My fellow shore residents love the beach and, like me, feel sad when the summer ends. However, there should also be excitement about the fall season in southern New Jersey. The Garden State is chock full of festivals in the fall, from my all time favorite, the Cranberry Festival in Chatsworth, to the annual Indian Summer Block Party in Ocean City, Oktoberfests in various locations, and a tribute to Atlantic City’s Hall of Fame baseball legend, John Henry “Pop” Lloyd. I’m planning my first trip ever to Long Beach Island next Sunday for Beach Haven’s annual Chowderfest. What shore resident doesn’t like a good chowder or two? Below are the details for some of these great fall activities.
Sept. 27-28: Olde Time Italian Festival, Wildwood
Saturday, Sept. 27, noon-mid.; Sunday, Sept. 28, noon-5pm. Free festival, coordinated by the Order of the Sons of Italy of America, features authentic Italian food, music, crafts, raffles and more.
Oct. 3-5: 16th Annual Pop Lloyd Weekend Celebration
Friday, Oct. 3, Free sports symposium at Richard Stockton College, Pomona. Saturday, Oct. 4, Pop Lloyd dinner and awards program at Trump Taj Mahal. Sunday, Oct. 5, 10am, “Pop” Lloyd commemorative church service at Asbury United Methodist Church, followed by The Boys Who Came to Play – A Tribute to Armando Vasquez. Web site
Oct. 4 Oktoberfest, Cape May
Saturday, Oct. 4, 10am-5pm. Historic Jackson Street will be transformed into a German promenade with authentic music and food. Visit the Beer Garden for a lager and browse vendor tables selling crafts, antiques and collectibles. Free event; call 884-5508.
Oct. 4-5: Chowderfest, Beach Haven, Long Beach Island
Merchants Mart, Saturday, Oct. 4, 10am-4pm, features a shopper’s paradise with tons of end-of-the-season sales. Under large tents at Beach Haven’s Ninth Street and Taylor Avenue ball field. Chowder Cook-off Competition, Sunday, Oct. 5. Nearly 20 restaurants and organizations will compete for the “King of Clams” title. Winners are decided by people’s choice; all who attend become official tasters and cast a ballot for their favorite savory red (Manhattan) and white (New England) clam chowder. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 4 to 12. Web site
Oct. 4-5: Oktoberfest, Smithville/Village Greene
One of the biggest fall festivals in Atlantic County, takes place 10am-5pm both days. Includes an international food court, live music, rides, games and over 100 arts-and-crafts vendors. Admission is free. Web site
Oct. 10-13: Indian Summer Weekend, Ocean City
Includes mile-long block party from 5th to 14th Streets along Asbury Ave. on Saturday, Oct. 11, 9am-5pm with crafters, food, kids’ activities and music. Web site
Oct. 11: Oktoberfest at Gardner’s Basin, Atlantic City
Free event with a variety of performances, activities, attractions, and other special offerings, including a tribute to Steel Pier, with music by Jim Craine and the Atlantic City All Stars and Tony Grant’s “Stars of Tomorrow,” featuring TV40 news anchor Michelle Dawn Mooney. The Basin’s restaurants, Flying Cloud Café and Back Bay Ale House, celebrate Oktoberfest with German cuisine, food and drink specials, and live music. Web site
Oct. 11: Irish Festival, Village Greene, Smithville
Barleyjuice, Birnam Wood and Raining Hearts perform at Ireland and Old Lace, on the Village Greene in Smithville, for the Irish festival that takes place Saturday, Oct. 11 from 11am–6pm. Free. Irish step-dancers, medieval re-enactors, vendors, food and beer tents and pony rides. For more info.
Oct. 18-19: 25th Annual Cranberry Festival in Chatsworth, Burlington Co.
Celebration of New Jersey’s cranberry harvest, the 3rd largest in the United States, and
a tribute to the Pine Barrens, 9am-4pm both days. Cranberry ice, cranberry fudge, cranberry breads, tons of food and craft vendor, country music and more. Admission is free; $5 donation for parking on school grounds well as displaying them for sale. Web site
October 18 – 19: South Jersey Pumpkin Show, Cumberland County Fairgrounds, Carmel Rd., Millville
Admission is $4. Arts, crafts, food & Music Fest., pumpkin pie cook off, jumbo pumpkin weigh-off, Friday, Oct. 17, 5pm, public invited. Kid’s activities, pony rides, hay rides and more. Web site
October 10-19, 36th Annual Victorian Week, Cape May
Celebrate Victoriana with 10 days of entertaining activities including vintage dance workshops, historic house tours, lectures, ghost tours, murder mystery dinners, and much more. Web site
Pictured at the top is the massive crowd at the Chowderfest (photo by Ryan Morrill); and above, the winning 817lb. pumpkin, from last year’s SJ Pumpkin Show in Millville (picture by Lori Hoffman).