What would summer be like without fairs and festivals? Pretty boring, that’s what!

One of the biggest fairs is the State Fair Meadowlands, which returns on Thursday, June 22 at 6 p.m.

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Opening day free entertainment at New Jersey’s Largest Family-Friendly Event include: Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show, Pirates of the Colombian Caribbean, as well as perennial favorites such as Cycle Circus Live, Magician Lance Gifford, Hypnotist Steve Bayner and Racing Pigs.

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According to the fair’s website, the first Meadowlands Fair took place in 1986 with six days of rides and games over 10 acres (it now occupies 35 acres).

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In case you’re worried about the rides, New Jersey has the strictest laws in the country governing ride safety.

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Some other fun facts about the fair:

  • There are over 1,300 people hypnotized annually at the fair.
  • There are over 100 pig races annually at the fair.
  • Last year’s fair attendance topped 400,000.
  • The Fair generates almost $1 million dollars in New Jersey State Tax Revenue.
  • There are over 185,000 zeppoles; 50,000 corn dogs and over 17,000 bags of cotton candy sold at the fair annually.
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The fair features 150 rides and attractions, 100 food vendors, 50 game vendors, and 12 free shows.

Fried food offerings range from perennial favorites, such as fried funnel cakes and Oreos, to fried bacon cheese balls, chicken parm balls, taco balls, deep-fried peanut butter and jelly, and so much more.

For the adventurous eaters there are gator kabobs, shark kabobs, alligator bites and even gator mac and cheese. Bacon lovers will enjoy sampling bacon-wrapped meatballs, sausage, corn dogs, chocolate and of course the signature bacon on a stick.

Tickets are available here.

NJ county fairs are back! Check out the 2023 summer schedule

A current list of county fairs happening across the Garden State for 2023. From rides, food, animals, and hot air balloons, each county fair has something unique to offer.

(Fairs are listed in geographical order from South NJ to North NJ)

NJ breweries with top-rated beer

The reviews are in — see which NJ breweries have the most beers with a great rating on BeerAdvocate.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle only.

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