Ever have trouble getting into the spirit of a new season? There’s plenty of things to do around the state throughout September and October. You could take in the autumnal air at any of these New Jersey fall festivals taking place in 2021, for example. From food truck gatherings and craft beer fests to comedy shows and kite flying on the beach, there’s no shortage of entertainment. If you think it’s a wee bit early to start planning your calendar, we’ve compiled a guide that highlights events from September 22 and on. You know, fall’s official start date. (Someone tell Starbucks.) Here are nine New Jersey festivals to look forward to in fall 2021.
AsburyFest – Asbury Park, NJ
September 24 – 26, 2021
Embrace the official end of summer at AsburyFest, a three-day outdoor festival in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Formerly known as Asbury Oysterfest, the event will take place across from the famous Convention Hall. Goers can expect a full line-up of live musical entertainment, delicious food, craft beer, wine and games. There will also be over 75 artisan vendors. Additional details can be found here.
BBQ Fest – Clifton, NJ
September 25, 2021
In the mood for barbecue? Grab some mouthwatering eats from over a dozen local bbq food trucks at Weasel Brook Park in Clifton. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on September 25, guests can hang around the park, grab a beer from Ghost Hawk Brewing Company and chow down on some smoked meats. For kids, there will be face painting, Henna tattoos and boardwalk-style games and more. Tickets can be purchased here.
Food Truck & Craft Beer Fest – Little Falls, NJ
September 25, 2021
At this Little Falls festival, there will be over 100 craft beers and eats from more than 25 local food trucks. The event will take place from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the field of Yogi Berra Stadium. It’s located on the Montclair State University campus and parking is free. You can find tickets for admission here.
Water Lantern Festival – Jersey City, NJ
September 25 – 26, 2021
Enjoy a crisp fall evening at Liberty State Park for the annual New York / New Jersey Water Lantern Festival. Here, goers will have access to food trucks and live music before getting to design their very own floating lantern. In Chinese culture, it’s tradition to write a message, word or phrase on the outside that reflects your hopes and goals. At sunset, LED-lit lanterns will launch into the sky and drift across the Hudson, releasing any negativity you might be holding onto. Tickets can be purchased here.
Kites at the Pier Festival – Long Branch, NJ
September 25 – September 26, 2021
Head down to Long Branch this September for The Pier Village Annual Kite Festival. The youthful, family-oriented event will take place over two days and feature renowned kite flyers from across the East Coast. Everything from inflatable flying creatures, vertical wind feathers and traditional kite creations will be soaring high in the sky. Attendees will also find handcrafted goods, jewelry, art and more from local vendors.
Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival – Red Bank, NJ
September 26, 2021 (Rain date: October 3, 2021)
Nothing goes with oysters like a rich, dark stout. This is why for the eleventh year, Red Bank will be hosting their annual Guinness and oyster festival. (It takes after the traditional Irish event, the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival, which is the longest-running food festival in the world. It all takes place on September 26 at the White Street Municipal Parking Lot. The lot will be overrun with food, beer, music, kiddie rides, live music and local artisans. Nearby restaurants will even be having specials to celebrate. Think filet mignon sandwiches, lobster rolls, fried oysters and more.
New Jersey Bacon Fest – Medford, NJ
October 2 – 3, 2021
Bacon lovers, rejoice! The town of Medford will be celebrating all things pork all weekend long in October. This New Jersey fall festival takes place at Flying W. Airport and will feature over 20 bacon-themed food trucks in addition to beer, bourbon, wine and activities for the kids. Live music will be provided by local bands via two different stages. More information on NJ Bacon Fest can be found through their website.
Garden State Plaza Food Truck Fest – Paramus, NJ
October 3, 2021
Mega Bite Events will be throwing the ultimate food truck fest at one of New Jersey’s most popular malls. On October 3, catch more than a dozen food trucks in the parking lot of Westfield Garden State Plaza. Clifton’s Ghost Hawk Brewing will be making an appearance for those 21 and over. For the kids, there will be face painting, games and live entertainment. Tickets and additional information on the event can be found on their Facebook.
LBI Fly International Kite Festival – Long Beach Island, NJ
October 8 – 10, 2021
For the seventh consecutive year, LBI FLY will be hosting its annual International Kite Festival. Goers will have the opportunity to see artist-designed kites and inflatables take flight over Ship Bottom or even catch an indoor competition. Entry is free and updates leading up to the event can be found here.
Atlantic City Comedy Festival – Atlantic City, NJ
October 9 – 10, 2021
Who else is in need of a good laugh? The best in the biz will be heading to Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall this October for a two-night comedy festival. The likes of Mike Epps, Desi Banks, Bruce Bruce and many more. Do note that the lineup for Friday and Saturday’s showings will differ. Make sure you check the website for more information. Tickets can be purchased here.
Going to be hanging around AC for the weekend? Looking to build your fall 2021 plans around any of these New Jersey festivals? Explore some of the state’s best hotels, hiking trails, beaches, breweries, wineries and more.
Main Photo by Christine Jou