The blueberry: so small, so delicious. New Jersey's official fruit is the belle of the ball at the annual Red, White and Blueberry Festival in Hammonton, New Jersey. Each June since 1986 southern New Jerseyans and visitors have descended by the thousands on the small farming town of Hammonton--billed as the "Blueberry Capital of the World." Festival-goers enjoy music, carnival games, festival rides and have the chance to taste the first delicious blueberries of the season.
The Jersey Blueberry
It's no wonder the focus of the Red, White and Blueberry Festival is the region's ubiquitous fruit, the blueberry. This part of New Jersey produces nearly 80 percent of the state's annual blueberry crop and New Jersey consistently ranks among the top blueberry producing states in the nation. New Jersey harvested $62.5 million of blueberries in 2010.
Arts and Crafts
The festival features vendors of homemade arts and crafts who also compete in a juried show for prizes. Artists and craftspersons submit applications for inclusion in the festival as vendors as early as April of each year. Only those selling handcrafted, original items are selected to participate and the number of artists or craftspersons was limited to 85 in 2011. The festival encourages entrants who feature or promote the blueberry in their artwork or hand-made items.
The festival always provides live music that typically features a headliner. In 2011, the Red, White and Blueberry festival featured the 1910 Fruit Gum Co. This 1960s-era popular band enjoyed million-selling records with hits that included "Simon Says," "1-2-3 Red Light" and "Indian Giver." Other musical performers include such groups as John Clark's Little Big Band, playing swing jazz and big band favorites, and a local radio personality, DJ Nicky G, spinning popular hits.
Organizers call the festival "South Jersey's Premier Family Event" and plan events to entertain those of all ages. Along with musical acts, the festival features a classic car show, a blueberry pie-eating contest and children's rides. Strolling entertainers entertain crowds with balloon sculptures, magic, juggling and stilt-walking.
The festival is typically held rain or shine. Pets are not permitted on festival grounds or in vendors' tents. Admission and parking have historically been free and the festival is usually located on the grounds of Hammonton High School, on Old Forks Road just off Route 30 (White Horse Pike). Parking is usually available at the high school as well as at Warren E. Sooy School, 601 North Fourth Street, and at Hammonton Middle School, 75 North Liberty Street.
- Hammonton Chamber of Commerce: Home
- Hammonton Chamber of Commerce: Red, White and Blueberry Festival
- Hammonton Chamber of Commerce: Red, White and Blueberry Festival: Crafters Application
- PineyPower: The Beautiful Blueberry!
- NJ Agricultural Statistics Service: Blueberry Statistics 2010
- NJ Agricultural Statistics Service: 2006 Blueberry Statistics
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