Thursdays, July 7 through August 25: Celebrate the 200th birthday of historical Congress Hall, America’s oldest seaside resort, at the weekly Bicentennial Birthday Dinner. Guests are treated to a family style feast featuring modern takes on classic dishes while taking a step back in time to learn about the history of Congress Hall. The festivities take place every Thursday at 6 p.m. from July 7 to August 25 in the resort’s Ballroom. 200 Congress Place, Cape May.
July 8: Savor the sound of cool jazz and the taste of even cooler gelato at the Cool Jazz Benefit for the Montclair Inn. Entertainment will be provided by Fred Guterl and Friends, with frozen fare served up by Gelotti of Montclair. The Montclair Inn, a non-profit residence for independent senior citizens, will receive 50 cents for every cup served and the Montclair Rotary Club will match the total donation, up to $500. Admission free, but donations will be accepted. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets! The event runs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The Montclair Inn, 27 Hillside Avenue, Montclair.
July 8 to 10: The competition heats up again at the New Jersey State BBQ Championship! This three-day, open-air festival hosts the championship barbeque competition with live cooking demonstrations, food and beverage vendors, and the adjoining Anglesea Blues Festival. Proceeds benefit the Anglesea Volunteer Fire Company. A full schedule of events can be found here. The festival runs from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. 2nd and Olde New Jersey Avenues, North Wildwood.
July 9: Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment’s Seafood Fest is off to the races again at 5 p.m. in The Backyard, for the third consecutive year. The event features a raw bar stocked with clams and oysters, along with many food trucks serving up the bounties of the sea. Enter the Shrimp Peel-N-Eat Contest for a chance to win the $500 grand prize. Meadowlands Racetrack, 1 Racetrack Drive, East Rutherford.
July 9 and 10: The weather outside won’t be the only thing sizzlin’ at Tuckerton Seaport’s Bacon Fest. Come and bask in all things bacon, including fare from food trucks and restaurants and even a bacon eating competition. And don’t miss the miniature pig races and a mechanical pig ride. General admission is $8. Seaport Members and guests under 8 are free. VIP passes can be purchased in advance here. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen’s Museum, 120 West Main Street, Tuckerton.
July 9, 11 & 20: The Jersey Shore Cookbook launch parties and signings continue! Meet and greet author and Jersey Bites founder, Deborah Smith, at these upcoming events, and stay tuned for more!
- July 9, 1 to 3 p.m.: In-store signing at Deena’s in Point Pleasant Beach
- July 11, 5 to 7 p.m.: Barnes & Noble, Holmdel
- July 20, 12 to 3 p.m.: In-store signing at Barnes and Noble in Philadelphia, PA
July 9: BBQ, bourbon, and a biergarten, oh my! Find all three at the Montclair Food and Wine Festival’s upcoming outdoor BBQ, Bourbon & Biergarten tasting event, held at the Montclair Art Museum from 6 to 10 p.m., rain or shine. Enjoy sweet and savory offerings from the area’s top chefs, a variety of bourbons and craft beers, live music provided by The Wellmont Theater, and a spirited BBQ competition. Tickets are $85 (and an additional $35 for the premium bourbon and beer tasting experience), and can be purchased here. Montclair Art Museum, 3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair.
July 16 and 17: There’s no better time to appreciate the renowned wineries and vineyards dotted across the state than during the Barrel Trail Weekend. This two-day, statewide event, hosted by the Garden State Wine Growers Association, invites visitors to experience a firsthand look into the winemaking process. Tasting opportunities and activities vary by winery. Click here to find a winery in your area.
July 16 and 17: New this year is the Monmouth Park Surf & Turf Seafood Festival! Come and enjoy ocean-fresh seafood while sipping on a refreshing beer or wine, listening to live music, enjoying fun games and activities, watching horse races, or just relaxing with friends and family in the picnic area. Family Fun Day takes place Sunday with pony rides, face painting, a bouncy house, and more. The festival runs from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $5 and children 12 and under are free. General parking is $5. Monmouth Park Racetrack, 175 Oceanport Avenue, Oceanport.
July 19 to 23: Come on out for Metuchen Restaurant Week. Restaurants throughout Metuchen will feature individual offers and pre-fixed menus all week for lunch, dinner, and dessert. Participating restaurants include Novita Bistro and Lounge, 2 Chicks with Chocolate, Hailey’s Harp & Pub, and many more. Click here for a full list of participating restaurants and specialty shops.
July 23: With over 150 craft beers to sample, the Big Brew Sussex Beer Festival certainly lives up to its name. With a complimentary 5-ounce sample cup by their side, guests can discover new beer options in the company of other beer aficionados and teams from the breweries. This beer-tastic outdoor festival runs from 1 to 5 p.m. and will include several food options as well as live music from The Atlanta Cafe Band. Through July 10, general admission tickets are $55 and designated driver tickets are $10. Tickets can be purchased here. All guests must be 21 or over. Sussex County Fairgrounds, 37 Plains Road, Augusta.
July 23 and 24: Get a taste of award-winning food served truck-side, all in a vineyard setting, at Alba Vineyard’s Food Truck Festival. Lawn chairs, blankets, and beach chairs are welcome. $10 for guests 21 and over, $5 for ages 13 to 20, and free for children 12 and under. Wine tastings are available for $10 per person. The festival takes place from 12 to 5 p.m. Alba Vineyard & Winery, 269 Route 627, Village of Finesville, Milford.
July 24: Take part in the first-ever Newark Food Truck Festival! This inaugural event, hosted by Raise Newark, celebrates Newark’s 350th anniversary by bringing together over 30 food trucks, vendors, live music, and more. The festival takes place from 12 to 10 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $5 here. 44 Clover Street, Newark.
August 6: The Just Jersey Food Truck & Music Festival rolls in, bringing over 20 gourmet food trucks, a craft beer and wine bar, live music, and more. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Rockaway Boro Fireman’s Field, 144 Beach Street, Rockaway.
August 13 and 14: Tuckerton Seaport becomes “Truck”erton as more than a dozen gourmet food trucks roll in for this year’s “Truck”erton Food Truck & Brew Fest. Guests can choose from a variety of noteworthy food options. Live music starts at noon. Admission is $8. Seaport Members and guests under 8 are free. Bring a donation for the Tuckerton Food Pantry to save $1 on admission! The festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tuckerton Seaport and Baymen’s Museum, 120 West Main Street, Tuckerton.
August 14: Celebrate the bounty of the Garden State at this year’s Vineland’s Jersey Fresh Festival, where you can sample delicious foods prepared by a variety of vendors all while enjoying live entertainment. With plenty of activities for children, there’s something for everybody at this event, which runs from 12 to 6 p.m. at Vineland High School. Proceeds from the event help to fund scholarships for students majoring in agriculture-related fields. Vineland High School, East Chestnut Avenue, Vineland.
August 20 and 21: Stop by Bellview Winery for its biggest festival of the year: the annual Seafood Festival. Enjoy fresh seafood from the raw bar and seafood vendors, and pair it with refreshing sangria or a glass of wine. Live music, craft vendors, and wine tastings complete this fun summer festival. Advance tickets are $10 and can be purchased from July 17 to August 14, or at the event for $15. For more information, click here. Bellview Winery, 150 Atlantic Street, Landisville.
September 3: It’s no surprise Jersey tomatoes earned their very own celebration at the West Cape May Tomato Festival. Tomato pies, tomato empanadas, and more will be available. Proceeds benefit the West Cape May Shade Tree Commission. The festival takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Rain date scheduled for September 4. Wilbraham Park, Perry Street, West Cape May.
September 10: “Tap into the fun” at the second annual Skylands Stadium Beer Fest. Sample a variety of craft beer, and enjoy great food, music, games, contests, and prizes. This event is open to all ages. Guests must be 21 or over with valid identification to participate in the beer tasting. Details are subject to change, check here for updates. Skylands Stadium, 94 Championship Place, Augusta.
September 25: There’s Guinness and oysters galore at the 7th Annual Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival! This street festival, presented by the Asbury Park Press, will also offer a variety of specialty food prepared by chefs from 25 of Red Bank’s favorite restaurants. Live music will take place throughout the day on two stages for all to enjoy. The festival runs from 12 to 7 p.m. Admission is $5 for guests 10 and older. Rain date scheduled for October 2. No pets allowed. White Street Parking Lot, Red Bank.