By Donald H. Sanborn III
“Autumn leaves don’t fall; they fly,” Delia Owens writes in Where the Crawdads Sing. “They take their time and wander on this, their only chance to soar.” Those who are fortunate enough to be in Princeton and the surrounding areas this autumn will want to take time to wander to the many fall festivals. Mark your calendar for these upcoming events:
Now through October 29
Harvest Weekends — Live Music & Food Trucks
William Heritage Winery
480 Mullica Hill Road, Mullica Hill
The William Heritage Winery offers successive weekends of live music through October 29. The events run from 12-8 p.m. on Saturdays and 12-5 p.m. on Sundays. “Take in the beautiful fall foliage!” the winery’s website invites visitors. “Enjoy wine by the glass, bottle, or wine flight in our outdoor seating area.” A variety of selections from visiting food trucks are available for purchase.
Photo courtesy of Southern Steel Band
Southern Steel Band in the Biergarten
215 Uncle Pete’s Road, Trenton
The German-American Society of Trenton will host Southern Steel Band in the Biergarten, a charity event beginning at 6 p.m. The venue’s bar and kitchen will be open. Southern Steel Band describes itself as “Jersey’s own guitar army.” According to its website, this “southern rock tribute band” specializes in “re-creating the sound and excitement of the concert experience as performed by the original artists. They bring a high energy show performing spot on renditions of the music of The Allman Brother’s Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Marshall Tucker Band — and many others.”
September 9 & 10
Central Jersey Jazz Festival
The Central Jersey Jazz Festival offers a weekend of live jazz, free and open to the public. The festival takes place at two different venues. The Saturday (September 9, 5-10 p.m.) event will be at the Historic Stangl Road in Flemington’s Artisans District; the Sunday (1-6 p.m.) event is at Somerset County Historic Courthouse Green at the corner of East Main and Grove streets in downtown Somerville. The musicians slated to appear in Flemington include the Steven Kroon Latin Jazz Sextet and vocalist Claudia Acuña; Somerville will have The David Gibson Quartet, Lafayette Harris Jr. and Friends, Michaela Marino Lerman, and NJPAC Jazz for Teens.
September 16-October 29
Photo courtesy of Terhune Orchards
Fall Family Fun Weekends
330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton
Terhune Orchards continues its fall tradition of letting visitors pick their own apples and pumpkins. The many activities include pony rides, pedal tractors, duck races, a scavenger hunt, and pumpkin painting, as well as a discovery barn, sunflower trail, and hay bale and corn stalk mazes. Animal lovers should be sure to visit the barnyard farm animals. There will be live music from 12-4 p.m. Pam’s Food Pavilion will be filled with country fare, and tasting flights and glasses of wine are available in the Wine Orchard. Every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until October 29; no walk-ins, tickets must be purchased in advance on the website.
Photo courtesy of Hopewell Harvest Fair
Hopewell Harvest Fair
Hopewell Elementary School
35 Princeton Avenue, Hopewell
The 35th annual Hopewell Harvest Fair, running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will bring live music, contests, games, a Kids’ Korner, and “true community connection” to thousands of people from the Hopewell Valley and surrounding areas. The fair’s website emphasizes that the event’s sponsors make it possible for the Hopewell Harvest Fair Community Grant Program to distribute small grants to local nonprofit organizations. To date, they have donated more than $200,000 to dozens of local nonprofits. The rain date is September 24.
September 23 & 24
215 Uncle Pete’s Road, Trenton
The German-American Society of Trenton will host Oktoberfest, a family friendly weekend of “great music, good food, and the best beer.” The Saturday (12-9 p.m.) event will feature the Philly German Brass Band, The Aqua String Band, and The Ruckus. Sunday (12-6 p.m.) will host Don Bitterlich, GTV Almrausch, and Mountain Xpress. Both days will offer Masskrugstemmen, a traditional Bavarian contest that entails holding a (one liter) beer stein. There will be a $10 entry fee for each day, with food and drinks sold separately.
September 23 & 24
New Hope Arts and Crafts Festival
Solebury High School
182 West Bridge Street, New Hope, Pa.
The 29th annual New Hope Arts and Crafts Festival will exhibit over 160 works in media such as oil paintings, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, furniture, wearable art, glass art, photography, and more. The event, which takes place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will include entertainment, food, children’s art activities, and more. Admission is $5.
Edison’s Fall Family Spectacular
Clara Barton Section (along Amboy Avenue), Edison
Hosted by the Township of Edison and the Edison Recreation Department, the Fall Family Spectacular will take place from 1-9 p.m. The event offers a variety of attractions including rides, games, face painting, sand art, and a remote-control car track. There will be food trucks and a wine and beer garden, as well as shopping. Live music will be on two stages. The local stage on the corner of Waltuma and Amboy avenues will have local performers and music. The main stage on 5th Street will have regional bands.
Collingswood Book Festival
Haddon Avenue, Downtown Collingswood
The 21st annual Collingswood Book Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival’s website promises that readers will have the opportunity to connect with more than 60 presenting authors and an additional 275 authors and exhibitors, and enjoy music, food, and literary games and activities. Highlights this year include Philadelphia sports talk radio legends Mike Missanelli and Angelo Cataldi; Matthew Quick, best-selling author of The Silver Linings Playbook; and award-winning children’s/YA author Jordan Sonnenblick. According to its organizers, in response to the assault on reading, the festival will also feature a pop-up banned book reading and informative tools on how to fight censorship. The award-winning festival is the longest-running, largest literary event in the Delaware Valley.
October 7 & 8
Photo courtesy of C.J. Mugavero of the Downtown Bordentown Association and the Artful Deposit.
Bordentown Cranberry Festival
Farnsworth Avenue, Bordentown City
Presented by the Downtown Bordentown Association, the Cranberry Festival — the “33rd Makers Fest on Farnsworth” — will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days in the Central Jersey river town. The event will feature 100 artisans, makers, and crafters that will exhibit handmade, vintage, and up-cycled items and participate in the “largest juried show in the region,” as noted on the website. The festival will also include live music, a beer garden, and a food court. Service dogs only.
October 21 & 22
Chatsworth Cranberry Festival
3980 Route 563, Chatsworth
It has been noted that the annual Chatsworth Cranberry Festival is a celebration of New Jersey’s cranberry harvest and offers a tribute to the Pine Barrens and local culture. Sponsored by the Festival Committee of Chatsworth, the event, held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, features a juried craft show with up to 150 vendors, 15 food vendors, and live music.
Event dates and times subject to change. See websites for full details.