August has gifted us with perfect weather: not too hot with very little humidity. Get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine as summer comes to a close. Although there are only a few weekends left before Labor Day, local festivals are still in full swing.

International Food Festival

Food festivals are a summertime staple. We don’t often get a chance to try international cuisine in a casual outdoor setting. On August 12, the Essex County Department of Parks and Recreation is hosting an International Food Festival as an addition to their summer concert series. The event will be from 4 pm to 9 pm at Ivy Hill Park in Newark. Come hungry as the festival will have a large number of food and drink vendors on hand.

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Ghost and Folklore Tour

You may have noticed Halloween decorations already on display at your favorite stores. If you’re in the mood for a spooky good time, sign up to tour the Red Hill Museum Village in Clinton afterhours. Tours will start at 8 pm and 9:30 pm and will focus on all the macabre objects found throughout the museum. Cost is $20 for non-members and $15 for members.

Middlesex County Fair

SFor close to 80 years, this large festival has returned every August to the Middlesex County Fairgrounds in East Brunswick. Besides festival rides and carnival food, fairgoers are able to visit numerous unique agricultural exhibits. A full lineup of performers and 4-H events will also be posted ahead of time on the festival website to help you best plan the times of your visit. The fair will be open from Friday through Sunday this weekend. Admission is $7 for adults with discounts available for seniors and children. Parking is free at the fairgrounds.

Somerset County 4-H Fair

Another longstanding 4-H festival will also be held this weekend at North Branch Park in Bridgewater. The event is free to attend without any parking fees. The Somerset County 4-H Fair will take place August 10 and August 11 with daily operating hours between 10 am and 10 pm. Free shuttle buses will be running continuously from Raritan Valley Community College. Exhibits feature go-karts, rocket building, remote control vehicles, and model trains. With over 1,000 members of the 4-H, expect to see plenty of animals including sheep, cows, goats, rabbits, and dogs. Many of the tents allow visitors to pet the animals on display.