Blueberries and Barbecue

Festivals celebrate the berry, while a competition champions BBQ.

Fireworks are lighting up the skies the next few days, as we celebrate Independence Day.

But this coming weekend, there are food festivals galore in the Garden State.

Two of the best ones celebrate New Jersey’s new crop of blueberries. Pick ’em, eat ’em, love ’em while they’re in season. The fact that blueberries are juicy, mildly sweet, delicious and good for you is a bonus almost beyond edible compare.

Blueberry Bash at Terhune Orchards: Saturday, July 8 from 10 am to 5 pm at the farm located at 339 Cold Soil Road in Princeton. Pick-your-own blueberries and lots of activities for kids, including a puppet show and music. Blueberry buffet offered. $8 admission fee. 609-924-2310; terhuneorhcards.com.

Blueberry Festival at Alstede Farms: Saturday, July 8 and Sunday, July 9 from 11 am to 5 pm at the farm located at 1 Alstede Farms Lane in Chester. Pick-your-own, pony rides, kids’ activities and entertainment. Admission is free. 908-879-7189; alstedefarms.com.

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Barbecue love grows exponentially every summer. Perhaps it’s fueled by this festival:

The New Jersey State Barbecue Championship: A three-day, open-air festival in Cape May County, Friday, July 7 through Sunday, July 9, this event runs from 4 to 11 pm daily at 201 New Jersey Avenue in Anglesea. It features the barbecue competition, cooking demonstrations, displays and vendors offering food and beverages. In conjunction with the barbecue festival is the Anglesea Blues Festival, featuring live performances. For details, call 609-523-6565 or visit njbbq.com.

Happy Fourth of July! Table Hopping will return with a new post Wednesday, July 5.

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