Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Shad Fest: Not Just About Fish

By Brianne Harrison

There aren’t too many towns (at least not in the mid-Atlantic region) that hold a whole two-day festival to celebrate one fish, but every year the picturesque town of Lambertville does just that when they hold the Shad Fest. This year’s to do is taking place April 25 and 26.

The Shad Fest has been a staple of the town’s calendar since 1981 and celebrates the annual return of the shad up the Delaware River. When the Fest was founded, the fish’s return was something of a miracle—pollution in the river decimated the Shad population, but tighter environmental laws and state and local initiatives cleaned up the Delaware and the Shad came back.

The Shad Fest is about more than just fish (although there’s plenty of it). Local chefs show off their skills, businesses throw open their doors, musicians play, and the streets become galleries, with local artists and artisans displaying their wares. This year, you can also grab a copy of the first-ever reprint of the 1982 Shad Fest Cookbook, featuring recipes from local chefs and residents. Take in one of the historic shad fishing demonstrations or bid on a poster by a local artist for the Sunday Shad Festival Scholarship Poster Auction. There will be rides, face painting, and sand art for kids as well as wine and beer tasting and cooking demonstrations for the parents.

Shad Fest will be held rain or shine in downtown Lambertville from 12:30 to 5:30

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