These are the ones you need to check out this summer

These are the ones you need to check out this summer


During the summer, our calendars spring into action with holidays, parties and more.

But don’t let your schedule get too full. Summer is the high time for culture, fishing, music, beer and provincial festivals, which keep thousands of people busy almost every weekend.

Not sure what to make room for? Here are some of the biggest, best and most anticipated events coming to a Shore city near you.

New Jersey Seafood Festival, Belmar

Nearly 100 seafood and other food vendors, as well as craft vendors and a beer and wine tent, will attend this festival, taking place from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 17; Saturday, May 18 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, May 19 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Silver Lake Park, 410 7th Ave. Live music is played all weekend. Entrance is free;

More: Vote for your favorite food truck at the Jersey Shore Festival

Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival, Oceanport

There will be more than 30 food trucks on hand for this festival, which takes place daily from Saturday, May 25 to Monday, May 27 from 11am to 5pm at Monmouth Park Racetrack, 175 Oceanport Ave. There will also be children’s activities such as face painting, pony rides, clowns and a bouncy castle. There will be live music all three days from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $6;

Boujee Foodie Con, Oceanport

More than two dozen food vendors will be cooking at the festival, which takes place from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 1 and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 2 at Fort Monmouth, 1000 Sanger Ave. The Butcher’s Block in Long Branch, Local 130 Seafood in Asbury Park and Almost Home General Store of Monmouth County are among the participants. The event will also feature dozens of additional vendors, an exotic car club, pickleball and squash courts, carnival games and live music. Admission is $15 in advance, $20 the day of the festival;

Bayshore Greek Festival, Holmdel

Hosted by the Kimisis Tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Parish, this celebration features homemade Greek food, live Greek music, 1950s/50s music, church tours, vendors and more. It will take place on Thursday, June 6 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM; 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM Friday, June 7; Saturday, June 8 from 1:00 PM to 11:00 PM; and Sunday, June 9 from 12pm to 7pm at 20 Hillcrest Road, Holmdel. Admission is $2;

HopSauce Festival, Beach Haven

This nine-year-old hot sauce and craft beer festival features live bands and benefits the Jetty Rock Foundation, which protects the ocean and waterways. HopSauce will take place on Saturday, June 15 at 11 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park, 198 Engleside Ave. Admission is $20 for a non-drink ticket, $50 for a ticket that allows you to sample more than 50 craft beers, and $150 for a VIP ticket that includes a VIP tent, beer and food.

More: Here’s the ultimate beach guide for your summer days at the Jersey Shore

New Jersey State Barbecue Championship, North Wildwood

The celebration, which runs in conjunction with the Anglesea Blues Festival and benefits the Anglesea Volunteer Fire Company, includes the main barbecue competition, live cooking demonstrations, live music and barbecue and other food vendors. It will take place from 4pm to 11pm on Friday, July 12; Saturday, July 13 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, July 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from 3rd Avenue to Walnut Avenue in North Wildwood’s Entertainment District. Entrance is free;

Ocean County Fair, Berkeley Township

The 77-year-old 4-H fair includes live music, a Tilt-a-Whirl, roller coasters, 4-H events, pony rides, pig races, food and commercial vendors and more. Nearly 50,000 people come there every year. The festival runs from 5pm to 11pm on Wednesday, July 10 and Thursday, July 11; Friday, July 12 and Saturday, July 13 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, July 14 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Robert J. Miller Airpark, Route 530 and Mule Road in Berkeley Township. Admission is $10 per person;

Italian Festival and Wine Tasting, Oceanport

Restaurants, food trucks and delis will be selling Italian fare during the celebration, which takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28, at Monmouth Park Racetrack, 175 Oceanport Ave. Admission to the festival and grounds is $21, which includes five 2-ounce wine samples;

Monmouth County Fair, owned by the town

There will be 4-H shows and exhibits, rides and games, live music, racing pigs, a nature show, stunt horses and dogs, history displays, garden displays and commercial and food vendors at this county fair, which runs from 4 p.m. 11:00 PM Wednesday, July 24 to Friday, July 26; Saturday, July 27 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, July 28 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the East Freehold Showgrounds, Kozloski Road in Freehold Township. Admission is $10, free for children 12 and under;

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Manahopkin Craft Beer & Music Festival, Stafford

This festival features live music, dozens of breweries, food trucks, craft vendors and children’s activities in support of the Stafford PBA Holiday Toy Drive. It will take place on Saturday, August 3 from noon to 9 p.m. at Manahawkin Lake Park, Route 9 and North Lakeshore Drive in the Manahawkin section of the township. All-you-can-drink tickets start at $38 and increase as the event approaches. Tickets for those who don’t drink are free;

Highlands Clam Fest

Parts of Waterwitch and Bay Avenue will be closed for the rides, games, children’s activities, special vendors and food trucks for the 29-year-old festival, which draws more than 5,000 people over three days. The mussel festival takes place from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Thursday, August 1; Friday, August 2 from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM; and Saturday, August 3 from noon to 11 p.m. at Huddy Park, 329 Bay Ave. Saturday will also feature a beer, wine and sangria garden, live music and a fireworks show at 10 p.m. Free entrance;

Latin Festival, Oceanport

A dozen Latin food trucks will serve Latin American cuisine alongside live Latin music and children’s activities such as clowns, face painting, pony rides and a bouncy castle at the festival, which takes place from Sunday, August 4 to 4 p.m. at Monmouth Park Racetrack, 175 Oceanport Ave. Admission is $6;

Italian Festival, Ocean Township

Presented by the Italian American Association of the Township of Ocean, this festival includes Italian food, rides and cooking demonstrations. It will take place daily from Wednesday, August 7 to Sunday, August 11 from 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM at Joe Palaia Park, 200 Whalepond Road in the Oakhurst neighborhood. Entrance is free;

More things to do: The North to Shore arts festival brings stars to Asbury Park, Newark, Atlantic City

Surf & Turf Seafood Festival, Oceanport

Restaurants and food trucks will serve seafood dishes alongside live music and children’s activities at this festival, which takes place from 11am to 5pm on Saturday, August 17 and Sunday, August 18 at Monmouth Park Racetrack, 175 Oceanport Ave. will be a $15 hard seltzer sampling, which includes 10 2-ounce samples of hard seltzer. Admission is $6;

BBQ & NJ Craft Beer Festival, Oceanport

Food trucks will offer barbecue dishes and guests can sample local craft beer at this festival, which takes place from Saturday, August 31 to Monday, September 2 from 11am to 5pm at Monmouth Park, 175 Oceanport Ave. live music and children’s activities. Admission is $21 for the festival and grounds, which includes 10 2-ounce samples of local craft beer;

Contact: [email protected]

Jenna Intersimone has been a staff member at the USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey since 2014, after becoming a blogger and reporter after founding her award-winning travel blog. To get unlimited access to her stories of food, drink and fun, subscribe or activate your digital account today. You can also follow her on Instagram at @seejennaeat and on Twitter at @JIntersimone.