Blackwood New Jersey comes alive on Sunday October 8th 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 30th 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 8th, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in and around the area of the Studio at Mainstage, 27 S. Black Horse Pike. Church Road through Lake Avenue on the Black Horse Pike will be closed the day of due to the festival’s events. The rain date is Sunday, October 8th. 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, a costume contest, puppy parade, talent contest, the Mainstage studio treasure hunt, and more.
The primary sponsors for the event are: The Township of Gloucester, AP Construction, The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Bank of Princeton, Art Pride New Jersey, Discover New Jersey Arts and 1st Colonial Community Bank and the Horizon Foundation.
"As Mainstage celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, we are thrilled that the South Jersey community has been able to enjoy the Blackwood Pumpkin Festival for 30 years. We are delighted to continue this long celebrated tradition. 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 Summer Stage, the Harmony & Encore Show Choirs, and The Studio at Mainstage, delivering classes in musical theater, acting, improvisation, private voice, and pian0. Most of these groups will perform at the festival, along with other local entertainers, including the Cherry Hill East High School Mime Troupe, Riddlesbrood Theater Company, a Storybook Theatre Performance and more! For others who like to get in on the act, there's a Talent Contest, Costume Contest, Pumpkin Carving Contest, and a Pet Parade, Here are details for entering the contests:
TALENT CONTEST –Let your talent shine in the Blackwood Pumpkin Festival Talent Contest to be held on Sunday, Oct 1st (rain date: Sunday, Oct. 8) Times to be assigned between 11:00 and 3:00. This Mainstage Center for the Arts event, judged by former Miss New Jersey, professional actress/director – Erica Harr, is open to non-professional contestants ages 3 through 18 divided into two age categories. For contest details and to register visit: https://mainsage.wufoo.com/forms/mttuom80hqu8ai/ Prizes vary
COSTUME PARADE/CONTEST – Children up to age 12 are welcome to participate in one of the Mainstage Center for the Arts Costume Parades at the Blackwood Pumpkin Festival on Sunday, Oct. 1 (rain date: Sunday, Oct. 8). Parades are scheduled for 11:30 and 1:15 on the big stage located next to the rides in the purple zone of the event on Railroad Ave between Central & West Lake Ave. Please sign in at the Mainstage Information Booth located near the stage 10 minutes before the contest. Prizes vary. Winners will be announced immediately following each parade.
PET PARADE/CONTEST - Dress your pet up and enter them in one of the Mainstage Center for the Arts Pet Parades at the Blackwood Pumpkin Festival on Sunday, Oct. 1 (rain date: Sunday, Oct. 8). Parades are scheduled to immediately follow the 11:30 and 1:15 Costume Contests are held on the big stage located next to the rides in the purple zone of the event on Railroad Ave. between Central and West Lake Ave. Please sign in at the Mainstage Information Booth located near the stage 10 minutes before the contest begins. Prizes vary. Winners will be announced immediately following each parade.
PUMPKIN CARVING/DECORATING CONTEST: Demonstrate your creative talents by carving or decorating a pumpkin and bring it to the Blackwood Pumpkin Festival for a chance to win a prize! There is no need to register in advance. All entries must be delivered to Harwan Park, located on the Black Horse Pike across from Mainstage Center for the Arts (27 South Black Horse Pike, Blackwood, NJ). Entries must be delivered between 12:00 noon and 2:00 pm on Sunday, Oct. 1 (rain date: Oct. 8). Winners will be announced at 3:00 pm at the stage in the studio and library parking lot. Entries will be judged in 3 age groups. Ages 6-11, 12 - 17, adults Prizes will vary.
In addition to the primary sponsors listed above, additional Pumpkin Festival sponsors include: Lamp Post Diner, Meadows Diner, Comegno Law Group, Zallie's Shop Rite, Earle Funeral Home, Sweet & Associates LLC, TwoTwo Creative, Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach, Bowman & Company, Gloucester Township Pine Hill Rotary, Castor's Auto & Truck Repair, Ace Screen Printing, Natoli Dental, ServPro of Gloucester Township, John C. Ianelli, Esquire, Ross Environmental Solutions, Sign & Design, Tyler Mill Towing, Valleybrook Country Club, Gardner's Funeral Home, Get Fit Now, Matlack & Company Insurance, Mayor & Township Council Democrats, Madden, Moriarty, & Mosquera.
For more information about the event, or to rent a booth, visit www.mainstage.org or call (855) 936-2467.
Mainstage Center for the Arts, is a 501 © (3) non-profit organization committed to providing a creative, vibrant, and nurturing environment for youth and adults.
This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.