Several local resort towns, including Brigantine and Sea Isle City, will participate in the Friday launch of New Jersey's Stronger than the Storm initiative.

The towns will receive a milelong length of ribbon that will be cut as a symbol for the Jersey Shore's readiness for the summer season following Hurricane Sandy.

Brigantine City Clerk Lynn Sweeney said the city was informed of its involvement late last week and expected to receive the ribbon cutting materials from the state Wednesday. Its ribbon will stretch along the beach from 14th to 36th Street South, with the cutting to take place 8 a.m. at the 16th Street beach.

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"Each business will get a piece of ribbon to stick in their store windows with a sign that says 'Stronger than the Storm,'" Sweeney said. "I think they were looking to do something in the communities that were hit hard."

Sweeney said the ribbon cutting is a unique way of showing unity in the wake of the storm. Despite suffering substantial damage during the October storm, she said most businesses are open for the summer.

Other towns participating in the event include Avalon, Ocean City, Stone Harbor and Wildwood. Sea Isle City, meanwhile, will cut it's second ribbon - it previously cut a mile-and-a-half-long ribbon at its February Polar Bear Plunge - at John F. Kennedy Boulevard and the Promenade. Most of the events take place between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.

"We're going to do it again with other shore communities," said Mayor Len Desiderio."It's a great way of letting everyone know New Jersey is ready and New Jersey is strong."

The general public is invited to attend the ceremonies. Some towns are using the events to launch larger events, such as Wildwood's International Kite Festival and a "business persons plunge" in Ocean City.

Friday's local ceremonies are part of a $25 million campaign to spread the word that New Jersey's beaches are ready for tourists. It started last week with a 30-second commercial starring Gov. Chris Christie and his family.

The ad has drawn criticism from Democratic opponents who say it gives Christie an unfair advantage in advance of the November elections.

"That Governor Christie would allow $25 million in federally-funded ads to feature him in the middle of an election year is both supremely arrogant and wildly inappropriate," his gubernatorial challenger, Barbara Buono, said in a written statement.

On Friday, the governor will be in Seaside Heights to participate in a special edition of NBC's news program, the Today show. That show will feature a live ribbon cutting at the Ocean County resort and a performance by the band Fun.

At a speech Monday in Lavallette, Ocean County, Christie said he was planning to travel the Jersey Shore this weekend in an effort to boost positive media coverage of the state's Sandy recovery.

"We'll be traveling up and down the shore on Friday and Saturday and Sunday going to boardwalks and beaches all up and down the Jersey Shore from south as Wildwood, to up north in Keansburg and everyplace in between," he said.

Both Christie and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno have made stops along the Jersey Shore in recent months. Guadagno was in Brigantine, visiting a few local restaurants, on Monday.

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Local ribbon cuttings

Avalon, Boardwalk between 28th and 38th streets, 8:30 a.m.

Brigantine, Ocean Avenue (along beach) between 14th and 36th streets south, 8 a.m.

Ocean City, Boardwalk between Sixth and 14th streets, 8:30 a.m.

Sea Isle City, Promenade between 35th and 47th streets, 8:30 a.m.

Stone Harbor, 95th Street and the Beach, 8:30 a.m.

Wildwood, Behind the Convention Center at 4501 Boardwalk, 12 p.m.


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