Spring Festivals in The Garden State

Festivals are springing up throughout New Jersey. Whether you’re into filmmaking or fishing, flying kites or blooming cherry trees, these celebrations are sure to please. Here’s a few you may want to add to your calendar.

Garden State Film Festival (Various locations, March 23 – 26, 2023)

Celebrate independent films and the art of filmmaking during this annual showcase of film, video and animated works. Held at various venues in New Jersey — the birthplace of the American filmmaking industry. Get tickets here.

Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival (Branch Brook Park, April 1 – 16, 2023)

Spring over to see more than 5,000 cherry trees in bloom (more than Washington D.C. or any other park in the U.S.) Take your pick of events — bike races, 10K run, Japanese demos, 1-Mile Fun Run/Walk, live music and more.

Shad Festival (Lambertville, April 22 - 23, 2023)

Fishing around for something cool to do? Celebrate the return of the shad swimming up the Delaware River. Your family will love this rain-or-shine annual event with plenty of good food, live music, vendors and more.

Castle Point Anime Convention (Meadowlands Expo Center, April 29 – 30, 2023)

Check out this student-run Japanese animation and media convention founded in 2008. This family-friendly event provides a social space cosplay fans of all ages can enjoy. Get tickets and more details here.

Renaissance Faire (Historic Smithville, April 29 - 30, 2023)

Step back in time as The Historic Village of Smithville is transformed into the Shire of Smithville in the heart of the English Renaissance. Comedy, sword fighting, dancing, knights, jesters, vendors, historical wares and more.

NJ Wine & Food Festival (Crystal Springs Resort, May 5 – 7, 2023)

Food and wine connoisseurs alike meet and mingle with the world’s finest chefs and winemakers at this event, as well as sample some of the best food and wine around. More details and ticket information here.

Exit Zero Spring Jazz Festival (Cape May Convention Hall, May 5 – 7, 2023)

Get jazzed up for this 3-day fest featuring hundreds of musicians and international touring artists performing on stage in Convention Hall. The music continues with live evening performances in bars and restaurants of Cape May. Get tickets here.

New Jersey Seafood Festival (Belmar, May 19 - 21, 2023)

Stop by and “sea” why so many people love this event. Enjoy scallops, lobster rolls, coconut shrimp, fresh salads and all your favorite seafood specialties. Local artisans and market vendors too.

Asbury Park Vegan Food Festival (Bradley Park, May 20 – 21, 2023)

See what’s sprouting up at this tasty two-day celebration. Discover plenty of delicious vegan and plant-based meals from local chefs, vegan products, plant-based fashion, live music and more. Get tickets here.

Wildwoods International Kite Festival (Beach at Rio Grande Ave., May 26 – 29, 2023)

Meet on the beach at Rio Grand Avenue to see excitement soar during this 4-day kite-flying extravaganza. This high-flying annual event is sure to be a hit with everyone and every age — singles, couples, parents, kids, you name it!

These are just some of the festivals you’ll find growing in The Garden State this spring. As always, check social pages and websites for your destination before you go for the latest details. Be on the lookout for more festivals happening near you at VisitNJ.org. Download your free official travel guide and sign up for the e-newsletter too.