UPDATE 4-8-2020: Belmar officials have canceled the 2020 New Jersey Seafood Festival due to COVID-19 and public safety.
The New Jersey Seafood Festival will take place May 15-17, 2020, in downtown Belmar. Now in its 34th year, the family-friendly event offers an ultimate feast of crowd-pleasing fare — from gumbo, lobster rolls, and jambalaya, to coconut shrimp, crab legs, conch fritters, and more.
Admission to the festival is free, with grab-and-go fare for sale at each individual food vendor. If you are looking for some savory sides to add to your seafood platter, you'll find food trucks selling street corn, cheesy grits, hush puppies, lobster and crab fries, and a selection of fresh salads.
For your sweet tooth, take your pick from vendors selling funnel cakes, apple fritters, fried Oreos, deep-fried brownies, cannoli cream waffles, and ice cream treats.
Local Belmar restaurants Ragin' Cajun, Klein's, Jimmy's Place, Mr. Shrimp, Federico's, and Coney Waffle will be among the participants this year. In addition, 10th Ave. Burrito Co. is hosting a wine-beer-margarita tent ($5 admission fee), where food will also be for sale from Jersey Shore BBQ, Hoagitos, Simply Southern, Sonny's Grille, and Kotta Sushi.
Local tip: Don't miss Point Lobster Company's hot butter-bathed lobster roll served on a soft potato bun. It is sinfully delicious. We also love the blackened scallop kebabs. So fresh and just the right amount of spicy kick!
RELATED: Dining In Belmar, NJ
Along with the food, live music is also a big part of the Belmar Seafood Festival. The lineup of bands for 2020 includes popular area musicians performing live in Pyanoe Plaza during all three days of the festival:
Friday, May 15
Pat Roddy Band, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 16
Beach Music Studios Kids Rock Band, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Danny White Band, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Holme, 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Tommy B and the Deep Blue Sea, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 17
Elvis Presley Tribute Band, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
All performance times are approximate and could vary depending on the weather and other factors. RELATED: Belmar Business Spotlight - Beach Music Studios
Shopping And Vendor Market
Throughout the Belmar Seafood Festival weekend, an assortment of local artisans and market vendors will have their wares for sale on the 8th Avenue sidewalk adjacent to the festival area. Downtown Belmar businesses and restaurants will also be open during the event – a great time to browse the clothing boutiques and specialty shops.
Getting Here: Tips From Town Officials
This is the second year that the Seafood Festival will be held in the Belmar Plaza parking lot behind Pyanoe Plaza. Historically, the festival was located in Silver Lake Park across from Belmar beach, but town officials relocated the event in 2019 to better showcase the downtown business community and mitigate traffic congestion along Ocean Avenue.
According to the Coast Star newspaper, an estimated 100,000 people attended the food fest over its three days in 2019. To minimize parking and traffic issues, out-of-town visitors are encouraged to ride New Jersey Transit's North Jersey Coast Line to Belmar to get to the Seafood Festival.
If you are coming from Monmouth or Ocean County, park at your closest local train station and ride New Jersey Transit into Belmar. The Belmar train station in Belmar Plaza is conveniently located just steps from the festival fun between 9th and 10th Avenues.
Train schedule for the New Jersey Transit North Jersey Coast Line to the Belmar train station.
34th Annual Belmar NJ Seafood Festival
Downtown Belmar - Belmar Plaza Parking Lot Between 8th and 10th Avenues
Belmar, New Jersey 07719
Friday, May 15, 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 16, 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 17, 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Rain or shine event. No dogs permitted in the festival area.
If you are an interested food or marketplace vendor, please contact the Belmar Tourism Commission at 732-681-3700, ext. 214, for more information about reserving your spot in the 2020 Belmar Seafood Festival at the Jersey Shore.
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