May 16: Saturday is really heating up at the 26th Annual New Jersey State Chili and Salsa Cook-Off. The event goes from 11 a.m.to 5 p.m. on Washington Street in Toms River. International Chili Society categories include traditional red chili, chili verde, and salsa, and People’s Choice categories include red chili, salsa, and best booth. Washington Street, Toms River.
May 16 and 17: Come enjoy the first ever Riverview Beach Park Wine Festival, from noon to 5 p.m. Become a part of this new tradition with local crafters, food vendors, live music, and New Jersey wine tasting. Experience the incredible variety of wines that New Jersey has to offer, all while listening to music, shopping around and having a bite to eat. Riverview Beach Park, Pennsville.
May 23 and 24: Come on down to the Blues, Wine and BBQ Festival, to taste hundreds of locally produced wines, groove to two days of blues rock, and enjoy succulent BBQ! New for 2015, check out the VIP experience featuring a catered farm-to-fork buffet from Silver Birch Kitchens! Click here for festival details and tickets. Schooley’s Mountain Park, Long Valley.
May 23 to 25: From 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, about 40 regional trucks go head to head in this competition between the tri-state area’s best mobile-made eats! Come out to the Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival for a day of delicious food, entertainment and the Star Ledger’s Family Fun Day. Admission $3. For more details click here. Monmouth Park, Oceanport.
May 30: Get in on the fun and stop by the Manahawkin Food Truck Jam, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Experience the hottest trends in the food truck world, as these mobile kitchens rally for the chance to be named the best! 657 East Bay Ave., Manahawkin.
June 6: America On Tap comes to Trenton! This premium event will showcase more than 100 releases from some of America’s best craft breweries and attendees can choose from two tasting sessions. The first session takes place from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and the second runs from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are $35 in advance, and $45 at the door. For more details click here. Sun National Bank Center, Trenton.
June 12 to 14: Catch the freshest catch at the 29th Annual Belmar Seafood Festival, beginning Friday June 12, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The event continues Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information, click here. Silver Lake Park, Belmar.
June 23: Come out to Spring Lake Heights to see the 2015 TASTE Award Winners announced during a four-course wine paired dinner with live music from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The TASTE awards honor culinary excellence at the Jersey Shore in 13 categories. All proceeds benefit the Common Ground Grief Center in Manasquan. For more information or to purchase tickets click here. The Mill, Spring Lake Heights.
August 15 and 16: The Shore Chef Crab Cake Cook-Off features crab cakes and seafood from top Garden State restaurants with chefs battling for Best Crab Cake and Best of the Rest. With the Munchmobile’s Pete Genovese heading up a panel of culinary and media industry judges and People’s Choice awards, everyone fills up on mouth-watering offerings. Exciting thoroughbred racing, live entertainment, crafters and Star-Ledger Family Fun day Sunday combine for a fun filled weekend! Monmouth Park, Oceanport.
September 19 and 20: Get swept away by the Belmar Feast of San Gennaro, bringing authentic Italy to Belmar. Experience live music, parades, a mass and local Italian favorites throughout Main Street. Donations to the statue of San Gennaro will benefit the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Main Street, Belmar.