BORDENTOWN – The Downtown Bordentown Association is all set to host the 32nd annual Cranberry Festival this weekend in Bordentown City.
The two-day extravaganza that is a “rain or shine event” will run each day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and feature crafters, artists and vendors offering handmade, vintage and upcycled items, as well as a food court, beer garden and live music.
The Bank of Princeton, Curaleaf, Title Evolution and Laura’s Salon in Bordentown have all provided funds to sponsor this year’s Cranberry Festival.
After being sidelined in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Downtown Bordentown Association (DBA) brought back the Cranberry Festival in fall 2021 and saw great success come from the return of one of the longest running Crafts & Arts Festivals in the state.
Cranberry Festival Director Leon Stanley said that he heard from many different craft vendors from last year’s event say they had “strong or record setting sales” from the festival.
“Last year was an absolute success,” Stanley said. “The (Cranberry Festival) is a big ritual in our town. A lot of people really wanted to come out and do things … normal.”
While working around COVID-19 restrictions last year, Stanley and the DBA found some new alternatives that he says the Cranberry Festival will continue to provide this year.
One of those changes was limiting the amount of vendors allowed to participate in the festival to only 100.
Stanley said that change gave vendors and attendees more space to spread across the downtown from Park Street to Burlington Street, making the event safer and more pleasurable for everyone.
The other change was placing a food court with a beer garden on Walnut Street to help local restaurants not have to set up tents in front of their establishments that would affect their outdoor dining services.
Stanley said that decision benefited the restaurants a lot and allowed each establishment to continue their normal lunch and dinner services, which was a “smashing success.”
The DBA will also have a stage set for live entertainment in the food court as they did last year. Twelve local musicians and acts are scheduled to perform at the two-day festival.
And just like last year, no bounce house or Kid Zone at the event to limit possible COVID-19 exposures amongst children, Stanley said.
A big question mark heading into the Cranberry Festival will be the effects of Hurricane Ian and how it will affect the event.
The weather forecast currently is predicting rain to start late Friday night and last into the early morning hours of Sunday.
Stanley said there are no plans of postponing the event and rescheduling it to a later date, adding that his crew will act accordingly with any changes that arise because of inclement weather.
“We’re just going to do the best we can,” Stanley said in regards to the weather.
For all updates on the Cranberry Festival, visit https://btowncranfest.com.