HomeShamong NewsPine Barrens Festival lights up the Pinelands

Pine Barrens Festival lights up the Pinelands

For one week of the year, the darkness and quiet of the Pine Barrens are replaced with the sounds of carousels, carnival games and the aroma of home-cooked goodies. That week is rapidly approaching, as the Pine Barrens Festival will celebrate its 26th year Monday, July 21 through Saturday, July 26.

“It’s been a great success, another great community-building event,” Father Andrew Jamieson of Church of the Holy Eucharist said. “We just want everyone to turn out and enjoy a great time with their families and children, enjoy great food and great entertainment. It’s a great time.”

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The annual festival takes place on the Church of The Holy Eucharist’s property and continues to be the biggest event on the region’s calendar. Jamieson estimated between 35,000 and 40,000 visitors attended last year’s festival to enjoy the family friendly atmosphere, while supporting a good cause.

“The money goes directly to the parish and its upkeep for the year. It’s our biggest fundraiser for the church,” Jamieson said.

More than 450 volunteers donate their time to the event from both within and outside the parish.

“I’ve been here for more than 10 years,” Jamieson said. “And it’s amazing to see the generosity of the volunteers. They take vacation time to come work the festival and that’s just wonderful.”

The parish maintains all the booths, and the only part of the event run by an outside source is the rides.

“Majestic Midways continues to be great in providing the rides, and they draw a lot of people to the festival,” Jamieson said.

It’s not all funnel cakes and games as each night of the festival is dedicated to honoring a Volunteer of the Year from the different Pineland towns. Volunteers from the Pinelands communities of Medford, Chatsworth/Woodland, Medford Lakes, Vincentown/Southampton, Shamong/Indian Mills and Tabernacle will be recognized on their respective “town nights.”

“Each town nominates two people and the festival committee makes the selection of who is Volunteer of the Year,” said Mary Fischl, chairperson of the Culture and History and Nature Resources tent at the festival, in addition to organizing Volunteers of the Year. “The award is given to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the culture, history and natural resource of the Pine Barrens.”

Advance sales of ride bracelets will take place after all masses at Holy Eucharist, Saturday at 5 p.m. and Sunday at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. as well as at Russo’s Farm Market. The ride bracelets cost $25 now through July 20. During the festival, the cost will be $30 per bracelet. For more information, visit


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