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.
May 30 to June 21: Swing into summer with the annual Alstede Farms Strawberry Festival in Chester, every weekend through June 21. With hayrides, pick-your-own strawberries, and dessert tastings, The festival tent will be open from 11 a.m. to 5.p.m. 1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester.
June 4: Reserve your spot at the farm-to-table dinner by Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas to benefit City Green, a non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating the establishment of urban farms and gardens in northern New Jersey’s cities. The event will be held at the restaurant’s Clifton Commons location. A reception featuring passed appetizers will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by a six-course dinner, with a scratch-made menu prepared by Executive Chef Josh Bernstein, complete with wine pairings. Tickets for the City Green Farm-to-Table Dinner, which has limited seating, can be purchased in advance for a cost of $80/person by calling 973-661-2435. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit City Green’s Farm and Market programs. Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas, 70 Kingsland Road or accessible from Route 3 East, Clifton.
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 13: Come enjoy the Donaldson Farms Strawberry Festival in Hackettstown, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Pick your own strawberries, taste a strawberry milkshake, and even eat fresh food from the farm. Last Kall will provide the music while families enjoy pony rides, hayrides, face painting, and much more. The festival will have many vendors and does not require an entrance fee. Donaldson Farms, 358 Allen Road, Hackettstown.
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.