Visitors frustrated over NJ state park closures

- New Jerseyans continued to deal with the fallout from the budget standoff, especially those who planned on spending their long holiday weekend at one of the many state parks.

Friends Cornelio and Anthony came from Iowa for a vacation this week in New Jersey. They planned to take a trip to Liberty State Park in Jersey City, but when they showed up, they heard this:  “Park is closed because of government shutdown. If you want to go to the Statue of Liberty, you have to go to Battery Park in New York."

If Iowa sounds far, Mihir Selarka, came from Singapore. He planned to hop on a ferry to the Statue of Liberty.

"I feel a bit dejected because we were really hoping to take this and now are being told we need to go to Battery Park."

Most of these visitors are from out of state and haven't been following New Jersey news. That's why they didn't know that state lawmakers have failed to reach an agreement on a nearly $35 billion dollar budget. This led Governor Christie to close nonessential services, like parks and beaches.

There was a huge Fourth of July festival, concert and fireworks show planned at Liberty State Park, but it has been moved to Exchange Place, which is another part of Jersey City that's on the water. The mayor here, Steven Fulop, told Fox 5 even if state parks do open back up, the festival will stay at the new location.

"The frustrating thing is that we plan probably the better part of five months to make sure the fourth of July runs smoothly. When you have 100,000 people visiting us, we are going to make it work with or without the state government's cooperation," Fulop said.

Essential services that are running normally through the shutdown are NJ Transit, state prisons, police, hospitals and treatment centers as well as casinos, race tracks and the lottery. 

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