It’s hot. Really hot. The last thing you want to do is be outside. And yet, you are a food enthusiast and it’s high season for food festivals. What’s a person to do? Find lots of shade, drink plenty of fluids, and brave the elements for the following five events:
1) A Taste of Summer – A Jersey Fresh Celebration
July 10th will be a very special day at the Viking Village in Barnegat Light. For one fee ($30 at the door, $25 in advance), you will be able to sample all kinds of fresh grown produce as well as seafood from our local waters. If that weren’t enough, try a Flying Fish beer or a wine from Bellview Winery. It will be wall-to-wall Jersey food.
OK, so it’s not gourmet cuisine that you will find at the fair. But sometimes, we really really want a deep-fried Oreo. Or corn on a stick, because it tastes better that way, right? The Ocean County Fair will be held from the 13th through the 18th. The cost to attend is $6, and children under 10 are free.
As an avid ice cream lover, it’s hard to not get excited about tasting a number of fun ice cream flavors and then getting to vote for your favorites. On Saturday the 17th from 11:30AM to 5PM, enjoy ice creams from makers big and small, and as local as Sprinkle Shack in Bayville and Hoffman’s in Point Pleasant (both were participants last year). The cost for a tasting is $7 ($6 in advance).
The Garden State Wine Growers Association does a wonderful job in helping to promote Jersey wine. Throughout the year, they have special ‘wine trail weekends’ where wineries throughout the state have special events taking place that same weekend. The Walk in the Vineyard weekend is July 17th and 18th, and it might be a nice time to check out Laurita Winery in New Egypt, the only winery located in Ocean County. If you have not been, it is a beautiful site that produces some very good wines.
5) Red Wine and Blues Festival
If you miss the Wine Trail Weekend, there’s always this festival down at the Tuckerton Seaport on the 24th from 2PM to 8PM. Sample a variety of Jersey wines as you sample the sounds of blues music. They have even thrown in a pie bake-off contest this year for good measure. Admission is $20 ($15 if you are a member of the Seaport).
John and Lisa Howard-Fusco are the Jersey Bites Regional Editors for Ocean County. Although they and their two kids call Ocean County home, their John and Lisa Are Eating in South Jersey food blog has them traveling all over the southern region of New Jersey. They and their blog have been mentioned in articles by the New York Times, Courier-Post, nj.com and njmonthly.com. Lisa has written articles and reviews for South Jersey magazine as well as for Ed Hitzel’s Restaurant Newsletter and Hitzel’s Restaurant Magazine. And John could use a Gaetano’s cheesesteak right about now.