Beachcomber Fall Guide

Stafford Ready for Fall Harvest, Wine Festival

Sep 21, 2018
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Stafford Township’s Harvest and Wine Festival is a weekend-long seasonal celebration set for Oct. 13 and 14 at Manahawkin Lake Park. The event runs from noon to 5 p.m. each day, with the harvest festivities on the playground side of the park, wine on the gazebo side.

The harvest festival has hayrides, craft and food vendors, a Halloween parade and costume contest, pumpkin picking, scarecrow making, a jalapeño eating contest, inflatable rides, a car show, and more amusements for kids and families. The town’s annual Halloween parade starts at noon from the Stafford Firehouse on East Bay Avenue and proceeds to the lake, followed by the costume contest and jalapeño eating contest at 3 p.m. Admission to the hayride is a non-perishable food item that will benefit local food pantries.

Live music will fill the air, courtesy of the ’80s cover band Ridgemont High, and vendors will line the walkways through the park, while food and beverage trucks are onsite to feed and refresh the masses.

The wine festival will offer dozens of wines from nine of New Jersey’s leading wineries, as well as its own lakefront setting, craft vendors and food. Hear live music by the Pennington Station Band and Acoustic NRG.

Wineries may provide recipe ideas for warm spiced wine, or a fall specialty wine in addition to their regular offerings. The participating wineries have a good mix of sweet and dry wines, and guests will be able to find some great red wines that pair well with heartier fall/winter foods.

Free parking is available in A. Paul King Park on West Bay Avenue, which is connected to Manahawkin Lake Park by a small pedestrian bridge. On-street parking is also available in the neighborhood across the street.

Dogs are permitted, as long as they are leashed and comfortable in large crowds. The lineup of artisans, crafters and vendors includes two with dog-specific merchandise.

Tickets for the wine fest can be purchased for $12 in advance (plus handling fee) at, or $15 at the entrance. Tickets will be honored for either day of the festival, but all sales are final with no refunds.

For additional information, call 609-489-0910.

— Victoria Ford


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