July 28, 2005 marked the start of the first Toms River Fest, a concert venue which has brought a wide variety of performing artists from different genres and eras to the campus of and the then-Ritacco Center.
The festival returned in 2006 and 2008. Among the artists who have performed at Toms River Fest are Joan Jett, Maroon 5, and KC and the Sunshine Band. In addition to concerts, the festival has also included several other attractions, including rollercoasters and other rides, fireworks, and plenty of food.
The event has had its problems during the years it ran. 2006 had a particularly bad heat wave which impacted attendance. Many attendees complained of the cost and brought up the overly corporate atmosphere of the event. Toms River Fest also takes place right around the same time as the Ocean County Fair; critics of the festival say the fair is much more open and accessible. The festival also had to compete with the nearby Seaside Heights boardwalk; many people favored the ocean breezes over Toms River North's sweltering blacktop.