Wake up and smell the funnel cake — New Jersey’s state and county fairs have begun.

The big events, which take place all summer long around the state, began as a way for farmers to teach people about agriculture and show off horses and other animals. These days fair-goers can also enjoy rides, games, music and other types of live shows, contests and, of course, tons of great food.

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Meadowlands State Fair

June 20 – July 7, 2019

Meadowlands Complex, 102 NJ State Highway 120, East Rutherford

No this isn’t an agricultural state fair, but the two-week long event at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford offers an array of rides, games, lots of food and live entertainment.

New shows this year include Magician Jay Mattioli, Jurassic Kingdom, Jungle Island High Dive and Lumberjack Paul Bunyan.

And for the foodies?

The fair has something for everyone. There will be fried Oreos and fried macaroni and cheese, or go for the alligator and shark kabobs, if you're looking to be a bit more adventurous. For the healthy eaters, there will be fresh avocado, broccoli and cauliflower and Italian and Greek salads.

For more information and ticket prices, click here.


Ocean County Fair

July 10-14, 2019

Robert J. Miller Air Park, Route 530, Berkeley Township

The Ocean County Board of Agriculture held the first annual 4-H Achievement and Agricultural Ocean County Field Day on Sept. 6, 1947, according to the Ocean County Fair website.

The fair has grown over the years and was turned into a four-day event in 1982 and moved to the Robert Miller Airpark location.

The fair offers rides, games and food, and horse shows to keep up with the farming tradition.

For more information and for ticket prices, click here.


Burlington County Farm Fair

July 16-20, 2019

Burlington County Fairgrounds, 1960 Jacksonville Jobstown Road, Columbus

The Burlington County Fair too keeps in touch with older tradition and offers agricultural activities and horse shows. There will be horses, cows, rabbits, chickens, sheep and goats at this year’s event.

This fair also offers food, rides, live entertainment, tractor pulls, and showcases old steam engines and antique farm equipment. Children can participate by becoming a farmer for a day in a special exhibit.

For the first time this year, there will be fireworks on the opening night, July 16. For more information and for ticket prices, click here.


Cape May Count 4-H Fair

July 18-20, 2019

4-H Fairgrounds, South Dennis Road, Cape May County Court House

The fair will feature antique pedal tractors and activities to show people what life on the farm in the old days was like. There will also be market animal auctions and horse and animal shows. Local experts will talk about agricultural topics.

The fair will also have food and bouncy houses, and a Maker space for arts and crafts, technology and drones.

The fair is looking for vendors.

For more information and for ticket prices, click here.


Morris County 4-H Fair

July 18-21, 2019

Chubb Park, 290 W Main Street, Chester

This fair will have animal shows with dogs, goats, horses, rabbits and other animals. It will also offer amusement rides, pony rides, petting zoos, hayrides, a watermelon-eating contest, cake decorating contest and a contest for dressing your pet.

It will also have live music, food performances and rides.

For more information and for ticket prices, click here.


Monmouth County Fair

July 24-28, 2019

East Freehold Showgrounds, 1500 Kozloski Road, Freehold

The event features food, fun and live entertainment.

This year there will be a 2019 Monmouth County Fair Home & Garden Competition that bakers, gardeners and crafters are invited to participate in.

For more information and for ticket prices, click here.


Gloucester County 4-H Fair

July 25-28, 2019

4-H Fairgrounds, 275 Bridgeton Pike (Route 77), Mullica Hill

This fair has really kept at it over the years when it comes to maintaining the traditional agricultural component of state fairs. According to the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experimental Station, the fair draws 20,000 visitors and has become a key attraction in South Jersey.

It features horse shows, barn exhibitions, tractor parades, rabbit and goat shows, and classes on dog obedience and raising exotic birds.

There will also be food vendors, arts and crafts, magic shows, rides and games.

For more information and for ticket prices, click here.


New Jersey State Fair/Sussex County Farm and Horse Show

Aug. 2 – Aug. 10, 2019

Sussex County Fairgrounds, 37 Plains Road, Augusta

This is an agricultural fair that keeps with the original tradition of state fairs.

The Sussex County Farm and Horse Show started in 1919 when the Branchville Riding Club was formed. The horse show halted during the Great Depression but started again in 1933 and has grown ever since then. In the 1960s, the Branchville Riding Club was too small for the show so another property, now known as the Sussex County Fairgrounds was created. The fairgrounds opened in 1972.

The Sussex County Farm and Horse Show renamed itself to the New Jersey State Fair/Sussex County Farm and Horse Show in 1999.

Now the fair offers livestock, horse shows and an agricultural section but also includes more modern-day attractions such as rides, games and concerts. The fair also has a petting zoo, lawnmower races and other activities.

Tickets go on sale starting June 24. For more information and for ticket prices, click here.


Mercer County 4-H Fair

Aug. 3-4, 2019

Howell Living History Farm, 70 Woodens Lane, Lambertville

The event offers animal shows, hayrides, pony rides, magic shows and food.

There will be displays by the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Mercer County, Mercer County Wildlife Center Friends, and the Mid-State Beekeepers Association.

For more information and for ticket prices, click here.


Passaic County Fair

Aug. 16-19, 2019

Garret Mountain Reservation, Woodland Park

This fair is a bit more modern-day but offers some of the agricultural aspects, including petting zoos and pony rides.

The fair will have a beer garden, many food vendors, and carnival rides.

For more information and ticket prices, click here.


Hunterdon County 4H & Agricultural Fair

Aug. 21-25, 2019

South County Park, 55 Gulick Road, Lambertville

The Hunterdon County 4-H & Agricultural Fair was founded in 2000 to continue the tradition of a county fair in Hunterdon County after the dissolution of the Flemington Fair (which was in existance since 1848) in 1999.

The fair will have food, music, fun and carnival games.

For more information and for ticket prices, click here.

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