The festival will take place from July 23 to July 28, starting at 6 p.m.
The 30th annual Pine Barrens Festival will be taking place July 23–28 at the Church of the Holy Eucharist in Tabernacle for six nights of entertainment and appreciation of the community.
The festival will be open from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. from Monday through Thursday, and 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.
After 30 years of perfecting the festival, there will be plenty of activities for people of all ages to enjoy. There will be games, rides, live music, dancing, food, a beer garden and more.
Gary Williams, a member of the church who has been volunteering at the festival with his wife, Ingrid, for the majority of its years, said, “It just really brings a lot of people together, we’re all working towards a common cause. It’s a lot of work but when it’s done everybody goes ‘wow, that was pretty cool.’”
Each night of the festival will feature one town to recognize for its support and involvement in the community. There will also be awards given to selected town residents, chosen by each township, who have made a positive impact on the community.
Opening night’s “Town Night” will be for Medford; Tuesday will be for Chatsworth Woodland; Wednesday will be for Medford Lakes; Thursday will be for Vincentown/Southampton; Friday will be for Indian Mills/Shamong; and Saturday will recognize Tabernacle.
Each year, an award also is given to a company or a person who epitomizes the genuine hometown feel of the Pine Barrens. This year, the Russo family will be honored for their many years of support in all surrounding towns through Russo’s Farm Market.
“They respect the land, they love the land, they’re willing to share their produce and plants,” Williams said. “They have been such a tremendous part of supporting all kinds of things like sponsoring Little League teams and giving donations.”
There is no cost to attend the festival; however, ticket purchases for rides can be made in advance at Russo’s Farm Market and at the church after weekend masses, at a cost of $25 in advance and $30 at the festival. Super 50/50 tickets will also be available for $5 each. All proceeds support the church.
Approximately 400 volunteers are needed to have the festival run smoothly, as thousands of festival-goers attend nightly.
“We have such a wonderful bunch of people who are so willing to lend their time and talent to make this thing run. That’s probably the greatest compliment I can give to everybody that comes out, whether they work for a half an hour or seven weeks,” Williams said. “They’re all just giving a little bit of themselves and that’s what makes it all work.”
For more information or to volunteer, visit www.holyeucharist.org/pine-barrens-festival