More than 25 businesses on Main Street in the township will host the 50th annual fall festival and living history weekend on Oct. 8 and 9.
“A lot of what we do is to educate people,” said event host Hazel Dilsa. “Every business on Main Street is participating in the festival. I invited everyone. I don’t leave anybody out. It’s a free community event to celebrate everything in a town I called home for 22 years.
“Last year, we had 4,000 people show up on Saturday,” she added. “I am hoping for around the same amount for this year, too. We’ll have food trucks, live music, photo spots, face painting, a bounce house and a Civil War skirmish.”
Though the Mullica Hill fall festival is not a township sponsored event, Mayor Louis Manzo has been helping Dilsa with the event, primarily with setting up banners.
“We totally support Hazel,” he said. “And we will be on the street at various points throughout the weekend taking it all in.”
Dilsa said sponsors for the festival include Brew x Bread; Blueplate; Orchard View at Mullica Hill; Mademoiselle Macaron; J and J Mechanical Heating and Cooling; and Hoagland Oil, Heating and Cooling.
Businesses on Main Street will host their own events to celebrate certain milestones. Annie’s Cranny, a clothing boutique, will mark reopening on the weekend. Brew x Bread, a coffee and wine shop, will have both a special menu exclusive to the fall festival and live music.
A highlight of the festival is Mullica Hill’s living history weekend. It is dedicated to the Civil War and will feature a battle reenactment, along with a look at the Union and the Confederacy. The latter is part of a ghastly tales tour where people can learn what life was like for a soldier in that war, including medical practices of the time like amputation. Tickets for the tour are $6 each.
“Those involved are descendants of Civil War veterans,” said Dilsa. “Many Union fighters were from Mullica Hill.”
One of them was 1st Lt. James S. Stratton, who was born in the township in 1843, according to geni.com. He was also the son of Congressman James Taylor Stratton, who served in that role from 1850 to 1854.
Stratton volunteered for the Union in 1862, forfeiting a comfortable college lifestyle in the process. He was killed in action on Aug. 25, 1864, at the battle of Reams Station in Petersburg, Virginia. His body was recovered the following year and buried in the cemetery of Mullica Hill Baptist Church, where his tombstone can still be found today.
Festival hours for Saturday, Oct. 8, are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the following day.
Contact Farm House Design for more information and ask for Dilsa.