Sunday, May 06, 2007
Shad Fest is an annual event in Lambertville, a Jersey hamlet located right across the Delaware from New Hope, PA. It's filled with lots of small antique shops and NYC tourists who want to go to the country for the day.
We had read about Shad Fest for years, friends raved about it.... heck, it was selected as a "nationally recognized, award winning festival," we had to go! So Lucky lashed the bikes to the Saturn and off we went.
We parked by the Golden Nugget (about 2 miles away) and biked down the D&R Canal path to downtown Lambertville. Gave us a chance to use the bikes and save the $7-$15 in parking (plus the hassle of FINDING parking).
The festival itself wasn't really anything special. Some of the town's stores had special displays in the window for the festival, bands were taking turns playing from the second floor balcony of a store ala New Orleans, and there were some special events (like learning how to cook with shad roe) going on, but basically it's a typical NJ street fair. Tons of handbeaded jewelry stands using $5 earrings as a draw to look more, the typical photography of Asbury Park and Bruce Springsteen (with some stuff of Philly as well), local organization booths, deepfried Oreos, and shad... Ok, that might be a little different.
Considering it IS called ShadFest, there were about three places making shadchowder. We tried the River House Brewery's version of it... not bad for fish chowder (cream not tomato based). Part of the reason for the scarcity of shad on the festival menu is because there isn't much shad in NJ to begin with. Although finally in the last two years, there has been an increase of shad in Delaware, the shad that was in the chowders actually come from Florida.
It was a fun time, but not all that it was made out to be... it's more of something for the locals, similar to the Punkin' Chunkin' in DE. At least we didn't have to drive for hours to get there!