The Arts and Crafts Festival, organized by Downtown Toms River, and the Toms River Food Fest were the same day last year but blocks apart, with one on Washington Street and the other at Huddy Park.
This year, the converge as seamless neighbors. The Arts and Crafts will be closer to Main Street, and the Food Festival will line Washington Street.
The Food Festival, organized by Toms River Township and the Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, will feature unique food vendors, including local restaurants and specialty food carts.
The Arts Festival brings out local craftspeople and artists, their booths featuring such items as handmade jewelry and fine art. It's a juried event where vendors were screened to make sure they would be selling their own unique art or crafts, said Jody Allesandrine, the Executive Director of Downtown Toms River.
With the downtown parking garage on Robbins undergoing , the garage is primarily open to some vendors to park there for the day. The general public should park in the Irons Street and West Water Street lots, near the post office.
From there it's a walk about two blocks to the twin festivals, taking either Water Street to Main or walking through the muraled pass between Irons and Main Street by the bank. There's also the county parking garage behind the Administration Building on Hooper Avenue.
The Food Festival is the successor to Toms River's Founders Day festival. The format of the event switched to a food fest.
You could grab hot popcorn at one cart, slurp a pint of sasparilla soda at another, enjoy a dozen freshly steamed clams from another vendor and top it off with a miniature tiramisu from a dessert cart.
Organizers have also planned some children's amusements and live performances along Washington Street.
One of the more popular vendors is , who again are overseeing the beer tent. The sale and consumption of alcohol is only permitted inside a designated area of the festival to those with proper identification. The tent serves as a fundraiser to the volunteer fire company.
The events are from noon to 9 p.m.
Road closures and detours are expected from 11 to 9 p.m. downtown.