Life is gradually getting back to normal after a year of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. Although many events had to be canceled in Frenchtown and Central New Jersey last year, planners are much more optimistic about this summer. If you’ve missed spending time at area events, you’ll want to be sure to add these festivals and activities to your summer calendar.
June 5th (Raindate June 6th)
The 26th Red Mill British Car Day
Red Mill Museum Village
You’ve probably never been to a car show quite like this one. The 26th Annual Red Mill British Car Day features cars rarely seen in the U.S. During the show, you can get an up-close look at classic cars and motorcycles popular in the British Isles. Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Bentley, Austin, Triumph, MG and Healey are among the car models expected to be represented during the show.
Spectator admission is $10 and benefits Red Mill Museum Village. After admiring the cars, why not stop in downtown Clinton for a little shopping or a snack? The business area is located just across the bridge from Red Mill Museum Village.
July 23th - July 25th
38th Annual New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning
This popular festival celebrates the country’s love of hot air balloons with balloon launches, music and attractions. You won’t want to miss the balloon ascensions held on Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., weather permitting. During the ascensions, up 100 colorful balloons fill the skies above the airport.
The balloon festival also features fireworks, the Running with the Balloons 5K race, a nighttime balloon glow, children’s entertainment, food and vendors. Every evening at 7 p.m., attendees will be treated to a special concert. Barenaked Ladies will entertain the crowd on Saturday, while STYX will be the headliner (the Friday concert hasn’t been announced yet).
Early bird pricing is $26 for adults, $8 for ages 4 – 12, and free for children 3 and younger. Hot air balloon rides will be available from $240 to $295 per person, depending on the day and time.
August 13th, 14th, and 15th
A Day Out with Thomas
Delaware River Railroad Excursions
Thomas the Tank Engine Fans will love this 25-minute train ride on their favorite engine. Kids will receive a Junior Engineer Certificate, coloring pages, temporary tattoos and a free Thomas Give Away. During A Day Out with Thomas, trains will leave the station every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is $21 for both children and adults.
Delaware River Railroad Excursions also offers Mine Train excursions. The two-hour trip includes an hour at a gem stone mine, where you can pan for rubies, emeralds, crystals, rose quartz, amethyst and arrowheads. Capacity on all trains is limited to 50 percent to allow for social distancing.
August 25th - August 29th
Hunterdon County 4-H and Agricultural Fair
South County Park
It wouldn’t be summer without a visit to the Hunterdon County 4-H Fair and Agricultural Fair. After a disappointing cancellation last summer, the fair is back better than ever. This year’s fair will feature 4-H shows and exhibits, rides, entertainment, tractor and truck pulls, pig races, an antique tractor display, and food and vendors. Cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, alpacas, and llamas will be on display in the animal area.
Admission to the fair is free, while rides require tickets. Parking is $10. Hours are 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Arties Bar and Grill
You won’t have to travel far from home to enjoy live musical performances. In fact, Arties Bar and Grill is just a short distance from downtown Frenchtown on Route 12. Among the groups performing this summer are:
- Colt Ford (June 13th)
- Strutter, the ultimate KISS tribute (June 26th)
- Tantric (July 9th)
- Awake at Last, Sister Salvation, Vrsty (July 17th)
- Saving Abel (July 25th)
- HED PE (August 28th)
In addition, to live band performances on Saturdays, Arties also offers open mic night on Friday, country line dancing on Thursday, and poker on Wednesday and Sunday. While you enjoy the entertainment, sip a frosty craft beer or enjoy a tasty treat from the grill.
Every piece of Modern Fossils’ unique artwork incorporates objects the artists found while cleaning local waterways. The plaster castings are inspired by storm drain covers in local river towns and contain manmade residue and natural materials discovered during river cleanups. Through their artwork, the artists explore the importance of protecting our waterways and keeping them clean. The show is free and will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days.
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