July 10 to 12: The New Jersey State Barbecue Championship features a championship barbecue competition which attracts teams from all over the country. In addition to enjoying mouthwatering foods, festival-goers will also be treated to live music, courtesy of the Anglesea Blues Festival, held in conjunction with the BBQ tournament. Admission is free. Olde New Jersey Avenue, North Wildwood.
July 11: The What Exit Wines Summer Festival is coming this Saturday, from noon to 7 p.m. at the Old York Cellars. Enjoy some of the area’s best wines while touring the vineyard, live music, as well as a couple of great food trucks and other vendors. Best of all, most of the proceeds benefit Hometown Heroes, a nonprofit dedicated to improving local communities. Tickets are $15 for adults, while the $50 V.I.P. experience includes a free wine tasting and a souvenir glass. All kids receive free admission. Old York Cellars, 80 Old York Road, Ringoes.
July 16: Celebrate summer by exploring different wines at the Summertime Gourmet Tasting at Passion Vines from 4 to 6 p.m. Guests can taste three different wines from Pennsylvania grower Subarashii Kudamono. All the wines featured at the event are from Asian pears grown in Kudamono’s Pennsylvania orchards. The food and wine tastings are free and bottles will be available for purchase. Choose from either Passion Vines location: 3013 Ocean Heights Avenue, Egg Harbor Township, or 265 New Road, Somers Point.
July 16: Are You Eating the Real Swiss Cheese? Come to The Wine Library in Springfield to find out during a free seminar on Emmentaler AOC. The cheese, which is still made by more than 100 village family dairies in Switzerland, will be produced and presented by Gourmino. The Wine Library, 586 Morris Ave., Springfield.
July 18: Experience a rare opportunity to participate in a great tradition, Barefoot Grape Stomping, also at the Four Sisters Winery. Guests can dance to music and have a great time as they stomp on grapes and feel an interesting sensation between their toes. The event runs from 5 to 8 p.m. and includes a formal wine tasting, as well as a spaghetti and meatball dinner (tossed salad and homemade bread also included). A wine cellar tour and dessert wine tasting will also be offered. The price is $32.95 per person, and reservations are required. Four Sisters Winery, 783 County Road 519, Belvidere.
July 18: Come to Wildwood for the annual New Jersey State Crab Festival from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.! From the blue craw crabs to the “crabby” bloody marys, crab lovers will surely be in paradise. The beer garden and live music won’t hurt, either. Admission is free. Ice House Restaurant, 4415 Park Blvd., Wildwood.
July 18 and 19: Jersey City hosts Project: Eats, a food-centric marketplace that describes itself as “celebrating warm days, cool drinks, and delicious eats.” More than 25 unique food trucks and vendors will be in attendance. Sponsored by the Jersey City Project, this event will be held at City Hall Plaza from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. For more information, check out the event on Facebook. City Hall, 280 Grove Street, Jersey City.
July 30 to August 2: The Highlands Clam Festival is back for its 21st year! A four-day event, this festival has it all, from its massive, 120-foot-long food court, serving up succulent seafood from local eateries, to Sunday’s all-you-can-eat clam contest. Guests will also enjoy the beer and wine garden, carnival rides, and live music. Admission is free. Huddy Park, Highlands. Directions here.
July 31 through August 9: The New Jersey State Fair is an event you will not want to miss. There are events throughout the whole day including a farm and horse show, delicious food, music and arts and cultural events. Bring the whole family and spend a few days in Augusta for a fair that will leave you speechless. Sussex County Fairgrounds, 37 Plains Road, Augusta.
August 5: The Waffles and Ice Cream Eating Contest is here. Need we say more? Come to Seaside Heights on Wednesday, August 5, at 2 p.m. to try your luck, or just watch as others stuff their faces with these classic foods. Register here. 800 Ocean Terrace, Seaside Heights.
August 8: The fourth annual Cape May Craft Beer & Crab Festival has something for everyone to enjoy: local and regional craft beers, classic summer foods like crab, pulled pork, burgers, and dogs, as well as live music throughout the day. Admission is free and the event is sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, Cape May.
August 9: Enjoy fresh food, live entertainment, and activities for kids and adults at Vineland’s Jersey Fresh Festival. Enjoy special guest appearances, exhibits, and arts and crafts for children, as well as a live produce auction! Come hungry! Parking is free. Albert V. Giampietro Memorial Park,3231 E. Landis Ave., Vineland, 856-794-4000.
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. Monmouth Park, Oceanport.
August 15 and 16: Spend the weekend at Oasis Family Farm and take part in the Watermelon Festival! Come to the farm from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. to snack on delicious, farm-fresh watermelons, freshly baked watermelon cookies, ices, and drinks. Kids will enjoy wagon rides, water soaking, arts and crafts, and more. Oasis Family Farm, 3 Circle Drive, Robbinsville.
August 23: Local chefs compete for the best corn and tomato dishes in what is sure to be an entertaining summer night at the Corn and Tomato Festival. Enjoy cooking demonstrations and samplings featuring some of the area’s best chefs, from 4 to 8 p.m. Admission to the festival is free. Court Street Park, Flemington.
September 5: Kick back and visit the Jazz It Up Wine Festival from 12 to 5 p.m. to see some of the best jazz performers on the East Coast and taste delicious wines from 20 premier New Jersey wineries. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors and taste amazing wine and foods. There will be crafts and activities for kids as well. $20 for entry. 4265 Atlantic Ave, Wall Township.
September 5: Monmouth Park’s annual BBQ and Craft Beer Festival is back and better than ever! Now a three-day event, the festival has something for everyone to enjoy, from its selection of over 40 craft beers, to the mouthwatering barbecue foods offered like brisket, pulled pork, and ribs. Monmouth Park, Oceanport.
September 12: Take a trip to the Sussex County Fairgrounds for the first-ever NJ Taco Festival! For just $10, you’ll have access to over 40 of the best taco restaurants in New Jersey, free hot sauce and salsa tastings, and a chance to witness greatness with the New Jersey Taco-Eating Championship! With a Lucha wrestling event planned as well, this is sure to be an event to remember. Sussex County Fairgrounds, Augusta.
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.
Through October: If you love cars and great summer food, then you won’t want to miss Monday Cruise Night. Come to Four Sisters Winery for a showcase of vintage and classic cars, motorcycles, trucks, and tractors. Enjoy a nice glass of wine, and some delicious burgers and dogs! The event is $10 for the general public, and $5 for those showcasing vehicles, with pre-registration required. Get into the spirit of the evening with tunes from the ’50s and ’60s. A five-mile scenic cruise around Belvidere will also be offered. The event runs the first and third Monday of every month, 5 to 8 p.m. through August and 4 to 7 p.m. in September and October, Four Sisters Winery, 783 County Road 519, Belvidere.