Whether you love car shows or paddle boats, live music or chili cooking, the 10th Annual Hometown Harvest Fair has something special for everyone this year.
More than 10,000 people made downtown Hightstown their destination last year, and this Saturday, Oct. 6, the fair will once again attract crowds to Hightstown’s historic business district with some old favorites and a few new attractions.
“This is a community event,” said David Babcock, the event’s chair. “The event is run by volunteers, it’s strictly to highlight the offerings of the area businesses, as well as talent in the area, and to draw people to Hightstown as a destination.”
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the fair will feature an assortment of family friendly entertainment.
The fair now features five stages in various locations. Performances begin at 10 a.m. on the Lakeside Stage with the Voices of Mount Olivet Choir.
Other performances include Ragtime Relics at 12:15 p.m. on the Lakeside Stage, a RISE fashion show at 12:30 p.m. on the Fountain Stage, the bluesy rockabilly mix of Dan Zimmerman and the Torquebillies at 1:30 p.m. on the Mercer Street Stage, and the local teen rock band Today Not Tomorrow at 2 p.m. on the Stockton Street Stage.
The Children’s Pavilion will feature Mad Science at 11:30 a.m., Magic by Dennis at 12:30 p.m., and Wings of Magic at 1:30 p.m. Kids can also enjoy a bounce house, pony rides, a petting zoo, clowns, a juggler, and kids-oriented vendors in the children’s area.
See the map and schedule of events in our image gallery for more times and locations. As part of a green initiative, the fair has added QR codes to its schedule of events so visitors can carry the itinerary around with them on their Smartphones.
Stockton Street will play host to a Pre-WWII Car show, and those interested in Post-WWII cars and motorcycles should make a stop at South Main Street. Babcock noted visitors can see a 1916 fire engine up-close on Stockton Street.
More than 250 vendors and organizations will offer their art work, hand-crafted items, health and beauty products, home, garden, and seasonal items, as well as international food.
Kids and kids-at-heart can enjoy paddle boats and a dragon boat on Peddie Lake. Sponsored by the Machestic Dragons, New Jersey's first breast cancer survivor dragon boat team, visitors can view and ride the 40-foot racing boat.
Other fair activities include a chili tasting contest, mechanical bull riding, operating model train displays, Trolley Rides, laser tag, and a Ducky Derby.
Chili judging will begin at 10:30 a.m., and categories considered include flavor, texture, consistency, and spice blend. The Elks Lodge sponsors the cook off to raise funds for its programs, including the Elks National Foundation scholarships, special children, and more. Winners will be announced at 12:30 p.m.
New this year, a Chalk Art Competition will complement the Photo Contest Exhibit in the new Artist Alley in the Wells Fargo Parking lot. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. visitors are invited to express themselves through chalk illustrations. Free chalk will be provided, and students and adults may participate.
Babcock said the Harvest Fair committee raises $20,000 annually to host the fair at no expense to the borough and to allow for most attractions to remain free.
“The whole purpose is to highlight the greater Hightstown area,” he said.
He said the fair receives major contributions from 1st Constitution Bank, CCL Labels, and the Americana Diner, and Stitches-N-Ink does all the signage.
There will be no parking allowed on the following roads and in the following lots: Main Street lot, next to and behind Tavern on the Lake; Wells Fargo lot; Stockton Street lot; Main Street and Mercer Street from Stockton Street to the Post Office; South Main Street from Ward Street to Main Street; Rogers Ave from Mercer Street to Railroad Ave; North Main Street from Franklin Street to Bank Street.
A free shuttle bus will make stops in front of the Hightstown Post Office, at Hightstown High School, on the corner of Broad Street and Franklin Street, and off-site at the East Windsor Days Inn.
Service will run approximately from 9:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.