///BY Mike Bahr

What makes Asbury Park’s three -day festival different from other gay party weekends is that in addition to its high -energy dance events, Sand Blast Weekend offers a wide range of relaxing beach activities to enjoy. If you’re feeling a bit sporty there are bike ride excursions, surfing and paddle board lessons , beach dodge ball games and a downtown art gallery walk. “We like to think of Sand Blast Weekend as the Atlantis Cruise of circuit parties ,” says event founder and executive producer Brad Hurtado . “There ’s always something new to explore and discover.” 

Of course, there is also the weekend’s main soak-in-the-sun event, The Sand Blast Beach Party. This year’s event will have music by superstar DJs Tony Moran and Hector Fonseca, plus NINE other amazing high-energy events all weekend.

More than 4,000 gay men and women attended last summer’s event. This summer’s Sand Blast Weekend – taking place Friday, July 19, through Sunday, July 21 – promises to be bigger and wetter than ever better. Get Out! sat down with Hurtado to ask about what’s up for this incredible weekend.

Is Asbury Park ready for summer? Asbury Park escaped much of the devastation of Sandy. While our milelong boardwalk did get hit in two places, it was repaired by late spring. None of our boardwalk buildings were washed away. Sunset Beach, Convention Hall and The Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel, where many of the Sand Blast events take place, were all spared, so we are ready to bring the beats to the beach for Sand Blast 2013.

There’s a lot going on at Sand Blast Weekend this year! Yes, we’ve got 10 big parties spread over the three days, but we definitely want guests to explore all that Asbury Park has to offer. That’s the entire reason for Sand Blast: to introduce the gay community to our beloved beach town. So we encourage our guests to check out our boardwalk, funky downtown shopping district and our century-old Victorian residential neighborhoods just two to three blocks from the beach.

For those looking to party, Tony Moran and Hector Fonseca will headline this year’s Beach Party. How’d that come about? This is the sixth year for the Sand Blast Beach Party. Every year, we’ve worked to increase the excitement level for our guests by bringing in amazing musical talent to entertain them. Having two industry giants like Hector and Tony together is a dream come true, and from start to finish, this summer’s Sand Blast Beach Party is going to be unforgettable.

You also added two new Saturday night parties. We sure did! We’ve added Deep Blue, our big-room dance party, and the Urge Underwear Party. We introduced both last year and they were huge hits, packed with men. We knew there was no turning back, and so this year’s Deep Blue will start off with DJ Nina Flowers, the stunning beauty from “RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars,” followed by the amazing DJ Phil B who just played White Party Palm Springs and has headlined Winter Party Miami. He’ll take the party all the way to sunrise. When you’re hungry for something different, the Urge Underwear Party starts at 1 a.m. and goes until 5 a.m. It will have over 700 men in their skivvies partying to the dark beats of Atlantis Cruise favorite DJ Grind.

Are the Maverick Men coming back? The Maverick Men first came to Sand Blast in 2011. We’re not done with them yet! There’s a reason these two men are the #1 favorite couple on X-Tube. I love what they stand for: fun sex. Also, their amazingly friendly attitude is perfect for Sand Blast Weekend.

What is it about Asbury Park that makes it the perfect gay getaway? Asbury is a mix of beautiful Victorian architecture, stunning beach vistas and a really friendly and welcoming community. Plus, it’s so easy to get to from New York City and Philadelphia. We’re like a smaller version of Provincetown…just much closer. So whether you want to party hard, get sporty, see live theater or simply relax surrounded by thousands of friendly men in town for the fun, Asbury Park and Sand Blast is the place to be.

It’s So Easy To Get To Asbury Park!
By train:Take NJTransit from Penn Station. Purchase round-trip tickets from machines or ticket window. Don’t wait to buy on the train because it’ll cost $5 more. ShoreLink shuttle bus will be waiting at the Asbury Park station to take you through downtown, to the beach and to The Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel for just $1.00. Take it back to the train, too!

Atlanta Housewife Kenya Moore Will Perform “Gone with the Wind Fabulous ” at The Sand Blast Beach Party!