BELMAR — Lobster. Shrimp. Clams on a half shell. Oysters. Crabs. Scallops. Craving lots of seafood? Well, New Jerseyans, mark your calendars.

After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The 35th annual New Jersey Seafood Festival in downtown Belmar makes a return this May.

The family-friendly event takes place over three days from Friday, May 20 through Sunday, May 22 in the Pyanoe Plaza and Pyanoe Plaza Parking lot between 8th and 10th avenues.

Admission to the festival is free. It begins at 4 p.m. on Friday and ends at 8 p.m. It continues Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and again Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

(Bill Spadea's Lobster Roll)
(Bill Spadea's Lobster Roll)
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A variety of seafood from 40 of New Jersey's top restaurants will be on hand, according to eventcrazy.com, featuring fan favorites such as coconut shrimp, gumbo, lobster rolls, crab legs, and conch fritters, scallop kabobs and so much more.

Vacationinbelmar.com reports some restaurants slated to be in attendance include Ragin' Cajun, Klein's, Jimmy's Place, Mr. Shrimp, and Federico's.

There will also be food trucks selling side dishes to compliment the seafood dishes such as hush puppies, cheesy grits, and street corn.

To satisfy that sweet tooth, vendors will be selling fried Oreos, funnel cakes, apple fritters, cannoli cream waffles, and more.

Variety of seafood (Comstock, ThinkStock)
Comstock, ThinkStock
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Live music events include:

Friday, May 20: Pat Roddy Band from 5 pm to 7 pm.

Saturday, May 21: Beach Music Studios Rock Band, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm

Danny White Band, 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

Holme, 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm

Tommy B and the Deep Blue Sea, 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Sunday, May 22: Jim Barrone's Elvis Presley Tribute Band, 2 pm to 5 pm.

Garden state wineries, craft beers, and children's activities will also be on hand. Vacationinbelmar.com also reports that 10th Ave. Burrito Co. will host a wine-beer-margarita tent with a $5 admission fee.

Local artisans will have gems for sale on the 8th Avenue sidewalk. Downtown Belmar businesses will be open during the seafood festival, too.

Festival moves to new location

The festival used to be located in Silver Lake Park across from Belmar beach, but in 2019, town officials relocated the event to Pyanoe Plaza to better showcase the downtown business community.

"We decided to move the festival to Main Street in 2019 and it was so successful for our businesses that we are keeping it there," Mayor Mark Walsifer told the Manasquan-Belmar Patch.

Thousands and thousands of people are expected to show up throughout the three-day festival so the mayor is encouraging visitors to use New Jersey transit, if possible.

The Belmar train station is close to 9th and 10th avenues, in the heart of all the festivities.

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at jennifer.ursillo@townsquaremedia.com

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