UPDATE: Due to the inclement weather and high winds in today's forecast , the Veterans Beach Bash for tomorrow, September 7 has been postponed. One day of preparation was needed in order to bring the event to the beachfront, according to organizer Fran Hines, who expects to set a new date sometime in the next several weeks.

BELMAR NJ — It takes several days to prepare Belmar’s Seventh Avenue beach for the statewide Autism Beach Bash, which is held each year on the Sunday after Labor Day.

But after the tents, tables, chairs and grills are set up, it usually leaves about a day of “breathing room” before the arrival of thousands of people to the Belmar beachfront for the daylong event, according to organizer Fran Hines of Belmar.

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Having that open day before the autism bash got him thinking. “I figured there has to be something we can do on that Saturday with everything we had already down on the beach,” Hines said.

And with that, he started the ball rolling for the first-ever Veterans Beach Bash and Military Appreciation Day, which will be held on Saturday, September 7. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. all military veterans and their families are invited to enjoy a day on the beach that includes food, live entertainment, tug-of-war and volleyball competitions, and activities for kids.

With the support of Belmar and the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, Hines has brought on board several veteran organizations to present the event, including the New Jersey Veterans Network, Bridging The Gap For Veterans and New Jersey State Veterans Chamber of Commerce.

In addition, Colton and Friends-A Foundation for Autism — the nonprofit started by Hines and his wife, Jeannie, that supports the Autism Beach Bash — is also a sponsor of the veterans bash.

All attendees will receive a complimentary commemorative T-shirt. This event is free and open to the public. For individuals who are not veterans or serve in the military, a donation is requested. Registration is required and can be made by clicking here.

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