BRIGANTINE, N.J. — This beach town loves its tailgating beaches, the Cove and the Jetty, where crowds of people drive onto the beach and park their trucks side by side, like a big Eagles tailgate in the sand.

The peak Brig experience might be on the Fourth of July, when those 4x4 beaches offer a clear view south toward Atlantic City fireworks.

This year, Brigantine is expecting some possible, shall we say, issues.

“High tide is around 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.,” warned the Brigantine Beach Office of Emergency Management in a Facebook post. “This will be a higher than normal tide due to the lunar cycle.”

Coinciding exactly with the time of fireworks, the high tide will present “a challenge," officials said.

“Please be mindful of the tides so you don’t get stuck in the water,” the notice said.

In other words, if you show up at midday and think you can grab that front row spot on the sand, you will be sorry — and sinking — by the time the skies light up.

Folks enjoying the Absecon Inlet in Brigantine, N.J. on Aug. 25, 2018.
Folks enjoying the Absecon Inlet in Brigantine, N.J. on Aug. 25, 2018.

In addition, officials warned that the large crowds will prohibit much maneuvering on the beach as the day goes on. “After you park, if you drive off to pick friends/family up, you may not be able to get back down onto the beach if there is no room for you,” officials said.

Other rules on this unique beach of food abundance that functions as its own parking lot and plays by South Philly rules:

  • No Savies: “There will be no placing of cones or other objects to save spots. It is first come first served.”
  • If you would like to erect a tent or have tables at your spot, you must have them in line with your vehicle. There is no placing tents/tables next to your vehicle.
  • If there is no room due to the tides, officials say, “you will be directed to drive to the other beach where there is room. This way as many vehicles as we can fit can enjoy the beach.”
  • Officials requested that drivers “don’t roll by the permit checkers. This way the permit checkers stay safe.”

Officials said they will close the beaches to more vehicles if necessary, but “it will be as temporary as possible.”

On Facebook, locals issued their own warnings and yearned for the time Brigantine saved its first 1,500 permits for locals.

“We can’t enjoy our beaches we wait all year to enjoy due to vehicle invasion,” lamented one local.

“AWD does not mean you have a 4x4 truck!!!!" said another local, helpfully. "You will get stuck!!! If your going to be a shoobie, try to be a smart one please, safety first!!!!”

“Don’t do stuff like this,” said another commenter, posting a photo of his Jeep parked with another truck right in front. “I’m the black Grand Cherokee. I don’t know the people parked in front of me. I got down here at 8:30 AM for a spot. If you can’t find a spot because you got here too late, don’t come to the cove.”