Strap on your lederhosen, dust off that dirndl, and practice downing lagers and bratwursts. Sea Isle City is once again celebrating its dubious Germanic heritage with a rousing Octoberfest. What began as an annual festival of German food and, of course, beer has evolved into a family event including hayrides, face painting, games and demonstrations by the police and fire departments. Oct. 23, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Excursion Park, JFK Boulevard and Pleasure Avenue, Sea Isle City, (609) 263-9090, SeaIsleChamber.com Running the Boards
Like most fun things to do in Atlantic City, bringing home the big $25,000 prize at the Atlantic City Marathon is all about luck, not skill. Anyone who registers for the full 26.2-mile run—or the half marathon, 10K, 5K, 2-mile walk or kids’ fun run—will be entered for a chance at the grand prize. The third-oldest marathon in the country also offers perks like a pre-race buffet at Bally’s the night before the run. Oct. 17 at 8 a.m., the Boardwalk, Atlantic City, (609) 822-1167, AtlanticCityMarathon.org Come Out of Your Shell
Think you’re the world’s foremost expert on chowder? It’s time you joined the thousands of other self-proclaimed authorities at fall’s rich, creamy bounty of chowder contests. Start in Avalon, where every year the Chamber of Commerce hosts a tasty seafood festival. This year the event features live music, craft vendors, and a chowder contest judged by the masses. (Oct. 9-10 at 30th Street and Ocean Drive, Avalon, (609) 967-3936, AvalonBeach.com) Sea Isle City’s third annual Harbor Fest, a family celebration with crafts, music and activities, this year includes a Best of Sea Isle Chowder Contest, featuring local eateries vying for the title of chowder champ. (Oct. 2 at 42nd Place, Sea Isle City, Sea-Isle-City.nj.us.) Or head to Long Beach Island for the mother of chowder cook-offs, Chowderfest Weekend, a 22nd annual event with vat after vat of seafood soup. (Oct. 3 at Ninth Street and Taylor Avenue, Beach Haven, VisitLBIRegion.com, $20) The Haunting
For some of us, seeing ourselves in the mirror first thing in the morning is plenty scary enough. But if you need a little extra spook in your life, visit Tuckerton Seaport, which always gets haunted this time of year. Pirates and long lost sea captains will roam the boardwalk, while creepy attractions include a haunted forest, a phragmites maze (carved out of the tall reeds) and hayrides. Visit the haunted Black Pearl, or bring the little ones to a family-friendly pumpkin patch. Oct. 22-23 at 120 W. Main St., Tuckerton, (609) 296-8868, TuckertonSeaport.org A.C. DATEBOOK
Aretha Franklin She may be pushing 70, but Franklin is still the Queen of Soul. She’s out on tour to prove (again) that her voice is among the greatest of all time. Oct. 8, 9 p.m. at Caesars Atlantic City, 2100 Pacific Ave., (800) 677-7469, CaesarsAC.com, $75-$115.
So You Think you Can Dance The hottest acts from the hit TV series are on tour to give fans a taste of their skills up close and personal. Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m. at Boardwalk Hall, 2301 Boardwalk, (609) 348-7000, BoardwalkHall.com, $37.50-$55.
Black Crowes The Black Crowes are calling it quits—but not before an extensive tour. The aptly titled the “Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys” tour will include both acoustic and electric sets from the rock icons. Oct. 30, 9 p.m. at the Borgata, One Borgata Way, (609) 317-1000, TheBorgata.com, $85.
Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 7 (October, 2010).
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