Downtown Blackwood New Jersey will come to life on Sunday, Oct. 7, as the streets around the township library are transformed into a carnival-like atmosphere for the 21st annual Blackwood Pumpkin Festival, presented by Mainstage Center for the Arts (MCA).
Each year, thousands of visitors attend the festival, which features pumpkin painting, hayrides, a costume contest/parade and talent show, food, games, live entertainment, shopping, amusement rides, a moon bounce, a petting zoo, face painting, a pumpkin-carving contest, and more. The festivities begin at 11 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m. in and around the Gloucester Township-Blackwood Rotary Public Library lot. The rain date is Sunday, Oct. 14.
Pumpkin-carving contest entrants are asked to bring already carved or decorated, field-grown pumpkins to Harwin Park, which is next to Rite Aid on the Black Horse Pike at noon and 2 p.m. Details on the costume parade, sponsored by the Garden State Discovery Museum, and talent show will be posted on the Pumpkin Festival page on the MCA website beginning next Thursday.
The day's entertainment will include performances by Mainstage Center for the Arts’ Harmony high-school show choir and Encore middle-school show choir, its School of Dance, and other local performers.
“Mainstage is honored to present this event that continues to grow each year and has become a family tradition for so many in South Jersey. This year is especially exciting for us because we’ve just relocated our headquarters to Academy Hall, right on the Black Horse Pike in the middle of the Pumpkin Festival area,” said Anne Marie Weaver, Mainstage Center for the Arts’ director of special projects.
All proceeds benefit Mainstage Center for the Arts, a nonprofit organization committed to providing affordable, quality arts education and entertainment for the South Jersey Community.
The 21st annual Pumpkin Festival is sponsored by Beneficial Bank and Elauwit Media.
In addition to Beneficial Bank and Elauwit Media, the Blackwood Pumpkin Festival is sponsored by: PNC Bank; Bowman and Co.; Mayor David Mayer and Gloucester Township Council; Comegno Law Group; Joseph W. Bowley, CPA; Castor Auto & Truck Repair; Garden State Discovery Museum; Senator Madden, Assemblyman Moriarty and Assemblywoman Mosquera; Dr. Sullivan & Dr. Turner, LLC; Gloucester Township Chamber of Commerce; Camden County Regional Chamber of Commerce; Blackwood West Development; Township of Gloucester; Camden County College; New Jersey State Council on the Arts; National Endowment for the Arts; Sign & Design; Gloucester Township-Blackwood Rotary Public Library; Rite Aid; Spacemart; Sports Specialties; Blackwood Lake Development; Chews Florist; and Preferred Party Rental.
For more information about the event or to rent a booth, call 856-227-3091 or 609-405-0306.
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.
Stacy Napolitano is Mainstage Center for the Arts' public relations professional.