Sept. 19 is officially the fourth-to-last day of summer, but Mt. Laurel residents will have a chance to get a taste of fall at Mt. Laurel Fall Festival. The annual event will be held at Laurel Acres Park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Suzanna O’Hagan from Mt. Laurel’s Parks and Recreation Department said the township expects this event to be just as big, if not bigger than festivals from prior years.
“We’re expecting at least 20,000 people,” she said.
To help accommodate the large crowd, this year’s festival will feature more entertainment, especially for families.
“We’re going to have a lot more rides,” O’Hagan said. “We do have the pony rides coming back as well.”
This year’s ride lineup will include kiddie swings, Twister, Turbo Tubs, a toddler obstacle bounce, three different inflatables, an extreme obstacle course, moon bounces and a bungee run.
The township is offering a special deal for those who want to go on rides. Children can get a ride wristband for $10 that allows them to go on as many rides as they would like for the entire length of the festival.
There will be some new entertainment for the adults as well. K9 Gunner, the Mt. Laurel Police Department’s new police K9, will make his debut to the community at fall festival, performing a demonstration at 12:30 p.m.
The police and fire departments will both have a presence at the event this year. The fire department will also perform a demonstration, and vehicles will be on hand for families to see.
The festival will include most of the same entertainment as previous years. O’Hagan said the Civil War reenactment, added to the festival for the first time last year, was popular with guests and will be back this year.
Live entertainment will also frequent the main stage throughout the day. Most of the entertainment will feature demonstrations from dance and karate schools and cheerleading squads. There will also be a few musical performances. The main stage entertainment will kick off with an opening ceremony at 11 a.m.
“The Lenape color guard and chamber choir are going to be there for the national anthem,” O’Hagan said.
The township will also have more than 100 craft vendors and approximately 20 food vendors this year. Some of the food options include churros, hot dogs, cheesesteaks, Caribbean soul food, funnel cake, kettle corn, water ice, ice cream and more.
The township was able to fill all of its vendor space about a month prior to the event. O’Hagan said local businesses showed a lot of interest in coming to the festival this year.
Prior to the festival, the township will hold a 5K run beginning at 8:30 a.m. The 5K takes place on a course winding through the Woods around the park. Runners can register on the day of the event beginning at 7:30 a.m. There will also be a children’s Fun Run beginning at 8:15 a.m.
Mt. Laurel Fall Festival is free to attend and open to the public. The rain date is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 20. For more information, contact O’Hagan at (856) 234–0001 ext. 1220.