For 7 years now, The Jamaican Jerk Festival has brought together some of the best in island music and food. In a time where music/food festivals seem to hop the bullet train to corporate run monsters, this little indie festival guarantees true local flavor. Even though the title sponsor is one of the largest producers of West Indian food products, you can’t rattle the “real” out of the 5 borough Caribbean community. This year will be the biggest, best and booyakasha of all years with Barrington Levy anchoring the vibes and a quarter mile of jerk stands to spice up the day. Appropriately hosted by our new home borough in Roy Wilkins Park, take the E train to Jamaica center and then get cozy up on the Q5 bus. We promise a Sunday adventure in sound, culinary and transit. Sunday, July 23rd from 12-8pm in Queens, NY.
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This Oyster Festival is near and dear to my childhood heart. I learned how to swim with oysters under my feet. Since I was 10 his festival, named after the bi-valve and the town I grew up in, has taken over the small North Shore Long Island village. Back then, a few buses of people would amount to 10,000 people over the three-day extravaganza. Now in its 32nd year, 200, 000 attendees flock to what was my sleepy hamlet on the bay. It’s fair to call it BIG TIME. The food vendors now require a food court. There’s a seafood themed shopping pavilion. Music is no longer sourced from the high school band talent. Of course, there are plenty of competitive eating bouts. Most oysters, fastest oysters, biggest oysters, they all get prizes and make for some crowd roars. Being an insider, I tend to hang back. Belly up at one spot and let the action unfold around me. Give it a try. October 15 – 16 Weekend in Oyster Bay, NY.
Returning this year from last years launch, the Queens Night Market summons the foodie crowd out to Corona, arguably the heart of the original NYC food scene. While hovering over Peruvian, Dominican, Indian, Ecuadorian and Irish neighborhoods while on the 7 train, ready those tastebuds for a similar cultural explosion of food, drink and sometimes music. Jump off at the 111th St. station and head to towards Hall of Science parking lot. Don’t miss the shark sandos, chicken fried bacon and fresh Ecuadorian juices. Starting April 23rd on Saturdays from 6PM-Midnight @ New York Hall of Science in Queens.
Tuck your napkin into your shirt, grab your Wet-Naps, and get ready, because the Ulster County Fairgrounds are about to be taken over by the 12th Annual Hudson Valley Rib Fest, a yearly affair where more than 16,000 people converge to celebrate all things ribs-related. The day will include more ribs than that rack that flipped over the Flintstone’s car at the drive in PLUS live music, cooking demos, children’s country games, and a contest of 60 teams battling it out in the Empire State Barbecue Championship. There’s a little bit of heart behind all this rib-related activity, too — all proceeds from the event will go towards supporting Rotary activities at home and around the world. Friday 5pm-10pm, Saturday 11am-10pm Sunday 11am-5pm in New Paltz, New York.
If we say the words “East River State Park” and “food” in one sentence, any foodie worth his or her salt (heh) will immediately think of Smorgasburg, the outdoor food bonanza that has been drawing hordes of hungry food lovers to the Brooklyn waterfront since 2011. But for one Sunday this September, those words will take on new meaning — Taste Williamsburg Greenpoint is taking over Smorgasburg’s regular Saturday digs to show off the culinary chops of the area with a full roster of exclusively North Brooklyn eats. It’ll feature longtime faves like Meatball Shop, Pies ‘n’ Thighs, and Brooklyn Brewery along with some neighborhood newbies that you may not have heard of. But don’t worry, in case you have any doubts about local authenticity, of the 50+ vendors who will be showing their stuff, we’ve counted nine whose names include the word (you guessed it) “Brooklyn.” That’s some pretty legit stuff. September 18 at 1pm in Brooklyn.