Spring festival returns after 2020 cancelation

Mask wearing and social distancing will be enforced

History will come to life once again at the annual Gloucester County Spring Festival. After a cancelation due to COVID last year, the event returns from noon to 4 p.m. on April 24 at Red Bank Battlefield in National Park.

“The Gloucester County Spring Festival began three years ago as a fun way to educate individuals about the life of Colonial America,” Board of Commissioners Director Robert Damminger said in a statement to The Sun.

Red Bank Battlefield in National Park is home to Whitall House, which served as a field hospital during an attack by Col. Christopher Green’s Rhode Island Regiment against Hessian soldiers in October of 1777. Hundreds of Hessian soldiers lost their lives that day and were buried just north of the property.

The spring festival brings together history buffs from all over the county – and beyond – and helps participants travel back in time to the 18th century. Attendees can take part in hands-on activities that include candle making, hearth cooking and colonial children’s games.

There will also be the following live demonstrations:

• Clothes, clothes, clothes: How does flax turn into a linen apron? How does wool become a pair of trousers? Explore colonial clothing. Noon.

• Sheep shearing: 1 and 2 p.m.

• Get the Buzz on Bees: 2:30 p.m.

• Uncovering Myths: Peel back the layers of myth and legend in colonial history: 3 p.m.

“In 2020, we missed the spring festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Damminger. “This year, it’s back to kick off our spring and summer programming at the parks … This is always a well-attended, fan-favorite event in Gloucester County and we look forward to seeing our history fanatics back at the park.”

The festival is sponsored by the Gloucester County Cultural and Heritage Commission at Rowan College at Gloucester County, a partner of the New Jersey Historical Commission.

“We can’t wait to welcome visitors back to our parks,” Commissioner Jim Lavender, liaison to the Department of Parks and Recreations, said in a press release. “The spring festival truly takes visitors back in time to experience what it was like living during the 1800s.”

COVID guidelines will be enforced, including masks and social distancing.

Red Bank Battlefield is located at 100 Hessian Ave., National Park. To learn more, visit www.gloucestercountynj.gov or call (856) 307-6456.