More than 100 people filled the Montauk Green on Tuesday evening during a free Tumblewood Tuesday show by Nancy Atlas. 

Grills had been fired up and free barbecue fare was passed around, as well as boxes of pizza. 

Laraine Creegan, executive director of the Montauk Chamber of Commerce, who helped organize the show, told the crowd it was a "thank you" to "our town," and the locals "who are here for the duration."

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"We've had a great summer," she said, also thanking the Town of East Hampton for their work keeping the partying in Montauk under control. "September is the -- shhh, don't tell anyone -- it's the best month of the year, so let's enjoy it."

Among the crowd, everyone seemed to agree. Jonathan Neary, 26, of East Hampton, said Tumbleweed Tuesday is not just a celebration of the end of the busy season, but the start of the "locals' summer."

"It's our summer starting, finally," he said, adding that during the actual summer months he and everyone he knows "work all day and sleep all night." 

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Pam Burke, 61, of Montauk, said she started her day doing something she hasn't done in months -- rode her bike into town. "And I felt safe," she said, adding that the traffic is what keeps her from doing that in the summer. 

Burke, a real estate agent who has been coming to Montauk as a summer destination since she was a teenager and now lives here year-round, said she doesn't begrudge the summer crowds, but it's also nice when they're gone. 

"It's just nice to have a lull right now," she said. 


Gail Burkle, 60, of Montauk, said the term Tumbleweed Tuesday is relatively new, but it has always been the case that local residents felt they could take a collective deep breath on the day after Labor Day.

"A lot of the restaurants close and finally give people a break," she said. "People can just breathe, and go, 'We made it through another summer.'"

Her husband, John, 66, said during the summer months he rarely goes into town at night because of the rowdy summer crowds. So on Tuesday, he was relishing a night out.

"This is where everyone wants to be tonight," he said.

The hashtag #tumbleweedtuesday (which shows users from similar resort towns on the Jersey Shore and elsewhere celebrating, too) had users congratulating each other on a good season and sending well wishes for the day.

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Businesses got involved, too. East Hampton hot spot restaurant Nick & Toni's took to Facebook and Twitter to announce new hours for fall.

"Tumbleweed Tuesday has arrived and we are taking the day for some serious R&R," the restaurant also wrote.

The hashtag also turns up many pictures of empty beaches, sunny porches and open roads.

"Ahh, the peace and quiet and available parking of September #tumbleweedtuesday," user @morris_lindsay5 tweeted from Sag Harbor.

The lure of wide open space was also what brought Bill and Ben Miller, of Sag Harbor, to Cooper's Beach in Southampton around sunset on Tuesday night.

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As the sun went down, the father and son were the only two people on the beach. They came to fly a kite.

"This is my first time here all summer," said Bill Miller, 58, an arborist.

Ben Miller, 29, who works at Rotations bike shop in Southampton, said he needs a lot of space to fly the kite -- a kiteboarding trainer kite -- so Tuesday night was perfect. Earlier in the summer, he said he'd never even attempt to go to Cooper's Beach.

"We'd like to go away from the crowds as opposed to where they converge," he said.