Jersey shore residents are proud of their state’s beautiful beaches, bustling boardwalks, peak produce, treasured tourist towns, fabulous foods, flora, and fauna, and of course, friendly folk. However, as the existence of Weird NJ magazine demonstrates, they are equally proud of their deviations from the norm. New Jerseyans display their oddities, uninhibited, in various celebrations throughout the summer. Here is a small selection of strange Jersey shore events.
Running from August 13th to the 17th at the Music Pier, Boardwalk, and Moorlyn Terrace in Ocean City, Weird Contest Week provides frivolous free fun for the whole family. Contests like Salt Water Taffy sculpting, french fry art, That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles (a cookie sculpting contest), Paper Clip Art, Ears Looking At You (an ear wiggling contest), and the noisy Little Miss and Mr. Chaos and Mrs. and Mister Miscellaneous talent shows start at 11:00 a.m. on various days of the week. Here, the weirdos always win.
‘Tis the summer season, but at Cape May Lighthouse on July 25th, you can walk in a (warm) winter wonderland and enjoy games, gifts, crafts, and a visit from St. Nick himself!
On August 3rd at 6:00 p.m. on the Wildwoods Boardwalks, a free parade of costumed children and decorated baby accessories will make its way to 16th street. Judges will award prizes to the Cutest Baby Boy, Cutest Baby Girl, Best Decorated Baby Carriage, Best Group Decorated Baby Carriage, Fanciest Children, Best Dressed Children, Best Decorated Children on Wheels, and Best Decorated Group on Wheels. Come out and watch these child champions!
You’ve heard of hot dog, pie, and chicken wing eating contests. Now get ready for a more unusual treat: waffles and ice cream! At Casino Pier in Seaside Heights on August 5th, National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, at 2:00 p.m., have your breakfast and your dessert and eat it, too!
From 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 2nd, bring at least $5.00 (although you’ll definitely want to bring more for shopping) and enter the Roebling Machine Shop for a flea market featuring more than 400 vendors with “gourmet food truck cuisine…vintage clothing, original artwork, antiques, handmade jewelry, t-shirts, vintage toys, vinyl, bone jewelry, taxidermy,” and more! This DIY event truly embodies the spirit of punk rock.
August 27th at 2:00 p.m. on the Asbury Park Boardwalk between the Waterpark and Watermark, view a promenade of women dressed as mermaids followed by a costume contest and group photo. Be sure to catch the pre-party starting at noon!
There are plenty of other unusual events going on in New Jersey throughout the year, but you can attend any of these strange Jersey shore events and embrace your inner weirdo during the rest of the summer. Stay odd, New Jersey, and please, never change.