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Belmar Beachcomber Blog


Get Hooked On The Belmar NJ Seafood Festival

The NJ Seafood Festival in Belmar, New Jersey, is happening this weekend, Friday, May 17; Saturday, May 18; and Sunday, May 19. The festival returns to its oceanfront location at Silver Lake Park on Ocean Avenue, between 5th and 7th Avenues.

Every day of the Belmar Seafood Festival will offer an ultimate feast of crowd-pleasing favorites — from scallop kabobs and lobster rolls, to coconut shrimp, crab legs, and more.

Admission to the festival is free, with grab-and-go fare for sale at each individual food vendor. Nearly 30 food truck vendors are participating in the 2024 NJ Seafood Festival in Belmar, including local restaurants Ragin' Cajun, Klein's, Mr. Shrimp, Playa Bowls, Santo Ceviche, and Brandl. If you are looking for some savory sides to add to your seafood platter, you'll find food trucks selling grilled sweet corn, empanadas, blooming onions, lobster and crab fries, lobster mac and cheese, and more.

For your sweet tooth, take your pick from vendors selling funnel cakes, fried Oreos, Caribbean rum cakes (moist and decadent!), cannoli cream waffles, and ice cream treats.

In addition, 10th Ave. Burrito Co. has teamed up with ShorePoint Distributors to host the beer, wine, and hard seltzer tent (admission fee applies plus the cash bar).

Local Tip: Don't miss Point Lobster Company's hot butter-bathed lobster roll served on a soft potato bun. It is sinfully delicious. I also love the blackened scallop kebabs. So fresh and just the right amount of spicy kick!

Last year, I also tried the fried grouper sandwich from the legendary Ike's Crab Cakes of Ocean City, New Jersey, kicked up with coleslaw and sriracha on top — a flavorful combination! You also must check out the moist and flavor-packed Caribbean rum cakes from Goodway Gourmet Bakery out of Troy, New York. They sold out last year, so make sure you don't miss out on a sweet slice of rum cake at the 2024 New Jersey Seafood Festival in Belmar. I got mine!!

In an interview with the TapInto Belmar publication, Belmar's Tourism and Special Event Coordinator John Walsh expressed that the Borough wanted to bring back a more local flair to the event, which celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2023.

"It’s going to be the same Seafood Fest people know and love," Walsh stated. "My approach was really to take it back to a more localized festival. Almost all the businesses are Jersey businesses. It’s called the New Jersey Seafood Festival; I wanted to make sure we were showcasing New Jersey restaurants… (We) tried to really make it a taste of New Jersey, not a taste of carnival food from around the country."


Shopping And Vendor Market

Throughout the Belmar Seafood Festival weekend, an assortment of local artisans and market vendors, including Belmar's own Daffodil Consignment and Señor Juan's Cigars, will have merchandise for sale in Silver Lake Park. New this year is a mobile petting zoo with a family of gentle goats (including some baby goats!) and a donkey. Admission is $2.00 to enter. For $5.00, you get entry and a cup of chopped carrots to feed the animals. Make sure you also stop by the Belmar Tourism table, where you can spin a prize wheel and win some fun Belmar swag.

Downtown Belmar businesses and restaurants will also be open during the event – a great time to browse the clothing boutiques and specialty shops along Main Street.


NJ Seafood Festival Live Music Schedule

Along with the food, musical entertainment is also a big part of the Belmar Seafood Festival. The lineup of bands for 2024 includes:

Friday, May 17

Little X Little, 4:00 p.m. Eddie Testa Band. 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 18 Danny White and Band, 12:00 p.m. Holme, 2:00 p.m. Tommy B and the Deep Blue Sea, 4:00 p.m. E Boro Bandits, 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 19 Danny White and Beach Music Studios Kids Rock Band, 12:00 p.m. The Wallnutz, 2:00 p.m. Pat Roddy Band, 4:00 p.m.


Getting Here: Tips From Town Officials

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.

If you travel local roads to get to the festival, be advised that the Main Street Bridge between Belmar and Avon-by-the-Sea is currently closed. New Jersey Transit is operating a shuttle bus that makes several stops between the two towns. Ocean Avenue in Belmar will remain open to vehicular traffic throughout the event.

36th Annual Belmar NJ Seafood Festival

Silver Lake Park

500 Ocean Avenue

Belmar, New Jersey 07719

Friday, May 18, 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 18, 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 19, 11:00 am. - 6:00 p.m.

Rain or shine event. No dogs permitted in the festival area.

If you are an interested food or marketplace vendor, contact Belmar Tourism officials at 732-681-3700, ext. 214, for more information about reserving your spot in the 2024 Belmar Seafood Festival at the Jersey Shore.

Story and photos © copyright by Christine Cardellino, owner of and publisher of the award-winning Belmar Beachcomber Blog, a travel and tourism guide for the Belmar region of the Jersey Shore. Do not copy any content (including images) without our permission. All rights reserved. 


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The award-winning Belmar Beachcomber Blog is written and produced by Christine Cardellino
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