Long Branch, NJ… A full day of free activities and events for the entire family is waiting for visitors to the 21st Annual Oceanfest festival on Monday, July 4th. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. along the promenade between Seven Presidents Park and Pier Village and offers live children’s entertainment, live bands, crafters, vendors, food and lots more. The finale features a fabulous fireworks display starting at 9 p.m.

The event wouldn’t be possible without the support of many sponsors, and Monmouth Medical Center is always a proud supporter of the community and Oceanfest. As a regional leader dedicated to children’s health, The Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center offers the highest level of pediatric care for newborns to adolescents, including leading edge treatments and specialized expertise that only a comprehensive children’s hospital can provide. In 1968, Monmouth Medical Center became the first community hospital in the nation to establish a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for the most fragile, premature infants. It was the beginning of a commitment to children that has continued ever since. Today, The Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center is the region’s premiere children’s hospital, where 140 specialists in 30 pediatric subspecialties bring unparalleled expertise to the region’s youngest patients and their families. As an academic medical center, Monmouth Medical Center’s legacy of excellence in pediatric care includes launching the region’s first pediatric emergency department and becoming the most comprehensive children’s hospital licensed and designated to serve Ocean and Monmouth Counties. Along with countless advances in every specialty, The Children’s Hospital delivers the finest care, led by a team of physicians with the region’s most advanced training and expertise in pediatric care. To learn more about The Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, call 1.888.SBHS.123, or visit their booth at the event, which will be located on the Promenade near Ocean Place.

One of the highlights of the day is watching the master sand sculptors at work on the beach creating sculptures for designated sponsors. New Jersey native Matthew Deibert will be creating the sculpture for Monmouth University. Deibert is the recent winner of the Travel Channel’s Sand Wars! A former lifeguard and father of four studied graphic design in college and has competed nationally and in Canada, and worked with fellow master sand sculptors at the Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida. He has been carving at Oceanfest for many years and has done the sculpture for Monmouth University for at least the past four years.

A longtime supporter of Oceanfest, Monmouth University is a dynamic, private university in West Long Branch. The University offers coeducational undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 50 distinct curricular programs that empower academically talented students to reach their full potential. Spread across a magnificent, historic campus, the University is situated between New York City and Philadelphia and is within walking distance of the beach.

Considered a “Best College” by The Princeton Review, Monmouth University emphasizes personalized education with faculty who are experienced in their fields and who are impassioned teachers and mentors. Personalized attention is a hallmark of the Monmouth experience. The University is a leader in providing experiential learning opportunities to all students, ensuring that each student benefits from hands-on learning in and out of the classroom. Featured in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges, Monmouth University is especially proud to be among the ranks of outstanding universities and colleges nationwide that are leading the “green” movement. The larger community also benefits from intellectual, cultural, athletic, and social events held throughout the year. For more information, visit Monmouth University at www.monmouth.edu, and be sure to check out their sand sculpture during Oceanfest!

Monmouth Park returns for another season as a sponsor of Oceanfest along with a shared sand sculpture. The racing season continues to deliver exciting Thoroughbred racing and family friendly entertainment with FREE Family Fun Days every Sunday. Monmouth Park is the indisputable gem of New Jersey racing and has strategically positioned itself to compete in the highly competitive Mid-Atlantic market. The Grade I, $1 Million Haskell Invitational remains the centerpiece of the summer schedule on Sunday, July 29, 2012. And the Grade I United Nations Stakes on the turf will welcome in the month of July on Saturday, July 7.

Food festivals, concerts and more make Monmouth Park a number one destination for summer fun; no Jersey Shore vacation is complete without a visit to the Shore’s Greatest Stretch. Gates open 11:30 am, first race is 12:45 pm. This is the nineth year Monmouth Park has sponsored a sand sculpture at Oceanfest, which they will be sharing with JCP&L and Chevy.

The joint sculpture is being created by artist John Gowdy. Gowdy, another New Jersey native who now resides most of the year in Italy, has been professionally sculpting sand for more than 15 years. He has been a regular sculptor at Oceanfest, last year creating an amazing upside down painting on canvas.

Another long-time sponsor of Oceanfest, Ocean Place Resort & Spa is perfectly positioned to enjoy the entire festival, from morning to evening. Hotel guests can enjoy the facilities, including the beach and pool; walk the festival and finish up back at the hotel with a special 4th of July dinner and the watch the fireworks display. An All American Jersey Shore 4th of July Celebration dinner is being offered from 6 – 9 p.m. For just $75 per person plus tax and service charge, which includes cocktails, beer, wine and soda, guests will enjoy a huge assortment of traditional barbeque favorites, including a variety of classic beach picnic starters; a number of carnival creations like baby Philly cheese steaks, and mini sausage & peppers; a selection of traditional BBQ sides including corn on the cob and hand cut French fried potatoes; grilled favorites including foot long hot dogs, hamburgers, skewers, BBQ ribs and Atlantic catch soft tacos. An assortment of boardwalk desserts, such as cotton candy, funnel cake will also be offered. The fireworks start at 9:00 pm and can be viewed by patrons from the patio area. Reservations for the 4th of July Celebration at Ocean Place can be made by calling 732-571-4000.

Pier Village, located directly adjacent to the Ocean Place Resort, is a stylish and vibrant seaside community. An Oceanfest supporter since the complex opened in 2005, residents and visitors alike enjoy an eclectic variety of shopping and dining experiences. Pier Village offers a year-round mix of both upscale and casual restaurants, shops, boutiques, residential space and more. Visitors can savor a fresh cup of coffee on the pier while watching the sun rise over the Atlantic, enjoy a brisk morning jog on the boardwalk or indulge in an afternoon cocktail. There’s also The Wine Loft, offering a wide variety of fine wines and a small plates menu; a day spa, onsite beach club and health club rounding out the mix. Pier Village also offers year-round events, with a weekly Farmers Market, summer concert series and more to enrich the atmosphere. Visitors to Oceanfest can stroll through and enjoy the sidewalk sculpture displays as well. More information about Pier Village can be found at www.piervillage.com.

TD Bank is proud to return as an Oceanfest sponsor. TD Bank is one of the 15 largest banks in the U.S., with over 22,000 employees and deep roots in the community dating back more than 150 years. The Bank offers a broad array of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services to more than 6.5 million customers through its extensive network of more than 1,000 retail stores throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C. and Florida.

TD Bank’s tagline, America’s Most Convenient Bank ®, helps demonstrate their dedication to providing the customer legendary service and banking hours that suit the customer’s schedule. They’re equally passionate about supporting the communities where their customers and employees live and work.

Joining as a sponsor of Oceanfest again this year is Xfinity, the leading provider of digital TV, Internet, and Voice. With digital TV service from Xfinity, customers can enjoy their favorite programming and thousands of On Demand options at home or on a computer or mobile device.

Xfinity also recently launched Xfinity Home in the region, which turns a house into a “smart home” with next-generation remote home control and energy management features. Customers can remotely set the alarm, adjust digital thermostats, turn lights on or off, check water sensors, and watch secure, live streaming video of the home, inside or out – all from a touchpad, smart phone or computer.

“Xfinity is thrilled to support this annual event that celebrates the best of Long Branch and the magic of the Jersey shore,” said Comcast Director of Government Affairs Robert Clifton. “Comcast has been a supporter of Oceanfest for more than a decade and we are proud to be a close part of the communities we serve.”

To learn more about the services offered by Xfinity, stop by the Xfinity booth at Oceanfest, and be sure to take a few minutes to watch as master sculptor Jim Richardson creates a one of a kind work of art.

It is through the generosity of the sponsors that the great entertainment and fireworks finale is made possible. Appearing on the Great Lawn Stage and back by popular demand this year will be fabulous sounds of Ray Rodriguez & Swing Sabrossa (2:00 pm to 4:00 pm) and the Bob Burger Band (7:00 to 9:00 PM). New this year is The fabulous Rock N Roll Chorus, featuring high school students from throughout Monmouth County at 1:00 pm, and Rave On!, singing the hits of Buddy Holly and other early rock ‘n roll legends at 4:30 pm. Children’s entertainment at the Garfield Memorial site includes the Amazing Arni & Ingrid at 11:00 am and a juggling/variety show at 1:15pm. Costumed entertainers, a unicyclist, and stilt walker will be strolling the Promenade for the amusement of all throughout the day. The fireworks spectacular is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. and will cap off what promises to be a great day; listeners can tune in to 95.9 The WRAT FM for a patriotic musical simulcast.

For more information about Oceanfest, visit www.oceanfestnj.com or call the Long Branch Chamber at 732-222-0400.