28 Festivals at the Jersey Shore This Summer

Fun in the sun featuring everything from sandcastle-sculpting to succulent seafood.

All illustrations by Steven Salerno


Cape May Music Festival

May 26-June 14: The 30th annual celebration features an a cappella group, symphony orchestras, chamber singers, a brass band, a tribute to Cape May pianist George Mesterhazy and a champagne jazz brunch. Times, prices and locations vary.

Hi-Tide Summer Holiday

Aug 16-18: The Asbury Park-based surf-music record label Hi-Tide hosts daytime activities and nighttime concerts at Asbury Lanes. Cool off at the Asbury Hotel pool party, sip cocktails during the rooftop happy hour, and show off your moves in the twist contest. Bands include Los Freneticos, the Delstroyers and Asbury Park’s own Black Flamingos. $30-$55.

Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Festival

Aug 24: Tunes from live musicians fill the salt air. Food, craft vendors and spectacular fireworks add to the fun. 1-9 pm; free. Great Lawn, Long Branch Boardwalk.


Wildwood Crest Sand Sculpting Festival

July 12: 9 am-2 pm; free. Wildwood Crest Beach at Heather Road (609-523-0202).

33rd Annual New Jersey Sandcastle Contest

July 17: 8 am; free. Rain date July 18. 18th Avenue Beach, Belmar.


Wildwood Beer Fest

June 8: Tap into fun with more than 30 breweries. Watch live brewing and try hatchet throwing. Session 1: noon-4 pm; session 2: 6-10 pm; $40-$45; designated driver, $5. Fox Park.

Cape May Hops Festival

June 22: Blues, brews and barbecue! What better way to enjoy summer? 10 am-6 pm. Emlen Physick Estate (609-884-5404).


Downtown Wildwood Seafood & Wine Festival

June 15-16: Get your fill of fish and vino at this inaugural fest. A live band and a deejay keep crowds grooving. Families can play cornhole, Kan Jam, Jenga and Connect Four. Sat, 2-10 pm; Sun, noon-6 pm. Byrne Plaza.

Highlands Clam Fest

Aug 1-4: Bring your appetite to the 25th annual bivalve bash. You’ll find succulent seafood, landlubber options, clam-shucking contests and more at Huddy Park.

Bradley Beach LobsterFest

Aug 31-Sept 1: This Labor Day-weekend shellfish soiree promises live entertainment, 150 craft vendors, 25 food vendors and children’s activities. Sat, 11 am-8 pm; Sun, 11 am-6 pm. Along Ocean Avenue.


Spring Lake Historical Society’s 40th Annual House Tour

June 6: Traipse through historic homes and buildings. 10 am-3 pm; $35-$40. (732-449-0772)

Cape May Designer House Tour

June 15: Admire four private waterfront abodes. 11 am-3 pm; $30.

Historical Society of Ocean Grove’s 51st Annual House Tour

Aug 9: Step inside historic residences, a tent home and an inn. 10:30 am-4:30 pm; $35-$40. (732-774-1869)


110th Wildwoods Baby Parade

July 31, 6 pm; rain date Aug 1. Procession starts at the Wildwoods Convention Center.

110th Annual Ocean City Baby Parade

Aug 8, 10:30 am. Procession starts at 6th Street and the boardwalk.


Atlantic City Food Truck Festival

June 8-9: Chow down as live music plays and cocktails and craft beer flow. Cash only in bar areas. Brighton Park.

Sea Isle City Food Truck Invitational

June 28-30: Great grub, plus craft vendors and live music. Fri & Sat, noon-9 pm; Sun, noon-7 pm. Kix McNutley’s.


Lighthouse International Film Festival

June 6-9: Named in honor of Old Barney, Long Beach Island’s 11th annual cinema celebration features screenings, panel discussions and filmmaker meet-and-greets. Times, prices and locations vary.


July 20: Watch 80 super-short films (less than two minutes) from local and international filmmakers under the stars at the Atlantic Highlands Marina. 6 pm, live bands; 9 pm screenings; Free. 1 Simon Lake Drive.


Margate Beachstock

June 29: Learn to limbo and hula, discover shells and sea creatures during the Beach Walk, jam out to live music, take sand-sculpting lessons and enter the volleyball tournament. Eat your fill of fare and chill out in the beer-and-margarita garden before the bonfire and family movie at dusk. 8 am-10 pm; no beach tags required, activity prices vary.

Asbury Park Promenade of Mermaids

June 29: Have a fintastic time with fellow merpeople. Browse vendors selling mermaid art and accessories. 2 pm; $10 to enter costume contest. Bradley Park.

National Marbles Tournament

June 17-20: Mibsters (marble shooters) ages 8-14 knuckle down (literally) for 1,200 games over four days. Who will be crowned the new Marble King and Queen? 8 am-noon, daily; free for spectators. Wildwood’s Ringer Stadium at Wildwood Avenue and the beach.


July 4: A food festival, craft sale and street fair all in one. Enjoy all-day live music, kids’ entertainment and a master sand-sculpting exhibit. Of course, Independence Day isn’t complete without patriotic pyrotechnics. 10 am-10 pm. Long Branch.

NJ State Barbecue Championship & Anglesea Blues Festival

July 12-14: Two festivals mean twice the fun in North Wildwood. National meat masters face off while blues artists play. The weekend includes a craft beer garden, cooking classes and a vendor market. Olde New Jersey Ave.


Aug 30-Sept 2: Be amazed by aviation aerobatics, learn about historic aircraft, fill up on food- truck fare, and quench your thirst in the beer garden at Naval Air Station Wildwood. $12-$16. Cape May Airport.

Craft Beer, Music & Crab Festival

Aug 3: Crack open a crustacean and a cold one on the Emlen Physick Estate grounds. Live music, an old-fashioned Victorian circus with jugglers and acrobats, and craft vendors add to the fun. 10 am-6 pm. Cape May.

Atlantic City Vegan Food Festival

July 12-14: Sample meat-free bites, hear from speakers, attend the fashion show and watch cooking demos. The keynote speaker will be Red Bank-bred Harley Quinn Smith, a singer, actress and vegan advocate. $8-$20. Showboat Hotel.

65th Annual Night in Venice

July 13: Decorated boats coast down Great Egg Harbor Bay along the parade route from the Ocean City-Longport Bridge to Tennessee Avenue. Bayfront homes dress up for the affair, too. Spectators line the waterfront and a fireworks display closes the festivities. 5:30 pm.

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