Who can say that a whole town closed off its main street to celebrate a resident’s birthday?
Vita Tanimae, who turned 3 years old on Sunday, June 9, can say that. Or at least that’s what it felt like to her.
To the average person, it very well could have been the ultimate 3-year-old’s birthday party; face paintings, balloon animals and yes, even a bouncy castle.
The same goes for car-lovers, wine enthusiasts or art connoisseurs; the town closed off its main street for them, too.
For whatever reason that the thousands of visitors attended the 2019 Art, Wine & Music Festival, there seemed to be something for everyone.
“The children enjoy it,” said Paul Tanimae, Vita’s father, a Medford resident for the past 18 years, who was at the festival with his other daughter, Valencia, 5, and his wife, Val.
A record number of more than 140 wineries, artists, crafters and vendors from throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York participated in the annual event to mark the unofficial start of summer. To accommodate the growing number of participants, the Festival Committee and the township expanded the festival area to continue farther North along Main Street to Route 70.
Artists and crafters presented a broad array of paintings and pottery, handcrafted
jewelry, glass, wood and fabric crafts. Several New Jersey wineries sampled their finest
vintages and offered sealed bottles for buyers. Local bands and musicians were located on porches all throughout Main Street, offering visitors a plethora of live music from rock to pop to bluegrass and folk tunes.
Lines of visitors waited for a variety of food trucks, while others visited Main Street restaurants, including Braddock’s Tavern, The Pop Shop, ITA 101 and Harvest Coffee. Craft beer specials were on tap at Medford’s local breweries, Lower Forge Brewery and Nale House Brewing Co. Also, Main Street merchants offered festival specials, and the Medford Arts Center opened its doors, featuring special demonstrations and hands-on activities.
The event also featured The Wine N’ Shine Classic Car Show, which showcased hundreds of cars along Main Street, hosted by the Lakes Corvette Club. Sixteen members of the club acted as judges in awarding 50 trophies ranging from aesthetic to performance.
A first-time visitor, Frank Jones, travelled from Pennsylvania to place his 1930 Ford Model A in the show. He spent four years working on the car, taking it to car shows all over the area.
“It’s nice, they do a great job,” Jones, a first-time visitor, said about the festival.
Event sponsors included the Medford Business Association, Medford Art Center, ShopRite of Medford, Columbia Bank, Century 21 Alliance of Medford and Bob Meyer Communities. Picnic Area sponsors included Medford Arts Center, Medford Animal Hospital and The Frank Stiniloski Group at Keller Williams. Other sponsors included ACRE Windows, Bath Fitters, Cipriani Remodeling Solutions, J. S. Braddock Agency, LeafFilter North of PA, OceanFirst Bank, Tundidor & Weiss Investment Group, Twilight Blue Photography and Village Veterinary Hospital.