in 1801, and 50 years later, Wall separated from Howell. Manasquan was incorporated in 1887.
Highlights, activities, events
Every year the Manasquan Recreation Department sponsors the Fools Run, which includes a one-mile fun run before the actual race. This year the 10th annual such event is scheduled for April 1.
The Manasquan Tourism Commission's Calendar of Events covers May through December, including a concert and fireworks display on the last Saturday in May, marking the beginning of the beach season. That day is also when Policemen's Benevolent Association Local 284 holds its annual fishing contest for children between the ages of 3 and 13. The commission sponsors a Fourth of July celebration with a parade a concert and fireworks. There's also a pizza-eating contest in July.
The Beach Concert Series is held at the Main Street Beach from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Thursdays from July to September.
In August, Manasquan Elks Lodge 2534 hosts an annual Day At The Beach for children with disabilities and their counselors. There's another pizza-eating contest as well as a Big Sea Day celebration with more contests: sand castle building, surfing, pie eating and fishing, as well as an exhibition of local artwork.
Like to run? There's a 5-mile run and 1-mile walk at the annual Turkey Trot in November. December brings Christmas in Manasquan, with carolers and hayrides with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Ring in the new year with a First Night celebration on Dec. 31.
The Manasquan Chamber of Commerce has a list of events it sponsors in the borough.
The Algonquin Arts Theatre, 60 Abe Voorhees Drive, offers performances all year, everything from "Romeo and Juliet" to a celebration of African-American music. The theater also offers movie screenings, a performing-arts camp for children between 6 and 14 years of age, and a Sunday afternoon show geared for the family.
The Squan Village Historical Society meets at 7:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Manasquan Public Library. The society is based at the 18th century Bailey-Reed home, 105 South St. The house is open year-round from 1 to 4 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month. Admission is free.
Jersey Shore Now.com