Sailfest Description of Event
SAILFEST – New Jersey's Largest Sailing Festival for over 29 Years!
Always the first Saturday after Labor Day
This is New Jersey's Largest Sailing Festival - a community event organized by the Toms River Rotary Club for over 29 years. It’s a region wide festival for families and everyone who loves boating, sailing, sailors or anything nautical. We typically attract over 15,000 people to Tom’s River from throughout New Jersey, New York City and Philadelphia.
To keep everyone safe, our 2020 event will be ALL ONLINE at 
This will enable us to continue the tremendous ‘wind-in-our-sails’ growth, success and community love of Sailfest for the past 29 years.  The event will still include all the music, art, crafts, raffle and other nautical things which thousands of Sailfest fans throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York have grown to love - and much more!
The decision to go online-only was not made lightly. Sailfest has become the Rotary Club of Toms River’s largest fundraiser to support local charities and make a difference in our wonderful community, our state and our world. Our Governor’s recent lockdown extension unfortunately make it impossible to continue planning Sailfest in its’ current format – and we anticipate continued event restrictions until a vaccine is available.  We couldn’t let this event potentially impact the health of all who attend.  Both the Mayor and Borough Council of Island Heights have said we are making a good decision and look forward to seeing us sail back again in 2021. 
So get ready to ‘hoist your sails’, keep following our Sailfest NJ Facebook Page and consider helping us out if you can. We will have lots of exciting online events to enjoy all day, including great music, sailing movies, nautical storytelling by Navy Veterans, online nautical workshops, live sailing trips, nautical auctions, raffles, and even more in the works. The NJ Governor and NJ Congressional delegations are being invited to speak, and there will be plenty of vendor and sponsorship opportunities also available.
Don't get left at the dock!  Tickets will be on 'sail' beginning August 1st
The Sailfest New Jersey Committee of 2020
If you have any questions, ideas or are interested in helping, please email us at
History of Sailfest: 
Sailfest is the Rotary Club of Toms River’s largest event which helps to make a difference in our wonderful community.  100% of the profits are distributed throughout the region by the Tom's River Rotary Foundation. 
Launched in 1991 as a small sailboat race and shore party, it was held in Huddy Park, Toms River. By 1995, Sailfest had grown so much it was moved to River Avenue in Island Heights and has since become one of the premier Family Fun Days at the Jersey Shore, now drawing more than 15,000 visitors annually.  A sailing regatta happens early in the day with 2 winner’s cups being presented at the Toms River Yacht Club. The Winner of the PHRF Fleet is given The Sailfest Cup. The winner of the A-Cat Class is presented the Governor’s Cup.
On land, we start the day with a Veterans / 9-11 Reflection Ceremony at the main stage, honoring men and women who have served our country or were lost during the events of 9-11. The culmination of the Reflection Ceremony is a short parade headed by the Island Heights Fire Department to Letter Park for a symbolic wreath laying.
The land event has changed over the years, but typically includes:
  • More than 140 vendors,  crafters, and informational booths
  • A fantastic food area with unique food trucks from throughout the region
  • The Kids Zone – inflatables, face painting, picture cuts outs of mermaids and pirates and a raffle just for the kids
  • All day musical entertainment culminating with a big name concert between 6:30-10pm
  • An adult beverage area
  • Sailfest t-shirts and sweatshirts 
  • An exciting cash 50/50 raffle
  • Onsite ATM
  • A mini boat show
  • and much more!
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