FREEHOLD, NJ – There is no better place to be than Monmouth County in the summer. The weather is hot and so is the entertainment. Outdoor concerts, festivals, fairs, fireworks shows and more are all presented along a beautiful coastline.
Combine this with a diverse July calendar that does not leave even one day with nothing to do. Frankly, it is hard to see why anyone would want to be anywhere else.
Fireworks paint the skies red, white and blue as July kicks off with the celebration of America’s independence. July 4 falls on a Thursday this year, so take a long weekend on either end and enjoy the many festivities and firework shows going on throughout the area.
One of the most popular Fourth of July celebrations is Long Branch’s annual OceanFest. Stop by the Oceanfront Promenade for food, vendors, bands and exhibits during the day, and enjoy one of the state’s largest firework displays at night.
The Independence Day celebration begins even before July 4 at Historic Allaire Village on June 30. Go back in time to 1836 and relive the day James Allaire declared Independence Day a holiday for his workers, complete with militia drills and games of the period.
The excitement does not end there. Fireworks and festivities are in Ocean Township and Hazlet on July 3; in Asbury Park, Bradley Beach, Freehold and Long Branch on July 4 and in Aberdeen and Atlantic Highlands on July 5. In Ocean Grove there is an Independence Day parade on July 4 and a concert on July 6 in the Great Auditorium.
The fun continues at the Atlantic Highlands Fireman’s Fair at Simon Lake Drive from July 2 through July 6, and the popular Downtown Tuesday Night concerts located on Broadway in Long Branch on July 9, 16, 23 and 30.
Bradley Beach’s annual Lobster Festival is July 13 and 14. Be sure not to miss this event, loaded with great food, spirits, crafts and specialty vendors and even a giant waterslide. And let’s not forget about the 39th Annual Monmouth County Fair being held at East Freehold Park from July 24 through July 28. The event boasts animal shows and exhibits, rides and amusements, stage entertainment, a home and garden competition and opening night fireworks.
The 2013 Haskell Invitational comes to Monmouth Park on July 28 so be sure to mark your calendars for the biggest race of the summer. The Red Bank Food and Wine Walk will be held July 21. Also in Red Bank is the 59th Annual Sidewalk Sale July 26 through July 28.
Outdoor activities continue to be the theme of the summer. You can find a farm market, flea market or craft show almost every weekend throughout the County. Activities on the beach and in the sand include the Avon Ocean Mile Lifeguard Competition on July 7 and the Annual NJ Sandcastle Contest on 18th Avenue in Belmar on July 17.
Finally, never disappointing our music and theater enthusiasts, the list of live concerts and shows in July is impressive. Highlights include the Zac Brown Band, Tommy James and the Shondells, the Jonas Brothers, Miranda Lambert and the Beach Boys. There also are weekly free concert series in Long Branch, Red Bank, Belmar and Sandy Hook, as well as weekly free movie series in various locations throughout the area.
You can find more detailed information at www.visitmonmouth.com. Click on the Tourism tab to find the Calendar of Events, Monmouth County Tourism’s comprehensive source for concerts, plays, exhibits, history, shopping and more. You can also call 800-523-2587 to have a packet of information mailed to you or stop by the office at 1 E. Main St., Freehold, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays to browse the extensive literature. The calendar is updated every day, so it’s the best source for current information.
The next time you are logged in to Facebook, be sure to “like” the Monmouth County Tourism page. And if you use Twitter follow us there, too. That’s two more ways to keep up with all the great things to do and see in Monmouth County this July.
# # #