Nov 03, 2017

Autumn Festivals in Monmouth County

By Ryan Edelson

Living near the Jersey Shore, most would consider Monmouth County to be a summer town. While local residents and visitors love hanging out at the beach, they equally love spending just as much time picking pumpkins and sipping hot apple cider. To bring everyone together, many communities host their own fall-related festivals, including some of the recent favorites highlighted here.

Colts Neck held their Fifth Annual Pumpkin Fest on October 9 at the beloved Delicious Orchards. The event takes place there every year on Columbus Day, a time when most people are off from school and work. Families of all ages came out to paint and decorate pumpkins, boogie to some live music, eat their fill of free food samples, and, of course, drink their weight in apple cider. If you are looking for something to do next Columbus Day, mark the date, because this is definitely an event to keep in mind.

History buff or not, Tavernfest in Shrewsbury – held this year on October 13 – is another fantastic fall festival that is traditionally hosted at the historical landmark, The Allen House. The Allen House was constructed around 1710 as a second residence for the Stillwell family of New York. Once the Stillwells had passed away, their family sold the land to Josiah Halstead, who turned it into the Blue Ball Tavern. This establishment turned out to be the most popular location in Shrewsbury. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 8, 1974. If you’re a drinker, you wouldn’t want to miss this unique annual celebration, which serves up a slew of tavern spirits, brews courtesy of Carton Brewery, and bottles courtesy of Rumson Wine & Spirits and Laird & Company. Neighbors also enjoyed a barbecue buffet arranged by Local Smoke in Red Bank. There was a chance auction, a 50/50 raffle, live music by Tom and Marianne Tucker, and tons of smiles! All proceeds of the event benefited the Monmouth County Historical Association, whose mission is to preserve, interpret, and educate the history of our county.

The Harvest Home Festival, held on September 24, took Monmouth County visitors back to the 1890s. Families took turns enjoying wagon rides, pie-eating contests, and corn husking competitions. There were tons of different games for guests to enjoy, various craft demonstrations, and “best-of” competitions for needlework, homegrown vegetables, and baked goods. The event had a terrific turnout, with guests from throughout the region flocking to Historic Longstreet Farm in Holmdel.

October 7 was the date of a ghoulish gala in Asbury Park, which hosted the 10th Annual Zombie Walk. People traveled from all over the tristate area to participate or view colorful characters dressed as zombies taking over Asbury Park. The walk began at Convention Hall, marching along the boardwalk, turning up Cookman Avenue, and ending at Main Street. This annual extravaganza brings out a unique assortment of babies, children, teenagers, adults, and seniors all dressed up in their zombie-best.

On October 15, Lincroft was home to Thompson Park Day, a five-star event that boasted a slew of entertaining autumn activities. From canoeing and golfing to food vendors and yet more zombies, there was a lot to see and enjoy. What’s a festival without a pie eating contest – or even two? The day featured one contest for kids, followed just minutes later by another one for adults. There were also pumpkin painting stations, apple cider making demos, a costume contest for dogs, and a scarecrow contest for everyone else.