Chatham to Hold Annual Fishawack Festival on Saturday, Chatham Borough Farmers’ Market to Follow

By Doug Wallack 

On Saturday, June 10, the Chatham Borough Department of Community Services will hold the annual Fishawack Festival in downtown Chatham. Inaugurated in 1971, the festival — which takes its name from the Lenni-Lenape term for the Passaic River — is a day-long celebration of the region’s culture and history. The festivities will include local art exhibits, live music and dance performances, a car and truck show, a petting zoo, a climbing wall, an exhibition on Lenni-Lenape history, and more.

This year, the beloved Strawberry Shortcake festival will return to Fishawack after an absence of over a decade. With support from Kings Food Markets, volunteers from Ogden Presbyterian Church will prepare the desserts completely from scratch with fresh strawberries, and sell them on the church lawn along Main Street. Also new to this year’s Fishawack Festival: the event will also play host to the 2017 Tri-County Firematics Firefighting Skills Competition at the Chatham Middle School.

Janice Piccolo, the festival manager, says Fishawack is about “trying to showcase what Chatham has to offer.” And it is indeed a rich and varied showcase, but the event also serves to kick off the summer and fall season for the Chatham Borough Farmers’ Market, which runs this year on Saturdays from June 17 to November 18 in the Chatham Railroad Plaza South. The farmers’ market, which sells certified New Jersey produce, in addition to prepared foods and a variety of handicrafts, is adding two new farms to its roster for the coming season: Central Valley Farm from Asbury, and Brown Leaves Farm from Bedminster. Now entering its eleventh season, the farmers’ market acts as a community hub for Chatham’s population of 9,000, with weekly special programs that will include dance, music, yoga on the lawn, and more.

For more information on both the Fishawack Festival and the Chatham Borough Farmers’ Market, visit http://bit.ly/2sXDriv.

Simon the Illusionist dazzles the audience with his magic tricks.