20 of the most unique July festivals in New Jersey
🐴 Here are 20 of the best July festivals in New Jersey
🍭 July festivals in New Jersey are more than just fireworks
🎡 Some involve balloons, animals, beer, and even butterflies
It’s not all about stars and stripes during the month of July in New Jersey. There are so many other kinds of festivals to choose from that include animals, balloons, and beers.
Check out these 20 unique July 2023 festivals in the Garden State:
Craft Day by the Bay
Saturday, July 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (rain or shine)
Sunset Park at 3 W. Salem Avenue, Harvey Cedars
Admission and parking are free.
Kick off Fourth of July weekend with Craft Day by the Bay with 70-plus vendors.
Food is available for purchase from Chick-fil-A of Manahawkin.
Annual Oceanfest at Long Branch
Tuesday, July 4 from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The Oceanfront Promenade at 228 Broadway, Long Branch
Billed as the biggest Independence Day celebration anywhere in New Jersey, Oceanfest returns for its 33rd year. It’s an all-day, family-friendly festival that captures the most memorable sights, sounds, and sensations of the summer season. It caps off with a fireworks display on the Jersey coast.
Stroll the beachfront, while taking in the views, and enjoy performances by dancers, musicians, clowns, and musical acts. Sample treats from a variety of food vendors or shop for items from crafters across the Northeast.
Stick around for the fireworks display at dusk!
Bridgewater/Somerset County Independence Day Family Festival
Tuesday, July 4 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. (rain date fireworks is July 5)
North Branch Park at 355 Milltown Road, Bridgewater
Admission is free.
North Branch Park gates will open at 6 p.m. for the Bridgewater/Somerset County Independence day Family Festival, to allow vehicles and families to picnic on park grounds.
The New York Bee Gees will perform the classic 70s Bee Gees favorites along with other disco classics from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. They’ll perform again after the fireworks display from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Park visitors should bring lawn chairs and blankets. Food trucks will be available. Picnic baskets are allowed, but no alcohol is permitted.
Cumberland County Fair
Tuesday, July 4 - Saturday, July 8
Cumberland County Fairgrounds at 3301 Carmel Road, Millville
Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Thursday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Admission is $5.00 (cash only). There are no ATMs available on-site
At the Cumberland County Fair, patrons can enjoy magic shows, face painting, rides, and food. Plus, Grandpa Cratchet, everyone’s favorite oldy, moldy grandpa will be on hand.
Wildwood Crest Sand Sculpting Festival
Friday, July 7 at 9 a.m.
Wildwood Crest Beach Pier at Heather Road, Wildwood Crest
Admission is free
Grab your buckets and shovels and head to the beach to create works of art in the sand for the 11th annual Wildwood Crest Sand Sculpting Festival.
Both the amateur and semi-pro sand sculpting contest is hosted by world-renowned sand sculptor Matt Long, a former cast member of the Travel Channel’s SandMasters and “Can You Dig It!” Sand Tools.
Sculptures will be judged on creativity, execution, composition, and overall presentation. Prizes will be awarded to the top three winners in each division.
Saturday, July 8 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The Sussex County Fairgrounds, Augusta
Cost: $15 in advance for adults, $5 for kids. All proceeds benefit Father John’s Animal House.
It’s all about peace, love, and dogs at the Pupstock Festival.
Dogs on non-retractable leashes are invited to the event, celebrating pups and their human parents.
The day includes dog activity zones, K-9 demos, food trucks, live music, vendors, Yappy Hour in the Biergarten, dog adoptions, and a peanut butter eating competition.
Don’t miss the Puppy Foam Party at 12:30 p.m. This is a 100% naturally organic and non-toxic compound that makes it safe for both animals and humans.
At 4 p.m. there will be a costume contest. Judging is based on unique and functional costumes. The contest will take place at the Pupstock Stage. There will be cash for the top three winners.
The first 200 guests will receive a giveaway.
Mood’s Farm Market Blueberry Festival
Saturday, July 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
901 Bridgeton Pike, Mullica Hill
Enjoy the Blueberry Festival at Mood’s Farm Market by celebrating all things blueberry. Is your pie to die for? Do you make a delectable dessert? Prove it by entering the blueberry dessert contest.
Enjoy live jazz music by the Jazztones. Additionally, the One Way Express plays their unique blend of bluegrass, gospel, and country music, too.
Craft vendors will be on hand selling candles, plants, antiques, and more. Hot dogs, hamburgers, blueberry donuts, blueberry donut sundaes, blueberry milkshakes, and more will be served.
Pick your own blueberries is available all day.
Haddonfield Crafts and Fine Art Festival
Saturday and Sunday, July 8-9
Downtown Haddonfield, NJ (along Kings Highway between Washington Avenue and Haddon Avenue, and along Tanner Street to Euclid Avenue and on Kings Court)
Back for its 29th year, The Haddonfield Crafts and Fine Art Festival features more than 200 artists showcasing the best of fine art and craft from the region and beyond.
The two-day outdoor festival, held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, typically draws more than 50,000 attendees.
Artists and crafters will include ceramics, glass, jewelry, wood, fiber, paper, drawings, paintings, photography, and wearable art.
Maplewoodstock Music and Arts Festival
Saturday and Sunday, July 8-9 from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Memorial Park, Dunnell Road and Jefferson Avenue, Maplewood
Admission is free for the two-day Maplewoodstock Music and Arts Festival, celebrating community music and art.
The event features local music from more than 20 performers and arts including Al Gold and Cool in Hand, Queen Bleu Nile and Family, Tia Holt Experience, JB Blues Band, Q-Tip Bandits, and more.
The event also includes art, collectibles, and crafts, all provided by local artists and merchants, and food from local food vendors.
For kids, there's a Kidzone with bouncy rides, face painting, and arts and crafts.
Ocean County Fair
Wednesday, July 12 through Sunday, July 16
Robert J. Miller Air Park, Bayville
Admission is $10. Kids under 10 are free. Free parking.
Wednesday and Thursday: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The five-day Ocean County Fair features musical acts and animal events, rides, food vendors, 4-H animals, and displays such as horse shows.
NJ State Barbecue Championship
Friday, July 14 to Sunday, July 16
Anglesea Drive, Wildwood
Admission is free.
The New Jersey State Barbecue Championship is a three-day open-air festival featuring a championship barbecue competition, live cooking demos, special displays, and food and beverage vendors.
The Anglesea Blues Festival features both national and regional blues musicians, held in conjunction with the barbecue championship.
Enjoy smokin’ hot blues all three days and lip-smacking barbecue!
Sourland Mountain Festival
Saturday, July 15 from 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Unionville Vineyards at 9 Rocktown Road, Ringoes
Event Cost: Tickets can be purchased online for $35 adult, $15 for those ages 12 to 18
This is the 18th year of the Sourland Mountain Festival. Proceeds benefit the Sourland Conservancy, a non-profit that works to protect the Sourland Mountain Region. The 90-square-mile region is home to the largest contiguous forest in Central New Jersey.
Bring your friends and family, along with lawn chairs, and blankets to enjoy the party. The festival includes hours of music, food, wine, spirits, craft beers, vendors, family activities, animals, history, and wildlife education.
Saturday, July 16 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Red Bank Battlefield Park at 100 Hessian Avenue, National Park (Gloucester County)
You’ll learn all about bees and pollination at the Butterfly Festival. Learn the importance of both, and how you can attract them to your yards. Enjoy tours of the Butterfly House, free classes, a bug parade, and a slew of family fun activities.
Burlington County Farm Fair
Tuesday, July 18 through Saturday, July 22 from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Burlington County Fairgrounds at 1990 Jacksonville-Jobstown Road, Springfield Township
This annual Burlington County Farm Fair is designed to promote agriculture, social life, and youth, as well as educate the general public by conducting this agricultural fair with exhibits, livestock, and farm products.
Horses, cows, rabbits, sheep, goats, and other animals are on display each day. On July 22, farmers and New Jersey Future Farmers of America members will compete in dairy cow shows from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the South Show Tent.
Watch dairy cows being milked twice daily, daily horse shows, and a tractor pull demonstration.
Children can participate in becoming a “Farmer for a Day” in a special exhibit, too.
Ladies’ Night on the Farm - Bloom Bar
Friday, Jul 21, 6:30 PM
Ort Farms at 25 Bartley Road, Long Valley
Cost: $29.95 per lady
Ladies’ Night on the Farm is a BYOB event that was created to give all hard-working ladies something to look forward to at the end of the week.
Grab your friends, bring a bottle of your favorite wine, bubbly, spirit, or whatever, and have some fun.
What is the Bloom Bar? Bring some vibrancy into your home with a beautiful, locally grown and personally designed cut flower bouquet from Ort Farms. The farm will provide all of the necessary materials to create a stunning display of cut flowers, including a mason jar and ribbon for decoration. The farm staff will guide you through cutting the flowers and designing your arrangement.
Monmouth County Fair
Wednesday, July 26 to Sunday, July 30
East Freehold Fairgrounds at 1500 Kozloski Road, Freehold
Wednesday through Friday, July 26-28 from 4-11 p.m.
Saturday, July 29 from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sunday, July 30 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
In addition to 4-H shows, the Monmouth County Fair features a wide array of free entertainment including live music, racing pigs, and whips and danger tricks. Additionally, there will be a New Jersey Fire Museum display, home and garden demos, and living history displays.
NJ Lottery Festival of Ballooning
Friday, July 28 through Sunday, July 30
Solberg Airport at 39 Thor-Solberg Road, Whitehouse Station
Admission is $28 for adults and $10 for kids
Billed as the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America, the NJ Lottery Festival of Ballooning is the premiere family entertainment attraction in New Jersey.
This balloon festival holds the dual distinction of being a recipient of the New Jersey Governor’s Award for Best Special Event, as well as being designated multiple times as a Top 100 Festival in North America by the American Bus Association.
There are twice daily mass ascensions of up to 100 special shape and sport hot air balloons, plus headlining concerts, family entertainment, hundreds of crafters and vendors, food, fireworks, and a balloon glow.
Rah-Con Comic Book Festival
Saturday, July 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saint Thomas the Apostle Church at 1510 Saint Georges Avenue, Rahway
Admission is $5.00. Kids 12 and under are free with a paying adult.
Calling all comic book nerds. Enjoy a family-friendly day of comics and superheroes at Rah-Con Comic Book Festival.
Artists, writers, creators, and vendors with comic books from the golden age to present will be on hand. There will be art, toys, retro, Lego, Funko Pops, Pokemon, trading cards, crafts, Cosplay, and collectibles.
Italian Festival & Wine Tasting
Saturday, July 29 and Sunday, July 30 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monmouth Park at 175 Oceanport Ave, Oceanport
The Italian Festival & Wine Tasting is presented by Uncle Giuseppe’s Marketplace. Italian cuisine from over a dozen of the area’s top restaurants and food trucks will be on hand, in addition to a sampling of Italian wines.
Purchase a $15 wine ticket to receive five two-ounce samples, plus a commemorative glass. Racetrack general admission and wine tasting tickets are available both in advance and the day of the event. People that purchase in advance save 15%.
Wine sampling will go from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sale and check-in for tickets will be from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Day of tickets are cash only.
Live music on July 29 by Pez Head and July 30 by West End Dogs.
Enjoy free family activities in the picnic area on July 30 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. including clowns, face painters, pony rides, and a bounce house.
A list of participating food trucks can be found here.
Mercer County 4-H Fair and Wheat Threshing
Saturday and Sunday, July 29-30 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Saturday) and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Sunday)
Howell Living History Farm at 70 Woodens Lane, Hopewell Township
Admission and parking is free for all.
Please bring a non-perishable food donation for Rutgers Against Hunger.
The Mercer County 4-H Fair is a day of music and food. Additionally, there will be hayrides, pony rides, magic shows, farm tours, livestock shows, and 4-H exhibits.
On July 29, Howell Farm’s 2022 wheat sheaves will be fully dried and ready to be “threshed” to separate the grain and straw. Demonstrations will take place in the barnyard between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. with visitors helping to “winnow” the threshed grain to clean it, separating the wheat from the chaff and preparing it for grinding.