Jersey Magazine with Jim Monaghan

Jersey Magazine with Jim Monaghan

Jersey Magazine with Jim Monaghan

There are 3 must-do things for you to check out at this year’s State Fair Meadowlands which kicks off on June 20 and runs through July 7.

One of the annual events that people look forward to here in New Jersey is the State Fair Meadowlands.

In addition to hundreds of rides and attractions for all ages, Garden State Fireworks will be putting on a dazzling display on July 3rd and 4th.

Alissa Villalba-Hasson is the Events Coordinator for State Fair Group and she is this week’s guest on Jersey Magazine.

Interview Excerpts

JIM MONAGHAN – I saw a statistic a little earlier this morning. About 185,000 zeppole are consumed annually at the State Fair. How do you plan for something like that?

ALISSA VILLALBA-HASSON – Honestly, it takes a lot of planning. We start planning at least a year and a half in advance every year.

So once this fair is over, we will start planning for the next one.

But we start planning as early as we can, lining up all of our food and game and ride vendors. That way it’s all perfectly in place for everybody in June.

JM – So when you plan that far ahead, I have to think that with 2026 being the 40th anniversary, if I do my math correctly, are you already getting things going for the 40th anniversary?

AVH – We’ve started discussing a little bit, yeah.

JM – What are your favorite aspects of the State Fair?

AVH – My favorite aspects definitely are kind of torn between the games and the food. I always love playing the carnival games. I always love winning prizes and everything.

But I also love filling up on the funnel cake, the caramel apples. And we have a lot of new food vendors this year. So we have a lot of new options. We have some new Mexican options this year.

We also have a hibachi vendor. So we’re throwing in some hibachi this year at the fair.

And then we also have Wetzel’s Pretzels. If anybody knows them in the mall, they’re going to be there as well.

And then we can’t forget our sweet treats. We have a brand new donut vendor. We have our big giant candy tent that you fill up the bag with the weight and you get, you know, you pay the weight at the end of it.

It’s one of our best attractions that we have that people go through.

Fireworks Display

JM – I know you have fireworks coming in, not just one, but two days of the event. Tell our listeners about that.

AVH – So we have fireworks this year on the third and the fourth of July. So the fireworks typically take place around between 10 and 11 p.m. in the evening. You can view it from any part of the fairground.

So if you’re sitting up on top of the Ferris wheel and you want to get a nice shot of the fireworks, there’s your chance to do it.

We have so many options, so many variety and the Garden State Fireworks organization, they put on a great show every year. So we love working with them.

3 Must-Do Things At This Year’s State Fair Meadowlands

JM – For people who may be coming for the first time to the State Fair Meadowlands this year, what are three things – obviously the fireworks are one of them – but what are three other things that they absolutely have to do while they’re there?

AVH – The first thing is definitely check out all of our entertainment.

We have some new acts this year. We have a Michael Jackson tribute show to honor his 15th anniversary of his death. We also have a local New Jersey singer, songwriter, Gina Royal, who will also be performing for a weekend.

We also have a Brazilian dance group.

So definitely the entertainment is the first one you definitely got to check out.

The food, obviously the food. You can’t go to the fair without food. I mean, you know, that’s just like, you know, going to the mall without shopping.

And then on top of that, just the rides and the games, you know, be sure to check out some of the cool prizes you can win and some of the amazing rides that we offer.

JM – All of the information, by the way, is online at

  • Rock N Ruff

    WDHA’s Rock N’ Ruff has a PAWFECT guy this week! Meet DEXTER! From The Denville Animal Shelter– Dexter is a young pup- just about 5 months old and came to the shelter with his sister Morgan, two great puppies with so much to offer.

    Both are waiting for their forever homes- and both pups are fantastic. As you can see in our Rock N’ Ruff video, Dexter is such an affectionate pup, who just wants to meet, greet, kiss, and hang with you. He’s an absolute love! Dexter and Morgan are both up for adoption via my good friend Meredith Petrillo at The Denville Animal Shelter (I’ve adopted twice from the shelter and so have many WDHA staffers). Dexter is very engaged in his human companions, SUPER DUPER friendly, very smart, aims to please, and is already housebroken! For a young pup that is awesome!

    Dexter appears to be a Hound/Lab mix and has the most beautiful golden eyes that will melt your heart. he is a truly joyful dog. Perfect energy and as with any younger dog, will need someone who can give this pup the time he deserves.

    Dexter would also love a companion to play with so if you have another dog, set up a meet and greet. An older brother or sister would be awesome for him. Check out Dexter’s Rock N’ Ruff video below and listen for his spot on WDHA. He’s a total rockstar rescue pup!

    Rock N’ Ruff Video

    How Can You Adopt Dexter, his sister, or any of the Denville Residents?

    It’s quite simple – The best way is to fill out an application, call and speak to Meredith Petrillo at 973-983-7538 and set up a meet and greet, or visit the Friends Of The Denville Animal Shelter Facebook Page or send an email to [email protected]

    Photo Credit- Denville Animal Shelter
    Dexter is so handsome!

    We would love to see this young guy find the perfect home because he deserves it! 

    Denville Animal Shelter
    Dexter and his sister Morgan
    Denville animal shelter
    He’s gorgeous!

    Let’s get Dexter home-  Opt To Adopt!

    More Pet-Related Stories and Events

    WDHA’s Dog days Of Summer Event- Join Us 6/1

    Our WDHA Rock N’ Ruff Adoptables

    WDHA’s Rockers and Dogs Exclusive Photo Gallery

    The Benefits Of Adopting A Senior Pet

  • Local Look

    Looking for something fun to do in the area? Chris Swendeman has you covered with this week’s Local Look.

    There are always so many fun events happening in our local communities.  Check out what’s in store for this week in New Jersey.

    • Head south today to Asbury Park for the annual Asbury Fest. It’s back this year at the park across from Convention Hall with amazing food, music and some surprises sprinkled in to add to the fun. The final day runs from 11 AM to 6 PM. Visit slash Asbury Fest for more info.
    • Montvale is the place to be today for the 12th annual Street Fair. It’s being called the Giant Street Festival as Paragon Drive is transformed into one of the season’s most popular events. There will be a food court, live music, vendors, exhibits and so much more. The event runs today from 10 AM to 5 PM.
    • Somerset is the setting for the 38th annual Lebanese Festival. There will be authentic Lebanese food, live music, dancing, performances, raffles and more. The event takes place from noon to 10 p.m. at the St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church.


    And that’s your Local Look for this week on The Jersey Magazine.  If you’d like your event to be featured on The Local Look, you can email us at [email protected].  See you next week on 105.5 WDHA.

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