Grilling for amateurs, and cake decorating are among new additions to Sussex County Day

A&E. New activities have been added to favorites at Sussex County Day, to be held noon until 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. The BBQ contest will now only be open to amateurs, the Idol contest will be open to adults, and this year the county has added a cake decorating contest.

09 Sep 2019 | 01:54

Sussex County Day, the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce’s celebration of everything Sussex County, continues to add new activities to the free annual event, which is being held on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019 at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta, from noon to 5 p.m.

New this year is a Cake Decorating Contest, which joins the crowd pleasing Apple Pie Contest. Two popular events are also undergoing changes. The Sussex County Idol competition, previously open to kids in K-12th grades only, is welcoming adult singing contestants this year and the Champion of the Grill BBQ Competition will now be for amateurs only. All area residents are welcome to participate.

These are being added to an event that already includes a helicopter landing, chicken wing eating contest for law enforcement personnel, a municipal egg toss, mechanical bull riding, classic car show, magic show, activities for kids, and assorted vendors and exhibitors.

Last year heralded the exciting arrival of the inaugural Chopped Sussex Cooking Challenge, modeled on Food Network’s "Chopped," where chefs are given unpredictable ingredients and have limited time to prepare an appetizer, entrée and dessert. All cooking takes place under the attentive eyes of the general public, gathered on bleachers to watch and cheer on their favorite contestants.

A formidable group of local pros will be grabbing their knives and heading to the Fairgrounds for this year’s Chopped Sussex face-off. Competitors include Matthew Mulligan of Crystal Springs Resort (Hardyston), Yuri Barradas of El Paraiso (Newton), Brian Vaughn of the Lake Mohawk Golf Club, and Joseph Sanfilippo of the St. Mortiz Grill and Bar (Sparta). Sam Masih, the owner and chef of Tanti Baci Caffe in Sparta, NJ took home the 2018 top prize along with bragging rights.

“Sussex County is a great place to live, work and play and that’s worth celebrating,” said Tammie Horsfield, Sussex County Chamber President. “The Chamber is proud to present this free family fun day to the community, but we wouldn’t be able to do it without the wonderful support of our many sponsors.”

As Premier Sponsor of Sussex County Day since its inception, Newton Medical Center – Atlantic Health System has a large presence at the event each year, showcasing hospital departments and offering a variety of free screenings, interactive activities, giveaways and information on health and wellness.

Additional events sponsors include: Alpine Montessori; Aqua New Jersey, Inc.; Bentley Assisted Living; Braen Stone; Branchville Family Chiropractic; EarthCare; First Hope Bank; Fonzarelli's Collision & Auto Repair; Franklin Mutual Insurance Company; Glenwood Infinity LLC at Glenwood Art Park; Holiday Inn Express; iHeartMedia; JCP&L a First Energy Corp.; Knoll Communities; Laddey, Clark & Ryan; NFP P&C/van den Heuvel & Fountain, Inc.; RoNetco Supermarkets Inc.; Service Electric Cable TV of NJ Inc.; Skyview Golf Club; Sparta TownshipThorlabs, Inc.: and United Methodist Communities Homeworks.

Interested vendors, exhibitors, pie bakers, cake decorators and backyard BBQ enthusiasts can find more information at