FREEHOLD – From blue ribbons to racing pigs, the Monmouth County Fair offers all the excitement of an old-fashioned county fair with a modern flair.
The annual event, held Wednesday-Sunday, July 23-27, at East Freehold Showgrounds on Kozloski Road, will be celebrating its 40th year of providing wholesome family fun.
Organized and presented by the Monmouth County Park System in cooperation with the Monmouth County 4-H, the fair maintains the agricultural nature of a traditional county fair with its home and garden competition and 4-H animal shows and exhibits.
Those looking for excitement should be sure to catch Pirates of the Colombian Caribbean, ShenaniGuns! Comedy Wild West Show and Hilby the Skinny German Boy acts.
Once again, the fair will feature the firefighter’s competition, Robinson’s Racing Pigs and Bwana Jim’s Wildlife Show.
At the heart of the fair is the home and garden tent. Visitors will see the county’s finest baked goods, vegetables, flowers and arts and craft pieces as residents compete for the honor of calling theirs the best. Inside the home and garden tent, fairgoers also will enjoy ongoing beekeeping, gardening and craft demonstrations. There will be a children’s cake and cupcake decorating contest on Friday and a pie-eating contest on Sunday.
Once again, the Future Farmers of American (FFA) chapters in Monmouth County will run a farm stand. Fairgoers can purchase Monmouth County-grown fresh fruits, vegetables and cut flowers. Proceeds will be used for FFA student activities.
Those looking to learn more about the county’s agricultural heritage should stop by the Living History Tent. Staff from the park system’s Historic Walnford in Upper Freehold and Historic Longstreet Farm in Holmdel will bring livestock, hold demonstrations and offer hands-on activities.
Entertainment is a big part of the fair and this year’s performers promise to deliver. Wednesday night brings Motor City to the main stage while The Amish Outlaws perform on Thursday. The Nerds take the stage on Friday while Johnny Drama performs on Saturday. The last act to take the main stage is Soul Cruisers on Sunday.
The fair just won’t be the fair without its rides! Fairgoers will once again enjoy the thrill of the Ferris wheel, Scrambler, Zipper and more. Little ones can enjoy the assortment of kiddie rides. (Please note that rides are weather permitting.) On Wednesday, July 23, Thursday, July 24 and Sunday, July 27, fairgoers may purchase ride wristbands for $20 per person.
Those who want to become a Monmouth County Park System fan can go to its Facebook page and enter into weekly contests to win fair tickets. The park system will give away to two fair tickets each week. During the week of July 14-20, the prize increases to four fair tickets, a 4-H food voucher, four climbing wall vouchers, and more.
Fair hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, July 23-26 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 27. Admission is $8 per person; children 12 and under are free. For more information about the fair, visit www.monmouthcountyfair.com, or call 732-842-4000.
The Monmouth County Park System, created in 1960 by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, is Monmouth County’s Open Space, Parks and Recreation agency.