STAFFORD AND LONG BEACH ISLAND - Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce represents a broad business community that spans from the ocean front, back bays, and the Pine Barrens. All perfectly complement each other making for the best way to soak in the new season.
There are many events happening from Labor Day into October, here are some of the highlights that the regional chamber hopes everyone will take part in.
Check out the Surflight Theatre this Labor Day Weekend with the show stopping musical A Million Dollar Quartet. Tickets for the September 1- 10 performances are on sale now.
You can purchase online or by calling the box office at 609 492 9477. It is also a way to get that summer ice cream fix in before it's too late, at the Show Place Ice Cream Parlour complete with singing waitri and audience participation, doors for the Show Place open every day at 6pm until Labor Day.
Sunday, September 3 Arts & Crafts Show at Viking Village free admission 10 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. in Barnegat Light.
For the adults, The SeaShell Resort and Beach Club is hosting a Labor Day Beach Party on Sept 4 "The Summer Send off" with live music, mechanical bull, and free admission from 2 to 9 p.m.
Happening Sept 8 at the Lizzie Rose Music Room is the Soul Project NOLA at 217 Main Street Tuckerton at 7:30 p.m. Nominated for Offbeat Magazine's Best of the Beat Awards the band's debut release, established their place in the New Orleans music scene. Tickets can be purchased online.
September 9, the Ocean County Irish Festival at Manahawkin Lake Park in Manahawkin. This family event has free admission, live music, pipe bands, step dancers, food trucks, and a beer tent from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Start the weekend with us September 15 at Stafford Township Arts Center (STAC) in Manahawkin for Woodstac, a concert featuring sixties music paying homage to the world famous festival. There are two dates Sept 15 or 16 beginning at 8 p.m. For tickets go to http://staffordschools.tix.com .
Saturday start your morning with free Barnegat Pirate's Day on September 16 at 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Join bands of roving pirates as this historic downtown on Rt 9 and East Bay Avenue turns into a marketplace with live bands and pirate performances including the Valhalla Pirates and David Engel Pirate Magician. Children's entertainment provides inflatables, face painting and more.
Next, take to the lake, for The Maker's Festival at Manahawkin Lake Park on Rt 9. It will be a day to discover a range of makers whose crafts include handmade fashion, jewelry, woodworking, blacksmithing, photography, fine art, food and music from 10am to 6pm Free Admission to Festival and $10 Admission to Biergarten.
Still need more?
The Annual Ocean County Decoy and Gunning Show is back in Tuckerton and bringing the ESPN's Delmarva Dock Dog Competition with it on September 23 and 24. Two-day's highlighting the culture of the Barnegat Bay. Demonstrations, contests, seminars, crafters, carvers, food and music at Tip Seaman Park and Tuckerton Seaport. Free off-site parking and shuttle bus and free admission beginning 7am.
The official end of summer comes with the mega 29th Annual Chowderfest Weekend event September 30 and October 1. One of the best known festivals on the East Coast, the weekend starts with Saturday's free Merchant Mart presenting live music from 10 a.m.to 5 p.m. Attendees can spend the day with dozens of merchants to shop for end of season bargains, localized specialties and food tent.
Expanded grounds include more seating as well as dedicated Make Shift Row tent has been added. The new market space designed to inspire will be filled with handmade products for sale. There will be a custom beverage menu full of flavorful beers and hard ciders on tap. All roads lead to the Sunday, October 1 Chowder Cook Off Classic, as the best restaurants in the region square off for all ticket holder votes with unlimited red, white and creative chowder samples. VIPs gain early access to the tents to taste and view the decorative booths beginning at 10 a.m.
In addition to coveted early entry, VIPs get the official 2017 VIP Shirt. Platinum VIP which in addition to early entry and shirt, gets access to the new Beer Garden with big screen televisions. General Admission begins at 11 a.m.
To date the contestant restaurants include Country Kettle, Chicken or the Egg, Cuisine on the Green, Howard's Restaurant, Shore Fire Grille, SunnyRae's, Lefty's Tavern, Stefano's Seafood, Black Whale, Delaware Avenue Oyster House, Buckalew's, La Bamba, and Blue Water Café.
Great chowder is accompanied by great live music. Attendees can partake in the delicious food tent, avoid long lines with extra beer and cider taps, shop exclusive Chowdawear merchandise, vote and cheer on the winners at closing ceremonies. Tickets are now on sale at Chowderfest.com or the Southern Ocean County Chamber at 609 494 7211, 265 W Ninth Street Ship Bottom Toddlers under 3 are free, Tickets for Oct 1 Cook Off range from Children to age 12 $10, General Admission $25, VIP $55, and Platinum VIP $100.