What’s Happening

Your calendar for a summer of fun.

Competitors in the clam-eating contest at the 2011 Highlands Clamfest. Photo: Shoregrafx

RiverFest 2011
June 3-5

Red Bank restaurateur Danny Murphy, who helped start RiverFest in 1979, has lined up more than 24 of the area’s favorite restaurants and caterers for this free food and music festival in Marine Park. Danny’s, Buena Serra, Red, Temple, Mumford’s Culinary Center and other businesses will offer signature dishes. Area musician/restaurateur Tim McLoone organizes the participation of local musicians, artists and crafters. The festival also features cruises along the Navesink River for a small fee. Friday, 6 to 10 pm; Saturday, 10 am to 10 pm; Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm. 1 Marine Park, Red Bank. (732-741-0055, redbankriverfest.org)

Seaside Park Green Day Fair
June 4

More than 60 vendors will help celebrate our planet at the borough’s first environmental fair. The day kicks off at 9 am with the annual children’s Fish Hat Parade, followed by environmental exhibits and educational presentations, including a rain-barrel demonstration; a vehicles exhibit with historic cars, hybrids and bicycles; and various speakers. There will also be yoga and jewelry and sea-glass vendors. 9 am to 4 pm. Seaside Park Marina, J Street and Central Avenue, Seaside Park. (seasideparknj.org)

20th Jersey Shore Partnership Summer Celebration
June 6

Start summer at Fort Hancock as the Shore’s best chefs prepare Jersey seafood under an open-air tent to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Jersey Shore Partnership, a nonprofit committed to beach preservation and the Shore economy. More than 400 guests are expected for the annual fundraiser that also includes a seafood bar, awards program, raffle and music by Brian Kirk and the Jerks. The reception begins at 5:30 pm and dinner is at 6:30 pm. Advance tickets are $100. Fort Hancock, Sandy Hook. (732-212-4145, jerseyshorepartnership.com)

New Jersey Seafood Festival
June 10-12

For 25 years, Belmar’s annual free festival has attracted chefs, fine artists, crafts people and musicians from around the state for a three-day celebration of marine delights. Dozens of restaurants such as Klein’s Waterside Cafe, Jack Baker’s Lobster Shanty and Mr. Shrimp serve up a variety of seafood specialties, from the traditional shrimp, lobster and calamari to the more exotic alligator sausage, sushi, conch fritters and seafood paella. Indulge in food and wine demonstrations while the kids enjoy hands-on activities, storytellers and musicians. From 11 am to 7:30 pm, loop through scenic Belmar on the festival’s trolley. Friday, 4 to 8 pm; Saturday, 11 am to 8 pm; Sunday, 11 am to 7 pm. Silver Lake Park, 5th and Ocean Avenue, Belmar. (732-681-3700, visitbelmarnj.com)

Jersey Coast Anglers Association Fluke Tournament
June 11

Cast your luck at more than $70,000 in cash and prizes during the 17th annual fishing tournament, the largest of its kind on the East Coast. Teams of up to six anglers compete in 10 statewide mini-tournaments in Jersey City, Shark River, Barnegat Bay, Great Bay, Cape May, Sandy Hook, Manasquan River, Long Beach Island, Ocean City and Fortescue. Each site has its own weigh station and set of prizes, ranging from cash to marine products, for the team that reels in the day’s biggest catch. Each boat also has a chance at winning the grand prize and a raft of door prizes at the Gala Awards Ceremony at Trump Marina Hotel Casino in Atlantic City on the evening of June 17. $120 per boat. (732-506-6565, jcaa.org)

19th annual Baymen’s Seafood and Music Festival
June 18

Does Dad like seafood? If so, spend Father’s Day Weekend eating Jersey-fresh clams, crabs, scallops and shrimp from the finest local seafood purveyors at the Tuckerton Seaport and Baymen’s Museum. From 11 am to 5 pm, enjoy crafters and vendors, blues music, boat rides, King Neptune and mermaid contests, a clam-shucking class and demonstrations by boat builders, decoy carvers and commercial fishermen—all while feasting on fresh crab cakes, homemade chowders, seafood platters and more. Adults, $8; seniors, $6; children 6-12, $3; children 5 and under and members, free. 120 West Main Street, Tuckerton. (609-296-8868, tuckertonseaport.org)

Jazzy Scallop Festival
June 25

Since 2009, local restaurants have been cooking up their scallop specialties for sampling at Barnegat Light’s historic Viking Village during this festival benefiting the Southern Regional High School Scholarship Fund’s music and marine science scholarships. Sample succulent scallops while listening to jazz, touring the dock or sipping beer and wine from the cash bar. 3 to 6 pm. 19th and Bayview avenues, Barnegat Light. (609-494-7211, visitlbiregion.com)

New Jersey State Barbecue Championship
July 8-10

Witness barbecue teams from around the country strut their stuff as they vie for more than $10,000 in cash and prizes and an invitation to the world championship in Kansas City. The free, open-air festival serves up mouth-watering ribs, chicken, brisket and pork, as well as cooking demonstrations, a team wing-eating contest and a certified judging class. There will be food and beverage vendors to satisfy every taste. And since nothing goes better with lip-smackin’ barbecue than smokin’-hot blues, the Anglesea Blues Festival adds to the fun on an outdoor main stage and in neighboring clubs and pubs. 201 New Jersey Avenue, North Wildwood. (609-523-6565, njbbq.com)

July 9

Billed as the planet’s largest beach party, Margate’s Beachstock has something for everyone. For the kids, there will be face painting, hair braiding, treasure hunts, Hula-Hoop contests, obstacle courses and a volleyball tournament. Other activities include a free surf camp, a sand-sculpting demo, a bathing suit fashion show, lifeguard races at 6 pm, a showing of Pirates of the Caribbean at dusk, food and beer vendors and live bands performing throughout the day. 11:30 am to 10 pm; rain date July 10; free. Granville Avenue beach, Margate. (609-822-1129, marvelousmargate.com).

New Jersey Ice Cream Festival
July 16

For a cool break from a hot summer day, the ninth annual ice cream festival offers three hours of tastings. Starting at 11:30 am, top national and local creameries, including Hoffman’s, Mrs. Walker’s and Gifford’s Ice Cream, serve samples of their latest flavor creations, from Vienna mocha chunk to Key lime pie. After voting for your top choice, check out the games, inflatable rides, balloon artist and face painter. Then at 4:30 pm, find out if your favorite took the cake. Tasting kits are $6 in advance, $7 day-of. 11:30 am to 5 pm. Washington Street, Toms River. (downtowntomsriver.com)

Bradley Beach Lobster Fest
July 16

Lobster lovers rejoice. The third annual Bradley Beach Chamber of Commerce Lobster Fest brings together more than a dozen restaurants and seafood purveyors dishing out their best crustacean creations. From 11 am to 7 pm (rain date July 17), listen to live rock, jazz and reggae and sip beer and wine as the kids get their faces painted and play on inflatable rides. The free festival also features craft vendors and local artists. Trolley rides are available from the Bradley Beach train station. Fifth and Ocean avenues, Bradley Beach. (732 776-2999, bradleybeachonline.com)

National Marbles Tournament
June 19-23

Since 1922, children ages 8 to 14 have been vying for the national title in the sport of marbles. This June, “mibsters” (marble shooters) from across the country will converge on Wildwood’s Ringer Stadium to compete in the 88th national tournament. Over the four days, the local champions will play more than 1,200 games for awards, prizes, college scholarships and most importantly, national honors. 8 am to 1 pm daily; free for spectators. Wildwood Avenue on the beach, Wildwood. (304-337-2764, nationalmarblestournament.org)

9th Annual Red, Wine & Blues Festival
July 23

Count on Tuckerton Seaport for a perfect afternoon of wine tasting from New Jersey’s finest wineries as well as live blues. The day also includes crafters, vendors, food, boat rides and a traditional pie bake-off. All tasters receive a complimentary Seaport wine glass. 3 to 8 pm; $20. 120 West Main Street, Tuckerton. (609-296-8868, tuckertonseaport.org)

Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival
July 28-31

After a successful partnership with the Food Network last year, the AC Food and Wine Festival is back for a weekend-long feast of events, including culinary-themed parties, tastings, wine seminars, cooking classes and a weekend-long Grand Market. Spanning all four Caesars Entertainment properties, the 2011 festival features renowned winemakers and culinary personalities, including Food Network chefs Sunny Anderson, Guy Fieri, Robert Irvine and Patrick and Gina Neely. Event tickets start at $30, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Atlantic City. (acfoodandwine.com)

Crabulous Crab Day
July 29

Even the crankiest of people can’t be crabby at the Wetlands Institute’s crab festival. From 10 am to 3 pm, celebrate all things crustacean with crab racing, a crabbing tournament, crabbing and cooking lessons, a hermit-crab beauty pageant, crab tasting and more. Don’t forget to cast your vote for the winner of the the Golden Crab for best crab cake in town. Defending champion chef Mike Blaszczyk of the Stone Harbor Yacht Club will be panning for a repeat win. 1075 Stone Harbor Boulevard, Stone Harbor. (609-368-1211, wetlandsinstitute.org)

Beach Baggo Tournament
July 30

Whether you call it Cornhole or Baggo—the sport is the same. Spend a day on the beach in Wildwood playing the bean bag-toss game while raising money for charity. For just $60, teams compete for up to $500 in prizes, with 50 percent of all proceeds donated to Gloves for Love, a nonprofit pediatric cancer foundation with the goal of knocking out cancer. Noon. On the beach between Maple and Pine avenues, Wildwood. (609-780-4745, beachbaggo.com)

Wildwoods Baby Parade
August 3

Of course every parent thinks his or her baby is the cutest. To find out what the judges think, enter the 102nd annual parade. Starting at 6 pm, the country’s cutest will parade down the boardwalk from the Wildwoods Convention Center to 16th Street in North Wildwood, decked out in costumes and wagons or their Sunday best. Rain date is August 4. Wildwood. (609-729-4000, wildwoodsnj.com)

USLA National Lifeguard Championship
August 4-6

On this summer weekend, the Cape May beach will surely be the safest around as more than 1,000 adult and youth lifeguards from across the nation compete for individual and team honors in the United States Lifesaving Association’s national championship. From 8 am to 5 pm, watch as the lifeguards compete in water and beach-course events—from surf swims to beach runs. Cape May Beach Patrol, Beach and Grant streets, Cape May. (609-884-9520, usla.org)

August 4-7

Be as happy as a clam at Huddy Park’s 17th annual Clamfest. The four-day, action-packed event features the freshest seafood, live entertainment, thrill rides, games, contests, a beer and wine garden and more. Popular Highlands restaurants such as Bahrs, Chilangos, Francesco’s, Lusty Lobster and Moby’s will dish up clams—fried, stuffed, steamed or on the half shell—as well as soft shell crab sandwiches, shrimp, oysters, crab cakes, lobsters, scallops, chowders, fish tacos, mussels and more. Competitors can also put their clamthusiasm to the test during the clam-shucking competition and the all-you-can-eat clam contest. Thursday and Friday, 6 to 11 pm; Saturday, noon to 11 pm; Sunday, noon to 8 pm; free. Bay and Waterwitch avenues, Highlands. (732-291-4713, highlandsnj.com)

The Art of Surfing Festival
August 5-6

From its humble beginnings in the Hawaiian Islands, surfing has grown into a mainstay of pop culture. At the 11th annual festival at the Ocean City Music Pier, Surfing Artists International and Ocean City’s Sagemore Gallery join together to feature art, literature and film from surfing’s biggest names, live music, painting demonstrations, a surf memorabilia auction and a chance to meet surf artists from across the country. Thurs, 7 to 10 pm; Fri-Sat, noon to 10 pm; free. Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace, Ocean City. (828-989-5464, sagemoregallery.com)

National Lighthouse Day
August 7

The Cape May Lighthouse celebrates our national day of recognition for America’s historic beacons with free admission. From 9 am to 2 pm, visitors can also enjoy live music, nautical-themed crafts, refreshments, pirate-hat making and storytelling. Cape May Point State Park, Lower Township. (609-884-5404, capemaymac.org)

Shake, Rhythm and Roll Music Festival
August 9-14

Celebrate the roots of rock and roll at the Shore’s slickest sock-hoppin’ dance party. Asbury Park’s Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel hosts five nights of music, performances, contests and a dance camp that will teach dances from the 1930s to the 1950s. The festival also features classic cars, late-night burlesque shows and a bathing beauty competition. Tickets range from $65 to $150 for dance parties and $145 to $335 for dance camps. Call for times. 1401 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park. (646-233-3338, shakerhythmroll.com)

Weird Contest Week
August 15-19

While this annual August event is different each year, you can expect to find mainstays such as taffy and french fry sculpting, artistic pie eating (in the shapes of boats, seagulls and even New Jersey), wet t-shirt tossing (the record is 165 feet), celebrity super-hero impersonations and the grand finale, the highly fashionable Miss Miscellaneous Contest. Try your best during the weirdest week at the beach to take home prizes. The free events begin at 11 am on the Music Pier each day. Moorlyn Terrace and Boardwalk, Ocean City. (609-525-9300, oceancitychamber.com)

5th Annual Crab Cake Festival & Shore Chef Cook-Off
August 20-21

Seafood has the pole position for this two-day event at the Monmouth Park Racetrack. Fill up on crab cakes, fried catfish, clam chowder and other seafood from top Garden State restaurants as the chefs battle it out for best crab cake and People’s Choice awards. There will also be thoroughbred racing, live entertainment and craft vendors. 11:30 am to 5 pm; $3. 175 Oceanport Avenue, Oceanport. (732-222-5100, monmouthpark.com)

Wild Half Marathon
August 28

Run wild in Wildwood this summer as this brand-new seaside half marathon combines running with the excitement of an amusement park and the sights and sounds of the boardwalk. Each racer receives a free single weekend pass to Morey’s Piers (a $180 value) to celebrate after completing the 13.1-mile course along the boardwalk and beach. The race begins at 7:30 am, with a Health and Fitness Expo the day before. Wildwood. (856-468-0925, cgiracing.com).

Belmar Kicks Sand on Castle Ban

Swan Boats Are Back (With Pelicans and Dragons!)

He Sells (and Displays) Seashells

Just Wild About Wildwood

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