Cherry Hill Township’s largest event, Harvest Festival, is quickly approaching. It will be held on Sunday, Oct. 20 from noon-4 p.m. at Croft Farm.
According to communications director Bridget Palmer, there will be two new features at this year’s event.
The township is asking for non-perishable food items to donate to the Food Bank of South Jersey, headquartered in Pennsauken.
“Our website has a list of our greatest needs asking everyone to bring something for the food bank,” Palmer said.
An additional feature is a pumpkin dessert contest. Residents must register for the contest on the township’s website by this Friday, Oct. 11.
“Guests are invited to bake a fresh pumpkin dessert, and we’ll have a panel of judges on site to award a winner,” Palmer said. “We’re looking forward to some of these new features to do some good in our community. I think the bake-off is going to be exciting.”
The rain-or-shine event will also feature a pumpkin patch and a farmers market, sponsored by Springdale Farms.
“Guests can buy fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs courtesy of Springdale Farms,” Palmer said.
In addition, festivalgoers can participate in pony rides, an emergency fire vehicle display, fire hose spray, Cherry Hill My Gym moon bounce, costume parade, live entertainment, balloon artists, face painting, Kid Card ID registration, information fair and take-a-photo with a fireman.
“The IDs are exactly what they sound like. The police department will be on site creating kid card IDs, so if a child gets lost, they can be identified and the correct person can be contacted,” Palmer said.
The petting zoo will also return this year.
“Last year, the pumpkin patch and petting zoo were really popular, and we’re looking forward to bringing them back,” Palmer said.
Vendors will line the property with crafts and goods for guests to purchase.
“There’s definitely something for everyone at this event,” Palmer said.
The fire department will be hosting Fire and Life Safety Day at the event.
“We partnered up with the township several years ago to get more of an impact. We felt it was better off to pair up with the township,” said Tom Shemeley, Cherry Hill fire marshal. “Some fire trucks, specialized rescue equipment on display, an antique fire truck.”
Kids will be able to spray the fire hose and small sets of firefighter gear are available to get photos taken with a firefighter.
“We’ll be handing out fire safety literature and promoting our fire safety initiative, where we will install smoke alarms in any Cherry Hill resident’s home,” Shemeley said. “No charge, no fee, no questions asked.
We’re trying to get smoke alarms installed in everyone’s home. We’re not quite there yet.”
Finally, guests can visit the art center at Croft Farm to view photographs of Cherry Hill, as it’s part of Fall into the Arts Festival, which ends Oct. 26.
“This is by far our biggest event of the year. It’s a nice way to welcome fall in this historic setting with everything that makes Cherry Hill so special,” Palmer said.
To learn more, visit CherryHill-nj.com.