BERKELEY — A New Jersey summer is not complete without fairs and festivals.

The Ocean County Fair, sponsored by the Ocean County Board of Agriculture, kicks off July 13 and runs through Sunday, July 17, at Robert J. Miller Air Park on Route 530 in Berkeley Township.

Unlimited ride wristbands are available. Experience a variety of musical acts, animal events, delicious food, and more.

Meet animals raised by local youth, participate in fun games and activities, and learn new things in the 4-H general tent.

Fair admission is $9. Kids under 10 are free and parking is free, too.

What are the hours?

Fair hours are 5 to 11 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13, and Thursday, July 14. Then, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, July 15, and Saturday, July 16. Hours on the final day of the fair, Sunday, July 17 are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Entertainment Schedule:

Main Tent

Wed – Fish Eyed Blues Band
Thurs – It’s All Good Band
Fri – Whippoorwill Bluegrass Band and After the Reign
Sat – Strictly 60s and Jersey Jukebox
Sun – Cowboy Larry’s Wild West Show. Larry is a real cowboy who uses bullwhips, ropes, and guns in a “rootin-tootinist, rip-roarin’ good time east of the Mississippi,” according to the fair website.

Horse Show Ring

Wed – K-9 Police Unit Toms River 6 p.m.

Midway

Wed-Sun – The Dynamo Dogs
Wed-Sun – Bwana Jim’s Wildlife Show
Wed-Sun – Pig Races
Wed-Sun – Chainsaw Carver
Wed-Sun – Pony Rides
Wed-Sun – Mermaids Show
Sat (only ) – Magic of Marco

History of the Ocean County Fair

The first annual “4-H Achievement and Agricultural Ocean County Field Day” sponsored by the Ocean County Board of Agriculture was held on Sept. 6, 1947. The event was held at Ocean County Park in Lakewood and was organized to celebrate 4-H club work and the agricultural prowess of Ocean County. There was only a handful of exhibits by 4-H clubs then, a few concession stands, and about 500 people in attendance.

Twenty years later in 1967, “Ocean County Field Day” turned into the 3-day “Ocean County Fair” with over 80 4-H clubs on hand, hundreds of exhibitors, more concession stands, and 60,000 people in attendance.

The 1967 fair was also a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Ocean County Extension Service, geared toward bringing positive change in the community with knowledge gained through research and education.

In 1982, the Ocean County Fair turned into a 4-day event to accommodate more people. It moved from Lakewood to Robert Miller Airpark in Berkeley Township.

Today, it's now a 5-day jam packed festival of fun.

And the rest, they say, is history!

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at jennifer.ursillo@townsquaremedia.com

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