Celebrate 27th Blackwood Pumpkin Festival

      Blackwood, New Jersey comes alive on the first Sunday of October with entertainers, vendors, shoppers, and families who converge on the area for the Blackwood Pumpkin Festival.  This tradition began in 1992, and this year marks its 27th year. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of visitors have attended. The festival, presented by Mainstage Center for the Arts (MCA), takes place Sunday, October 7th, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in and around the area of MCA’s Performing Arts Academy, 27 S. Black Horse Pike, with the Black Horse Pike will be closed from the intersection of Church Road through Lake Avenue. The rain date is Sunday, October 14th.

Since parking in downtown Blackwood fills up quickly, free parking with a free shuttle bus service to the festival is available at Highland Regional High School, 450 Erial Road, Blackwood, NJ 08012. 

The festival features amusements, food, music, shopping, live entertainment, pumpkin painting, hayrides, moon bounces, a petting zoo, face painting, scarecrow building, costume contests, puppy parade; talent contest; Farmer’s Market with fresh produce, Mainstage studio treasure hunt, and more.  More 101 FM is radio sponsor and personalities will be there throughout the day providing fun giveaways.  

The primary sponsors for the event are: Horizon Foundation, Ryan Bansky Expert Tree Service, More 101 FM, Today’s Shopper, and Newspaper Media Group,

“As Mainstage celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, we're thrilled that the South Jersey community has been able to enjoy the Blackwood Pumpkin Festival for 27 of those years. It's such a fun way for friends and families to spend a day celebrating the joys of the fall season,” said Anne Marie Weaver, Director of Special Projects, MCA. “We appreciate all those who visit the event, which raises funds for Mainstage’s year-round performing arts programs for kids and their families.”

            Those programs include Harmony, high school show choir; Encore, middle school show choir, Mainstage’s School of Dance, and the Performing Arts Academy. Most of these groups all are performing at the festival, along with other local entertainers including the Cherry Hill East High School Mime Troupe, Philadelphia/Mainline Ukulele Group. For others who like to get in on the act, there’s a Talent Contest, Costume Parade/contest, Pumpkin Carving Contest, Great Cake Bake Off, Puppy Parade (costume contest for dogs), and Ukulele Jam Session in the Blackwood Fire Company parking lot. Here are details for entering the contests:

  • Costume Parade/Contest  –for those up to age 12, 11:30 am and 1:15 p.m., in the park at the corner of Railroad and West Lake Ave. Register 15 minutes before the contest of your choice at the Mainstage Information Booth
  • Talent Contest– sponsored by Joseph W. Bowley, CPA and Sign & Design, for ages 5-18. Performances will be assigned between 11:15 – 2:45 pm. Participants must pre-register by October 3rd. For details about registration, please visit http://mainstage.org/about/pumpkin-festival/
  • Pumpkin Carving Contest – sponsored by McDonald’s Blackwood. Please bring already carved or decorated field-grown pumpkins to Mainstage’s Academy Hall, 27 S. Black Horse Pike between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.  
  • Cake Decorating – sponsored by Zallie’s Shop Rite. Drop off Academy Hall – 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.    - winners announced at 3:00 - Academy Hall Stage. Rules will be available at  http://mainstage.org/about/pumpkin-festival/
  • Puppy Parade - For a howling good time, bring your dog in costume to compete in the Puppy Parade, sponsored by Winslow Animal Hospital. Prizes will be given out for several categories. 12 noon and 1:45 pm - in the park at the corner of Railroad and West Lake Ave. Register 15 minutes before the contest of your choice at the Mainstage Information Booth winners to be announced immediately after at parade


In addition to the primary sponsors listed above, the Pumpkin Festival sponsors include Bowman and Company, LLP; Joseph W. Bowley; CPA; Meadows Diner;  Beneficial Bank; Castor Auto & Truck Repair; Comegno Law Group, PC; Lamp Post Diner; Republic Bank; Penzone Realty; Y.A.L.E. School; Zallie’s Shop Rite; South Jersey Gas, First Colonial Bank; Two-Two Creative; Preferred Party Rentals; McDonald’s (Gloucester Township); Valleybrook Country Club; Rahn AllGreen Turf Management; SERVPRO Blackwood/Gloucester Township; Mayor David Mayer and Gloucester Township Town Council; Senator Madden, Assemblyman Moriarty, Assemblywoman Mosquera; Winslow Animal Hospital; First Choice Solutions; Bob’s Garage; DPI of Cherry Hill; Sign & Design; Gardner Funeral Home; Life Storage Blackwood; Chews Florist; Rite Aid; Sports Specialties;; Blackwood West Development; Blackwood Lake Development, Township of Gloucester; Gloucester Township Chamber of Commerce; Camden County Regional Chamber of Commerce; Camden County College; Gloucester Township Rotary Public Library; Gloucester Township Public Schools, Black Horse Pike Regional School District: New Jersey State Council on the Arts; and the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information about the event, or to rent a booth, visit www.mainstage.org or call (856) 302-6485.