Well, here we are… the unofficial start of summer in New Jersey is this weekend! We’ve got some great events happening around New Jersey this week to kick off the summer season – from internationally renowned kite festivals and bicycle races to fantastic food and wine festivals, it’s shaping up to be an exciting (and delicious!) start of summer in New Jersey. There are also Memorial day parades and ceremonies happening all over New Jersey so, whatever else you plan to do this weekend, be sure to find a Memorial Day event near you and honor our brave men and women in uniform who have given the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom. Here are the top five things to do in New Jersey this week…
1. Celebrate Memorial Day in New Jersey
Parades, Ceremonies and Services around NJ
While there are some fantastic festivals and other events happening in New Jersey this week, the most significant of these events is the observance of Memorial Day. This weekend is a time to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. There are many Memorial Day events happening all over New Jersey this weekend, find one near you here and take some time this weekend to pay your respects to our fallen men and women in uniform.
2. Wildwoods International Kite Festival
May 22nd-May 25th
Wildwoods Convention Center & Beach
Wildwood, New Jersey
Wildwood kicks off the summer season this weekend by welcoming the largest kite festival in North America to the beach and the Wildwoods Convention Center! The International Kite Festival features kite makers from all over the world flying their most spectacular colorful creations. The festival begins at noon on Friday with the Unlocking of the Ocean ceremony outside of the Wildwoods Convention Center. Friday’s festivities continue with the opening of the kite sales tent, a Friday night social hosted by the local South Jersey Kite Flyers Club (all-you-can-eat buffet -$10 per person), and an Illuminated Night Kite Fly. Saturday and Sunday’s Kite Festival events feature lots of fun things to do and see, including the East Coast Stunt Kite Championships, sport kite demonstrations, team flying, kite workshops, and family games. On Monday, the World Indoor Kite Competition will be held inside the Wildwoods Convention Center. The Wildwoods International Kite Festival is free to spectators.
3. Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival
May 23rd-May 25th
Monmouth Park Racetrack
175 Oceanport Avenue
Oceanport, New Jersey
The Jersey Shore’s most delicious summer kick-off party takes place this weekend as the Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival takes place at Monmouth Park Racetrack. This huge festival will bring over 40 regional trucks together for a head to head competition resulting in three days of amazing food, family fun, and world-class racing! Come out for a day of delicious food, entertainment and the Star Ledger’s Family Fun Day. Grandstand admission is $3; children 12 and under are always admitted free.
4. Tour of Somerville
May 23rd-May 25th
Raritan – Bound Brook -Somerville
(check website for starting points)
Somerville, New Jersey
The Tour of Somerville is the oldest major bicycle race in the United States and is legendary in the world of bicycle racing. This exciting three-day event attracts over 600 professional and amateur cyclists to New Jersey, including our nation’s top cyclists. The professional competitors in Monday’s 50-mile Kugler-Anderson Memorial Tour of Somerville (known as the “Kentucky Derby of Cycling”) can average speeds of up to 40 mph. The Tour of Somerville is an exciting event for spectators of all ages with a weekend full of world-class cycling, delicious food, fun things to do for the kids, live music, sports and dance demonstrations, and much more!
5. Blues, Wine & BBQ Festival at Schooley’s Mountain Park
$25 ($20 advance tickets are available)
91 East Springtown Road
Long Valley, New Jersey
The 2015 Blues, Wine, & BBQ Festival is the premier event of the Garden State Wine Growers Association, featuring hundreds of wines which will be available to sample and purchase (you can even pop a bottle right on the festival grounds) from 19 of New Jersey’s finest wineries. The event features the announcement of the winners of the 2015 New Jersey Wine Competition on Saturday afternoon. Four of New Jersey’s best BBQ pit food trucks will be serving up the best in barbeque and there will be live music from Slim Chance & the Gamblers (Saturday) and The Fins (Sunday)! The event will also feature shopping with area vendors, fun things to do for the kids, and the awarding of an international wine trip to one lucky festival attendee! The weekend promises to be a fantastic one, filled with mouthwatering food, delicious wines, and phenomenal blues music. Ticket to the Blues, Wine, & BBQ Festival at Schooley’s Mountain Park are $25 ($20 in advance online). The ticket price includes admission, parking, wine tasting, live music, and children’s activities. Food is sold by vendors at an additional cost. In the event of extreme weather, Saturday or Sunday may be postponed, and tickets will be honored for a Monday (5/25) rain date.