The best of summer is on its way

FREEHOLD, NJ – Warm summer nights under the stars, with music flowing and movies showing is the highlight of August in Monmouth County.  After all the festivals, fairs and celebrations in the early summer, August is a great month to wind down and take pleasure in the simple joys of life.

Summer on the New Jersey shore means warm weather, good music, award-winning theatre and weekly farm markets filled with Jersey Fresh produce.

Free, outdoor summer music series are widespread this month as local artists showcase their talent and get you movin’!  Spend Sunday Aug. 4 in Long Branch for jazz and blues at West End Park.  On Wednesdays, visit the Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook for music on the beach or Downtown Freehold for the popular Freehold Idol. 

Every other Thursday, Middletown holds a concert series on the Croydon Hall lawn, Downtown Freehold host’s “Thursdays Rock” in front of the Hall of Records and Long Branch has “Thursdays by the Sea.”Visit the Pyanoe Plaza in Belmar on Fridays for a variety of artists performing music from almost every genre. And last but not least, “Songwriters on the Pier” takes place weekly on L Street Pier in Belmar.

August is a great month to get together with family and friends and watch a moonlit movie. There are showings every Saturday in Belmar, every other Sunday night on the beach in Sea Bright and every Tuesday at Riverside Gardens in Red Bank. You can also catch an outdoor movie this month in Atlantic Highlands, Spring Lake, Oceanport, Asbury Park, Middletown, Matawan, Neptune and Fair Haven. For specific dates, times, and movie showings, visit www.visitmonmouth.com and click on the Tourism tab to find the Calendar of Events.

Although everyone loves a local band, several big name musical acts headline venues throughout the county in August, too. Here’s just a sample: at the Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove on Aug. 3, Jay White will perform a tribute to Neil Diamond; PNC will feature Maroon 5 on Aug. 10, The Backstreet Boys on Aug. 15 and Luke Bryan on Aug. 24; the Count Basie Theatre will showcase Michael McDonald on Aug. 14.

Weekly farm markets stocked with fresh Jersey corn, tomatoes and other yummy produce are a great place to pick up summer food favorites. Visit Manasquan on Thursdays, Downtown Freehold on Fridays and Belmar and Atlantic Highlands on Saturdays for all your fresh summer produce needs.

A few of summer’s most famed events are also held this month. Atlantic Highland’s Annual Clamfest runs from Aug. 1 – 4 in Huddy Park; the 38th Annual Ocean Township Italian Festival is Aug. 7 – 11 at Joe Palaia Park,the Keyport Spanish American Festival is Aug. 10 at Beach Park and the AnnualShore Chef’s Crab Cake Cook-Off is at Monmouth Park Racetrack on Aug. 17 and 18.

The West End Classic Car Cruise Night is Aug. 17 on Brighton Avenue; and on Aug. 24, visit the Long Branch Boardwalk for a Jazz and Blues Festival.

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 all such things.  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.

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