AROUND NJ

Jerseyfest Celebrates the Best of NJ at the Meadowlands

Erin Pedrini
Web Production Assistant

Jersey Fest flyer. Courtesy of Rachel Ryan.

Jerseyfest 2014 offers residents an opportunity to celebrate the Garden State and enjoy a day of fun, food and music.

The event will be held at the Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment complex in East Rutherford on Saturday, May 31 and will feature a food truck mash-up, live entertainment and the opportunity to meet Victor Espinoza, jockey of California Chrome, the thoroughbred racing to become the Triple Crown winner.

“We wanted to celebrate the best the Garden State has to offer — food, music, vendors and harness racing,” said Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment Marketing Manger Rachel Ryan.

Ryan said that the Meadowlands Racetrack has been a staple in North American racing since 1976 and it is known for events such as Hambletonian and Meadowlands Pace. She said that in November of 2013, managing partner and Meadowlands Chairman Jeffrey Gural, Michael Sinsky of Funbars.com and The Hard Rock unveiled the newly constructed, $100 million, start-of-the-art Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment complex. The new complex includes year round simulcasting, world-class racing, Victory Sports Bar and Club, indoor and outdoor restaurants, corporate and private event spaces and family-friendly activities.

“Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment is an exciting venue that both racing and non-racing fans can enjoy,” said Ryan.

Jerseyfest is an event that was started in 2012. In 2013, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment partnered with North Jersey Media Group. This year, other sponsors include Sports Authority and Nash FM 94.7.

Ryan said that Jerseyfest will showcase the best food trucks in the area, along with New Jersey artisans, vendors and crafters. There will be a wide selection of food trucks, including Bacon on Wheels, Gorilla Cheese NYC, Lechon de Negron, the Thai Elephant, Dark Side of the Moo, Luke’s Lobster, Kona Ice, Wrap Star, Waffles de Lys, Empanada Guy, Incrediballs, Polkadot Cupcake, Sweet Spot Ice Cream, the French Quarter, Paul’s Gourmet Pickles and Hunger Construction.

There will also be live performances throughout the event. Music will include children’s singer, songwriter and entertainer Kimmy Schwimmy, American Country duo Brothers Osbourne, Six Stories Told and Nash FM 94.7.

Victor Espinoza, jockey of California Chrome, will be at the Meadowlands at 7 p.m. California Chrome will attempt to become thoroughbred racing’s first Triple Crown winner since 1978 on June 7 at the Belmont Stakes. Espinoza will be signing autographs of special California Chrome posters and will make an appearance on the Meadowlands television show and will make a winner’s circle presentation.

“I wanted to give our fans a chance to meet Victor Espinoza,” said Meadowlands Chairman Jeffrey Gural. “This is a rare thing in the sport of horse racing and our fans will have an opportunity to wish him well in his quest for the Triple Crown. We are all rooting for him.”

As for other Jerseyfest special events, Sports Authority will host a Sports Zone that will include outdoor games, a bouncy house and entertainment for kids. “Former NFL linebacker Quentin Coryatt will be presenting live demos from his one-of-a-kind invention, The Perfect Jumper, which is a unique training aid for serious basketball players. His invention has been endorsed by NBA greats such as Carmelo Anthony, Steve Nash and Bob Night. Coryatt will be donating a percentage of all proceeds from the sales of The Perfect Jumper at Jerseyfest to the Max Cure Foundation, Meadowlands ‘Charity of the Month’ for July and August,” said Ryan.

There are also other charity partners for Jerseyfest, which include the Center for Food Action and Max Cure Foundation. Ryan said that both organizations will be on-site collecting donations. She said that the Center for Food Action will be collection non-perishable food and Max Cure Foundation will be collecting used sneakers and athletic shoes.

Ryan said that what makes Jerseyfest different from other New Jersey events is, “Definitely the venue and racing. We have $100 million new state-of-the-art complex featuring views of the racing action and surrounding communities. Plus, we have the best harness racing in America. We will have the best 3-year-old horses racing in the $400,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes. It is a great night of racing and it complements the great New Jersey vendors and music.”

The event will start at 5 p.m. and end at 11 p.m. Admission is free. Last year, more than 8,000 people attended Jerseyfest and this year with the addition of the food trucks, attendance is anticipated to increase, said Ryan. Performance times and other information can be found here.