The pork roll is called the State of New Jersey’s “official unofficial meat” and is enjoyed every May during the Trenton Pork Roll Festival. It’s described as a pork roll party, and all the ingredients needed for such an event can be found here.
Music outdoors and inside of the venue, food vendors serving classic recipes as well as unusual takes on the dish, and the Pork Rollout Bike Tour all make up this unique and must-attend event. Hop on your bike, tour pork-related landmarks in town, and build up your appetite for a feed of the festival’s signature dish prepared many ways.
Trenton Social is the host for the event and has been seen it’s inception. A bar-restaurant that always has plenty going on, it’s the perfect spot for the Trenton Pork Roll Festival to take place. Mark your calendar and put this city on your list of road trip stops.
While in the area, visit Washington Crossing State Park on the Pennsylvania or New Jersey side. Of historical significance in the American Revolution, you can now walk the trails and keep a watch out for plenty of wildlife. Owls and hawks make a visit exciting for birdwatchers, and fans of flora and fauna can document species of trees and wildflowers.
Choose your Trenton Pork Roll Festival tickets and either pre-purchase or buy at the gate. Rates include general admission, a bike tour package, and a VIP Hospitality ticket, and there are combination tickets as well. Some combinations will require buying ahead, or you risk them being sold out. Those under the age of 12 can attend for free. Ticket prices range from $5 to $55.
Trenton is located close to the Delaware River. If you come from Pennsylvania, you’ll cross the bridge into New Jersey as the river spans the state line. US Route 1 will get you there, as will larger highways like I-95 and I-295. Check out Mercer County Park nearby to stretch your legs after the journey into town. 511NJ can help keep you informed of traffic delays or road closures on your way to the Trenton Social Restaurant & Bar.
Trenton offers a few parking options on Pork Roll Festival day. Nearby Trenton Social you’ll find both lot and street parking. There may be a fee depending on where you land, but remember to note your vehicle’s dimensions in advance to make parking simpler. If you plan to pedal to the event and partake in the bike tour, there is designated parking for bikes and a secure place to lock your bike.
A convenient option for those who don’t want to drive or pedal is to enjoy the services of the New Jersey Transit Light Rail. A stop at Hamilton Avenue puts you just a 7-minute walk from the food and activities. This is a great way to get into town if you want to park near the train and commute to the festival.
Camping onsite at the Trenton Pork Roll Festival is not available; however, there are several camping spots nearby suitable for RV enthusiasts. Have a family meeting as you plan the trip and decide on what landmarks you would like to see. Pick a campground that has your favorite amenities as well, such as wide-open spaces, water views, or activities for the kids.
Brendon T. Byrne State Forest campground is a year-round location, offering lots of fun things to do within a 45-minute drive. It’s pet-friendly and has 25 miles of trails to explore. Philadelphia South / Clarksboro KOA may be on your route if you plan to travel north on I-295 or along the Delaware River.
Wharton State Forest is another expansive area for camping and exploration within the same distance but a bit more rustic. Cape May KOA offers the opportunity to visit Cape May and Wildwood Beaches near the Delaware Bay within two hours of the festival.
Being at a local venue in town, the Trenton Pork Roll Festival is easily accessed by all. Getting around by wheelchair, stroller, or kiddie wagon is not a problem. Wear comfy shoes so that if you are on foot and have to park a distance away, your feet will not tire. If you are planning on doing the bike tour, sneakers are the ideal source of comfort for hopping on and off your bike.
Jeans and a t-shirt are the best bet for a day at the Trenton Pork Roll Festival. If you are attending the entire day, layer your outfit in case the afternoon warms up or if a cool breeze rolls over the Delaware River into Trenton in the evening. Pack the camper with easy wash sweatshirts and pants for the kids, and bring along rainwear just in case.
Stock the Airstream with all the essentials for an enjoyable vacation. Make sure the kitchen has everything you need to cook, such as pots and pans, utensils, and biodegradable dish soap for cleaning up after a meal. A flashlight, small radio, toiletries, and bug spray are must-have items for this road trip.
Pack refillable water bottles for every family member and bring them on hikes, picnics, frog seeking ventures, and to the beach. Staying hydrated is key to a fun time at any event, and that includes the Pork Roll Fest. Make sure the kids apply sunscreen and bug spray before heading outside to ensure that the bugs are kept at bay and that sunburns are not an issue.
At any time of year, adhere to the campground rules in regard to fires. Cooking a meal over hot flames in the fire ring is always an inviting venture, but the weather conditions will dictate whether that is possible. Be prepared for cooking on a camp stove or in your motorhome and plan versatile meals like chowders, wraps, and salads.
Food from many cultures around the world can be found in Trenton. If you are a fan of Italian, Romanian, German, Carribean, Polish, Jamaican, and more, you will find it here. Give the campsite cook the night off and venture into town for an evening of good eats and vacation memories.
Whether you would like to sample the classic pork roll or go on a foodie adventure and try a variation like pork roll sushi burritos, vendors at the festival will have plenty of offerings on hand. Cuban, Carribean, and Polish versions of New Jersey’s signature meat can be bought at the fest. VIP ticket holders get a swag bag to take home, reminiscent of the fun.
Families are welcomed to attend the pork roll fest. Bring bicycles for every family member and enjoy the bike tour together. Alcohol is served at the venue to those 21 and over. When you leave your camper for any length of time, lock your valuables in your vehicle, and secure outdoor camping gear against the wind or inclement weather.
Pack your motorhome with clothing and rain gear like umbrellas so that your holiday stays fun rain or shine. Visiting a vineyard near Trenton is ideal on a sunny day. If rain moves in, give the New Jersey State Museum a try. Cadwalader Park is a spacious picnic spot, and Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park is a place to visit no matter the weather. The hiking is superb, and the kids will enjoy the possibility of spotting a frog or turtle along the canal’s edge.
When you arrive in Trenton, make a note of the pharmacy and medical center nearest your chosen campground. Before leaving home, check the dates of your medical supplies. When packing the first-aid kit, prepare a smaller one for taking on hikes and bike rides. Bandaids, peroxide, sunscreen, bug spray, and antibiotic ointment should top the list.