BELMAR–Each year, well over 150,000 visitors from all over New Jersey and the surrounding states descend upon Belmar’s Silver Lake Park to take enjoy one of the shore’s favorite traditions: the New Jersey Seafood Festival.
This year, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders join in the fun as the Festival celebrates its 26th consecutive year in Belmar on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 8th 9th and 10th. “Monmouth County is proud to be a partner in the Belmar Seafood Festival this year,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Thomas A. Arnone. “Recognizing that tourism is a $2 billion industry in Monmouth County, the freeholders are ramping up the county’s tourism efforts to help the local businesses and communities.”
Admission is free to the festival, and visitors can purchase offerings from 45 of the area’s best restaurants and food vendors, serving everything from traditional items like steamed lobster, shrimp, crab cakes and fried clams to the more exotic conch fritters, sushi, fish tacos and seafood quesadillas. Seafood lovers will find restaurant favorites such as Brandl, Mr. Shrimp, Matisse Oceanfront Restaurant, Klein’s Waterside, Jake’s Crab Shack, Ragin’ Cajun and 10th Ave Burrito Co. from Belmar, Jack Baker’s Lobster Shanty from Point Pleasant Beach and a whole lot more. New this year is 40 Degrees North, a New Jersey oyster farm, featuring their famous raw bar.
The festival, twice been named one of the Top 100 Events in America, kicks off at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 8, featuring live music by Danny White and Friends. “The festival has reached a level beyond anything that could have been envisioned by its founders,” says Mary Brabazon, Belmar’s director of tourism and organizer of the event. “The Friday afternoon opening gives early birds a chance to enjoy the festival before the weekend rush.”
The New Jersey Seafood Festival promises fun for all ages, with plenty of games and activities for the kids and a wide range of crafters and vendors to browse through. Bring your dancing shoes – live entertainment on Saturday features Red Wagon, the Manasquan High School Jazz Band, and Shore favorite and D’Jais’ house band Holme taking the stage at 2 p.m. The Shore Blues Band, Blackberry Blues Band and The Intentions perform on Sunday. Visitors can shop the exciting Verizon Wireless Store on Wheels or cool off with a refreshing mug of Wild Bill’s Olde Fashioned Soda. The 21 and over crowd can enjoy a glass of wine or a cold Leinenkugel Honey Weiss or Summer Shandy in the Beer Tent & Wine Garden. Enter to win a New York City getaway at The Manhattan Club booth, with overnight accommodations, shopping, dining and Broadway show tickets.
Find a wealth of information and giveaways from other festival sponsors, including the Monmouth County Association of Realtors, Cooper Electric, New Jersey Lottery, and home improvement companies.
Don’t let traffic stand in your way of a good time. NJ Transit will bring you right to Belmar, and your ticket entitles you to discount beach passes. Visit www.NJTransit.com for schedules and information. If you’re driving to town, take advantage of free parking in the downtown located just south of the NJ Transit Station (10th Avenue), at the Belmar Marina located on 10th Avenue and Route 35, or at Dempsey Park on 16th Avenue. Festival shuttles will run through Belmar continuously until 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, with stops at the Marina, the NJ Transit train station, parking areas and downtown.
“Belmar shines during the festival, and visitors frequently return to enjoy the broad sandy beach, restaurants and marina that make the town the perfect summer destination,” said Ms. Brabazon. “The winning combination of seafood, entertainment, crafts, vendors and family fun is the solid foundation upon which we’ve been able to continue adding new and exciting features each year.”
For more information on the New Jersey Seafood Festival, go to www.visitBelmarNJ.com or call 1-732-681-3700, extension 214.
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