BERKELEY – At long last, the Ocean County Fair appears to be coming back for 2022.
This year, the dates are set for July 13 through 17 at its usual location, the Robert J. Miller Airpark. The times are like previous years, 5 – 11 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday; 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday.
The schedule of events for the fair has not yet been finalized. The Ocean County Board of Agriculture and 4H are still in the planning process.
There will be a ride vendor and wristbands will be sold. Live entertainment is still being lined up.
Vendors for food and booths are still being sought on the OceanCountyFair.com website.
The fair was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. At that time, the statement put out was that “Rutgers Cooperative Extension/4H has put a hold on all 4H activities through August. 4H is such a strong partner of the fair that we cannot see a way forward without them this year.” The fair is run by volunteers, and without the 4H and other groups, they were shorthanded.
In 2021, it had been scheduled. However, in April of that year it was cancelled because capacity restrictions were still in place and 4H was limited from having large gatherings.
The 2020 fair would have been the 73rd year of the fair. The only years they missed were 2020 and 2021.
According to its history, the Ocean County Board of Agriculture held the first annual “4-H Achievement and Agricultural Ocean County Field Day” on September 6, 1947.
It started at the Ocean County Park in Lakewood, but outgrew it in the 1980s. It was then relocated to the Robert J. Miller Airpark in Berkeley Township. The first four-day fair was in 1982.
It used to be an agricultural show for local farmers to show off their crops. However, as farming gave way to housing and commercial development, there are very few farms left locally. The 4-H has taken on the agricultural aspect of the fair, showing off what families have grown and nurtured.