With summer comes summer festivals and central New Jersey has a lot to offer in ways of family-fun fairs.
Nothing is better than indulging in a sausage and peppers sandwich and funnel cake underneath a warm, starry sky. Live music, games, rides, petting zoos, and local vendors all add to the amusement of a perfect Jersey summer.
Looking for a summer fair, but don't want to travel too far? Patch has you covered! Here are a list of fairs and festivals in Monmouth and Ocean counties:
When: Monday, July 9 - Saturday, July 14
- Monday - Friday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
- Saturday from 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
- Fireworks will take place on Saturday at 10:30 p.m.
Where: Keyport's Waterfront Park
What: Carnival rides, games, food vendors, clothing vendors, music, fireworks
- Admission and parking is free
- Ride bracelets available for children for $25 on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday
When: Tuesday, July 10 - Sunday, July 15
- Tuesday - Friday from 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.
- Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.
Where: Horse Park of New Jersey, located at exit 11 off of I-195 in Upper Freehold Twp.
What: Rides, food vendors, exhibits including Paragon Jousting, the Magic of Lance Gifford, Robinson’s Racing Pigs, live musical performances by Dave Mason, Jefferson Starship, Citizens Band Radio, Atlanta Rhythm Section, nightly pie eating contests and horse shows, agricultural demonstrations, and an amazing fireworks display on Friday night.
- General admission - $7
- Senior Citizen - $5
- Children 10 through 5 - $3
- Children four and under are free
When: Wednesday, July 11- Saturday, July 14 from 6 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Where: Freehold Racetrack, 3190 Rt. 9 Freehold
What: Enjoy rides, Italian food, live entertainment, games, crafters, a car show and a cooking demonstration. A procession honoring Our Lady of Mount Carmel will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday starting from St. Rose of Lima Church in Freehold Borough and processing to the racetrack. A fireworks finale show will occur at 9:30 P.M. on Saturday.
Cost: Admission and parking are free.
Bradley Beach Lobster Fest
When: Satuday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15 from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Where: Beachfront, Bradley Beach at the boardwalk between Fourth Avenue and Brinley Avenue.
What: A lot of delicious seafood, children’s entertainment, music, beer, wine, and craft vendors.
Cost: Admission is free
Pt. Pleasant Jazz and Blues Festival
When: Saturday, July 21 from noon to 8 p.m.
Where: Riverside Park at the corner of Maxson Ave. and River Rd. in Point Pleasant Boro
What: Be entertained by live music while enjoying beautiful river views! There will also be food, a beer and wine garden, and arts and crafts vendors.
Cost: Admission is free
When: Wednesday, July 25 - Sunday, July 29
- Wednesday-Friday from 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.
- Saturday from 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
- Sunday from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Where: East Freehold Showgrounds, 1500 Kozsloski Rd. in Freehold
What: The extra-large county fair is back this year and is bigger than ever. Great exhibits, music, shows, a petting farm, food, vendors, Robinson’s Racing Pigs, games, a climbing wall, dock dogs, home and garden competition, and an antique auto show. The fireworks display will go off on Wednesday at 9:15 p.m.
- Admission - $7
- Children 12 and under - free
- Seniors 65 and older are free on "Seniors Day" - July 29
- Parking is free
When: Saturday, July 21 from 11:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Ice cream tasting will take place from 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. and winners will be announced at 4:30 p.m.
Where: Washington Street, Toms River
What: Besides tasting delicious ice cream, the whole family can enjoy games, inflatable rides, food, live music, stilt walkers, ballon artists and ice cream eating contests (for both kids and adults)!
Cost: Admission and Parking are free. Tasting kits to try ice cream at the event cost $6 in advance and $7 at the event.
When: Thursday, Aug. 2 - Sunday, Aug. 5
- Thursday and Friday from 6 p.m. - 11 p.m.
- Saturday from noon - 11 p.m.
- Sunday from noon - 8 p.m.
Where: Huddy Park, Highlands on 70 Waterwitch Ave. in Highlands
What: The Clam Festival in the Highlands will be a weekend of live entertainment, vendors, contests, crafters, games, and children’s activities - not to mention excellent seafood!
Cost: Free admission and parking
When: Monday, Aug. 6 - Sunday, Aug. 12
- Monday - Friday from 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.
- Saturday from 11 a.m. −11 p.m.
- Sunday from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Where: The Middlesex County Showgrounds, 655 Cranbury Rd. East Brunswick
What: Over 75,000 people annually head down to the Middlsex County Fair in East Brunswick. The fair includes rides, games, foods, live shows and exhibits, concessions, and competitions including 4-H, Home Arts and King and Queen of the Fair!
- Adults - $6
- Seniors (age 65+) - $4
- Children 3-12 - $1
- Children age 2 and under - Free
Long Branch Jazz and Blues Festival
When: Saturday, Aug. 25 from 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Where: At the Great Lawn at the Promenade in Long Branch
What: Enjoy live jazz and blues music on a large stage. There will also be kid’s activities, the beach, and fireworks at night.
Cost: Admission is free
When: Saturday, Sept. 1 starting at 10 a.m.
Where: Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport
What: A full-day feast of smoked and slow-cooked goodies from the area’s top BBQ restaurants and competitive teams. There will also be a selection of craft beers, as well as crafters, vendors, entertainment, kids activities and, of course, thoroughbred horse racing.
Cost: Free admission