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Two Festivals Downtown Toms River Saturday

Arts Fest, Food Fest both line Washington Street near Hooper and Main

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.

Barry Fleckmann May 12, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Ah, yes, the Annual Chili Cook-off. I will BE there!!! I hope to see you two smarty-pants, Marynary and Barbara! Remember the movie, "Blazing Saddles?" Yes, we'll "break wind," together!!! Yee-hah!!!
piney 53 May 12, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Ken most of the towns in OC now charge for parking!! Check out Seaside Hts and Seaside Park.
Ken May 12, 2012 at 07:38 PM
piney 53... I was not talking about resort towns with amusements, boardwalks and near the beach. They have been charging for years. So name the rest of the towns that charge that are not along the beach, with amusements and voardwalks, since you say mosy towns charge I am curious which other towns besides Toms River charges? Actually a lot of towns along the beach also do not charge.
just me May 13, 2012 at 06:19 AM
I stopped by the "duel -fest" this afternoon. There seemed to be a good crowd. The weather was perfect and there were plenty of shaded areas to sit, rest and people watch. Now I'll look forward to the Chilifest next week!
John Cal September 20, 2012 at 08:56 AM
Parking?! Had to park 6 blocks away and still got a $75 ticket last year. I'm taking the family and going to the Greek Festival in Toms River this weekend. Can't wait to sink into those gyros and Greek beer! Yum... Oh yea and free parking with shuttle busses from OC College.

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