July 23 to 25: World-renowned chefs, such as Top Chef winner Nicholas Elmi, will be headlining great events at The Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival, at The Claridge Hotel. On Saturday, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., Phillips Seafood hosts a Spiked Brunch, featuring great seafood dishes accompanied with spirits, wine, and beer. Cooking demonstrations and seminars will be taking place all weekend long, so purchase your tickets here. 21 and over. The Claridge Hotel, Park Place, Atlantic City.
July 23 to 26: Calling all peach lovers in New Jersey! The 33rd Annual Jersey Peach Festival is the place to be for homemade pies, peach cider, peach ice cream, and, of course, peaches, as well as a NJ Peach Queen and Little Miss Peach Contest. This contest is for ages 5 to 18, and contestants will answer questions and give a brief talk on a peach-related topic of their choice. Other highlights will include the Peach Bake-Off and the Perfect Peach Pie/Cobbler Contest. The event will feature a 4-H Mud Run and a pie-eating contest. Applications for the contests and event details are available here. 4-H Fairgrounds, 275 Bridgeton Pike (Route 77), Mullica Hill, Gloucester.
July 25: Food trucks from all over the tri-state area will fill the Manahawkin Mart lot for the Manahawkin Flea Market and Food Festival, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, and Civil Servant Appreciation Day will also be celebrated. 657 East Bay Avenue, Manahawkin.
July 25: Come out to The Barn-B-Q at Masker’s Barn, in the Deserted Village of Feltville, for an action-packed day of running, hiking, and more. Check out the 10-mile trail with friends and family, but don’t forget why you made the trip: for a feast of barbecue and beer, served from noon to 4 p.m! Live music and games will also take place all day. Tickets are $45 through July 23, and $50 at the door. 9 Cataract Hollow Road, Berkeley Heights.
July 25 and 26: The Sweet Corn Festival features corn in plenty of different forms, including corn on the cob, roasted corn, popcorn, and yes, corn dogs. The event will be Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., both days. Oasis Family Farm, 3 Circle Drive, Robbinsville.
July 30 to August 2: The 21st annual Clam Festival returns to the Highlands for what should be a fun-filled weekend. 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 back in town, celebrating its 75th year! 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 1 and 2: Celebrate the beautiful taste of peaches at the annual Just Peachy Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A bonus element of this festival is the Summer Harvest farm-to-fork tasting section, which features local chefs who use local ingredients. The tasting section is $10 per person. The festival will have a wagon ride through the orchards for kids, face painting, wine tasting, live music and much more. The peachy foods at Pam’s food tent will be available for purchase. For more details and to purchase tickets click here. Admission is $5. Terhune Orchards, 330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton.
August 5: The Waffles and Ice Cream Eating Contest is here. 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. Featuring special guest appearances, exhibits, and arts and crafts for children, as well as a live produce auction! Come hungry! Parking and admission are 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 15 and 16: The “Truck”erton Food Truck and Brew Fest will host about 20 food trucks, serving up mouthwatering foods from up and down the East Coast. Grilled alligator legs not your thing? Maybe some Wisconsin battered cheese curds, or pulled pork bites will suit you better. And don’t forget about the beer garden! Admission is $8 each day, and two-day passes are also available. Tuckerton Seaport, 120 West Main Street, Tuckerton.
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 p.m. 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 p.m. 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: Sample dishes from the finest restaurants, from clam chowder, to lobster, to steak, at the Annual Festival of the Sea. Check out the wine garden, arts and crafts, pony rides, antiques, hundreds of vendors and live entertainment. Downtown Point Pleasant.
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.
September 24: If wine, beer and good food are of interest to you, then Uncorked and Uncapped: Wine, Beer and Food Fest will be the perfect event! Come to Livingston at 6:30pm to indulge in a night of philanthropy and sample the best wine, beer and food from Northern Jersey. The proceeds from this event benefit The Arc of Essex County and people with Autism, Down Syndrome and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. The event is for ages 21 and up, and tickets are $100 per person. The Westminster Hotel, 550 West Mount Pleasant Avenue.
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 p.m. to 8 p.m. through August and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in September and October, Four Sisters Winery, 783 County Road 519, Belvidere.