Blackwood New Jersey comes alive on Sunday October 9th 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 29th 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 9th, 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 9th. 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 29 years. We are delighted to bring back this long-standing tradition that has been dormant through two years of Covid. 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 Show Choir, MCA's high school show choir, and The Studio at Mainstage, delivering classes in musical theater, acting, improvisation, private voice, and guitar. 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, Tori's Critters, Megan Knight, The Deep Blue Band, 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 (sponsored by Lamp Post and Meadows Diner) – Let your talent shine in the Blackwood Pumpkin Festival Talent Contest to be held on Sunday, Oct 9th sponsored by Lamp Post and Meadows Diner. Times to be assigned between 11 and 3:00. The Talent Contest will be judged by former Miss New Jersey, professional actress and director Erica Harr. The talent contest is open to non-professional contestants ages 3 to 18 divided into two age categories. For contest details and to register visit: https://mainstage.org/pumpkin-festival/contests/ Prizes vary.
COSTUME PARADE (sponsored by Gloucester Township Pine Hill Rotary) – Children 12 or younger are welcome to participate in one of the two costume parades at the Blackwood Pumpkin Festival on Sunday, Oct. 2 (rain date: Sunday, Oct. 9). The parades are scheduled for 11:30 and 1:15 on the stage next to the rides in the purple zone. Please sign in at the Mainstage Information Booth near the stage 10 minutes before the contest. Winners will be announced immediately following each parade. Prizes vary.
PET PARADE – Dress your pet up and enter them into one of the two pet parades at the Blackwood Pumpkin Festival Sunday, Oct. 2 (rain date: Sunday, Oct. 9). The parades are scheduled for 11:30 and 1:15 on the stage next to the rides in the purple zone. Please sign in at the Mainstage Information Booth near the stage 10 minutes before the contest begins. Winners will be announced immediately following each parade. Prizes vary
PUMPKIN CARVING/DECORATING CONTEST – (sponsored by Rahn Lawn & Landscape) 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 age limit or 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). The contest will begin at 12:00 pm with the second at 2:00 pm on Sunday, Oct. 2 (rain date: Oct. 9). Winners will be announced at 3:00 pm at the stage in the studio and library parking lot. Prizes vary.
In addition to the primary sponsors listed above, the Pumpkin Festival sponsors include: Lamp Post Diner, Meadows Diner, Ryan Bansky Expert Tree Service, 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.