New Jersey has recognized its best peach growers in a season-opening festival.

Peaches were on display July 23 at the New Jersey Peach Festival in Clayton, which marks the major start of the state’s season.

Gala Orchards, Elmer, won the Governor’s Cup overall award for the event.

Peach growers compete for honors in New Jersey
  Courtesy photo

Francisco Allende, of Gala Orchards, Elmer, N.J. Allende is the Governor’s Cup winner of this year's New Jersey Peach Festival.

The event, cosponsored by the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council and the New Jersey Peach Festival Inc., honored 27 winners and displayed 74 entries, according to a news release.

Growers were judged in categories such as white-flesh peaches, nectarines or fuzz-less peaches, the largest peach — hand-selected as well as commercial sizes.

The commercial peaches entry class, the main category from which the overall winner is chosen, has entries randomly pulled from packinghouses by an agricultural extension agent.

The event featured activities such as educational displays, recipes, a baking contest as well as the crowning of the New Jersey Peach Queen.

Many of the winning recipes are at Jersey Peaches.