by Liz Johnson
Fall is arguably the most beautiful season in Hunterdon County – bookmark this handy guide to help you experience, taste, celebrate all things autumnal!
Where: Downtown Frenchtown
When: Sunday, September 2nd, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Ecology flags line Bridge and Race streets as Frenchtown holds its annual celebration of life along the Delaware. Art, activities, performance stages, paper boat races, food, and Vikings.
Flemington Opa! Festival
Where: St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church, 85 Voorhees Corner Road, Flemington.
When: Friday, September 7th, 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, September 8th, noon-10 p.m.; Sunday, September 9th, noon-7 p.m.
A three-time Hunterdon Happening Best Foodie Event winner, this family cultural event features authentic Greek food and taverna. There will be amusements, games, children’s activities, Greek folk dancing and Greek music. An international marketplace offers jewelry, home decor, fine art, home improvement, toys, and Greek imports. Parking is free. Suggested entrance donation is $2 for adults and children over 12.
24th Annual Sheep & Fiber Festival
Where: Hunterdon County Fairgrounds in Lambertville
When: Saturday, September 8th, 9 a.m.—5 p.m. & Sunday, September 9th, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
This event is hosted by a fun, non-profit, educational organization promoting sheep and wool products throughout New Jersey.
The Great Big Race
Where: Prallsville Mill, 33 Risler Street, Stockton, NJ
When: Saturday, September 8th, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Boasting more than two football fields long of huge inflatable obstacles and water slides, people of all ages will run, jump, slide, dash, splash and race their way through the greatest and biggest wet and wild obstacle course of their lives. Proceeds benefit Ely Park. Visit thegreatbigrace.com for more information.
The Annual Patriots Ceremony
Where: Clinton House on Old Hwy 22
When: Tuesday, September 11th, 8 a.m.
The Annual Patriots Ceremony takes place at Patriots Point in Clinton in front of the Clinton House on Old Hwy 22. The one-hour ceremony begins promptly at 8 a.m., with addresses from each of the town’s first-responder units, as well as veterans organizations and public officials. A minute of silence will be observed with the Nation at 8:46 a.m.
Where: Downtown Milford
When: Saturday, September 22nd, noon-5:30 p.m.
Hosted by the Milford Merchants Association, the Happening List winning event features street music, art, food, crafts, a wacky “bed race,” puppet show, duck race and topping it off – fireworks. Celebrate the history, culture and promise of this quaint Delaware River town in Milford, NJ. For more information visit milfordalive.com.
Tewksbury Harvest Festival
Where: Christie Hoffman Park- 108 Fairmount Road West, Califon NJ 07830
When: Saturday, September 22nd, from noon to 5 p.m.
The Tewksbury Harvest Festival is a longstanding event that usually draws upwards of 2,000 visitors. Patrons pay $20 per carload, which includes hot air balloon rides, pony rides, hayrides, petting zoo, live entertainment, children’s crafts, exhibitions, classic car show, free snacks and the handmade craft show. Proceeds benefit Tewksbury First Aid and Rescue Squad and the Friends of the Tewksbury Library.
Fall Nature Club for Kids
Where: Echo Hill Park 42 Lilac Drive, Lebanon
When: Tuesdays, September 11th to October 30th
Session A Time: 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. (3 to 5 year olds)
Session B Time: 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. (3 to 5 year olds)
Session C Time: 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (kindergarten – third grade)
Park Naturalist Laura Kroon Bush guides children on hikes to discover the diverse field, forest, and pond habitats at Echo Hill. Other hands-on activities include science experiments, field games, and take-home craft projects. Children will sharpen attention to details such as colors, shapes, textures, and the sounds of nature. Old clothes and sneakers/boots that can get dirty are recommended, as Nature Club meets rain or shine. $90 for all 8 lessons
Popcorn Nation Harvest Festival
Where: Edgewood Farm, 125 Cole Road, Flemington
When: Saturday, October 13, noon – 6 p.m.
Featuring a corn maze, hayrides, food trucks and live music headlined by C.C. Coletti. Proceeds will benefit the Shannon Daley Memorial Fund, the Pink Ladies, and local agricultural programs. For more information visit popcornnationfest.com
Harvest Food Truck & Wine Festival
Where: Alba Vineyard
When: Saturday, October 20th & Sunday, October 21st, noon – 5 p.m.
Enjoy the music of the VooDUDES while overlooking fall foliage. Admission includes entrance to the event, parking, and music. $10 for adults 21and older, $5 ages 13-20, children 12 and under are free. Wine tastings are available for an additional $10 per person, 21 and older.
16th Annual Touch A Truck Day
When: Saturday, November 3rd, 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Deer Path Park, 120 West Woodschurch Road, Flemington
Described as a parade that stands still, more than 40 dump trucks, fire trucks, ambulances, police cars, and military jeeps are parked so kids of all ages can get a close-up look. Sponsored by Hunterdon County Division of Parks and Recreation, the event is free with no pre-registration required; however, donations are appreciated to help defray costs. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
The residents of Lambertville never disappoint when it comes to Halloween decorations!
The Red Mill Haunted Village
Where: Red Mill Museum Village, Inc. 56 Main Street, Clinton
When: The 28th annual Haunted Village will take place at the historic Red Mill Museum Village in Clinton, New Jersey. Performances take place during weekends in October. For times and schedule, go to www.redmillhauntedvillage.org.
Where: 116 South Branch Rd, Hillsborough, NJ 08844
When: Friday, September 28th through Sunday, October 28th
Scare Farm, in nearby Hillsborough, has three haunted attractions, Creepy Hallow, The Slay Ride, and Paranoia and a not-so-scary corn maze to ensure Halloween fun for the whole family.
Pumpkin Picking and Frightfest
Where: Schaefer Farms 1051 County Route 523, Flemington NJ 08822
When: Beginning in late September and running through October. Check out www.schaeferfarms.com for details.
During the day, enjoy a scenic hayride to through 40 acres of homegrown pumpkins, free with the purchase of a pumpkin. At night ride, walk, then run through 200 acres of fright and horror, including a Massacre Maze and Carnival of Chaos.
Arts & Culture
34th Annual Flemington Main Street Craft Fair
Where:75 Main Street, Flemington, NJ
When: Saturday, August 25th 9 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
Annual Flemington Craft Fair features 60 crafters and artisans lining Main Street offering jams and jellies, paintings, quilts, jewelry, pottery and handmade furniture. Street music provided all day by the Hunterdon Harmonizers, the event sponsors.
Flemington Car Show
Where: 75 Main Street, Flemington
When: Saturday, September 1st, 5:30 p.m.-8:30 pm.
The Flemington Car Show will feature military vehicles and first responder trucks. Entertainment includes a DJ, face painting, and live bands. For more information, visit www.flemingtoncarshows.com
4th Annual Califon Classic Car Show
Where: Califon Island Park, Bank Street, Califon
When: Saturday, September 8th, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Featuring stock cars, muscle cars, and trucks, the annual Califon Classic Car Show is a fundraiser benefitting U.S. military veterans. Proceeds will be used to purchase five flag poles for Califon Island Park, each bearing the flag of a branch of the military.
The Central Jersey Jazz Fest
Where: 75 Main Street, Flemington, NJ
When: Friday, September 14th 6 p.m.-10 p.m.
Lakecia Benjamin, Sachal Vasandani and Dave Stryker headline the Central Jersey Jazz Festival which kicks off in Flemington on Friday night. Other venues include Monument Square in downtown New Brunswick with Saturday performances from 1 p.m.-6 p.m. and the Somerset County Courthouse Lawn on Sunday with performances from 1 p.m.- 6 p.m. For more information, visit centraljerseyjazzfestival.com.
Hunterdon Art Museum Fall Exhibitions
When: Sunday, September 23th, 2018-January 6, 2019
Where: Hunterdon Art Museum, 7 Lower Center St., Clinton
Hunterdon Art Museum’s fall exhibits include:
Lace, not Lace: Contemporary Fiber Art from Lacemaking Techniques, curated by Devon Thein, showcasing the work of more than 20 contemporary fiber artists expanding traditional boundaries and creating exciting work that investigates contemporary themes, materials, and forms.
Photographer Walter Chandoha, curated by Ellen Siegel. Chandoha, whose career spans seven decades, captures breathtaking images from cats to New York City street scenes from the late 1940s and early 1950s, as well as his popular garden photography. For more information visit hunterdonartmuseum.org.
Food & Drink
Stangl Farmer’s Market
Where: Mine Street and Stangl Road, Flemington
When: Every Saturday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The Stangl Factory hosts an indoor, year-round farmers’ market featuring more than 30 artisanal vendors, including locally-grown vegetables, grass-fed meats, artisan breads and cheeses, pastured eggs, specialty prepared foods and desserts. There’s also a selection of crafts, including handmade baskets, turned wood, soaps and bath products and handspun yarn.
Hunterdon Land Trust’s 22nd Farm to Table Gala
Where: Beaver Brook Country Club, 25 Country Club Road, Annandale
When: Sunday, September 30th at 5 p.m.
This year’s event features a full-course dinner prepared by Chef Matt McPherson of Matt’s Red Rooster Grill, Ronald Rittenhouse of Basil Bandwagon Natural Market and Susan Peterson of Teaberry’s Tea Room. Tickets cost $150 each. Proceeds benefit the Hunterdon Land Trust.
3rd Annual Hot Sauce Festival at Schaefer Farms
Where: 1051 County Rd 523, Flemington, NJ 08822
When: Saturday, September 22, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday, September 23, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
This event has something for everyone: Hot sauce eating contest, pumpkin patch hayrides, salsa making contest, hot pop lick-a-thon, corn and hay mazes, hot spiked sweet corn eating contest, daisy belle bounce house, laser tag shooting gallery, corn cannons and more. $10 per carload. Visit saucetoberfest.com
Califon 5th Annual Street Fair
Where: Borough of Califon
When: Sunday, October 14th, from noon -4 p.m.
As the borough celebrates its centennial, this year’s street fair will feature live music on two different stages by the Woodford Brothers Band and Pepperville, a beer garden sponsored by the Califon Fire Department., pumpkin painting, face painting and a bounce house sponsored by the Califon Recreation Committee.
Health & Wellness
8th Annual RTFC 9/11 Firefighter Stairclimb
Where: Hunterdon Medical Center (Parking Garage) 2100 Wescott Drive, Flemington
When: Sunday, September 9th, 8 a.m. – noon
Hosted by the Raritan Township Fire Company and Hunterdon Medical Center, the annual 9/11 Stairclimb honors the fallen on 9/11/01. The challenge mimics the number of stairs that New York City firefighters climbed in the World Trade Center prior to the towers’ collapse. The strenuous climb takes approximately 1.5 hours. Light snacks and drinks are provided. The event is open to the public with firefighter registration honored first, maxing out at 343 climbers. Proceeds benefit the FeelGood Foundation.
Vibha 5k Walk/Run
Where: Skillman Park Main Blvd, Skillman
When: Saturday, September 15, 9 a.m.– 10:30 a.m.
This is the second year of this 5K walk/run in Skillman Park. Proceeds benefit Vibha, CHOP and the Bag Project. Music, post-race snacks and awards are provided. For more information, visit vibha.org or nj-nyc.vibha.org.
Main Street Half Marathon of Hunterdon
Where: Main Street Clinton to Main Street Flemington
When: Sunday, October 7, 8 a.m.
This inaugural event links two favorite Hunterdon County main streets, starting in Clinton and ending in Flemington. For more information, visit www.mainstreetmarathon.com, where training programs and challenges can be found. Swag included.
Girls On The Run of Hunterdon, Bucks, and Warren Counties 5K
Where: New Hope Upper Elementary School, 186 West Bridge Street, New Hope, PA
When: Saturday, November 17th, 8 a.m. – noon
GOTR inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident through running. Training groups are encouraged to form prior to the race, which begins at 10 a.m. For more information visit gotrhunterdon.org.
Thanksgiving Day Two Towns Turkey Trot
Where: Lambertville Station, 11 Bridge Street, Lambertville
When: Thursday, November 22nd, at 8 a.m.
Before you sit down to your Thanksgiving feast this year, work off some pre-dinner calories by running or walking the Two Town Turkey Trot which traverses New Hope and Lambertville. For more information, go to delawarerivertowns.com/run.
26th Annual CEA Annual Turkey Trot
When: Thursday, November 22nd, 8 a.m. – noon
Where: Main Street, Flemington
Voted Best Fundraiser by Hunterdon Happenings, the CEA/Johanna Foods Turkey Trot 5K run and 2M walk has become a beloved holiday tradition. Join more than 6,000 runners and walkers on Thanksgiving morning to work up a holiday appetite. Proceeds benefit the Center for Educational Advancement which facilitates careers and employment for people with disabilities since 1970. For more information visit cea-nj.org/events/turkey-trot/.