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Chatham's 46th Annual Fishawack Festival Brings Back “Strawberry Shortcake Festival” After 15 Years

The popular NASCAR racing returns for a second straight year at the Fishawack Festival Credits: TAP Chatham
There will plenty to taste at the 2017 Fishawack Festival Credits: TAP Chatham

CHATHAM, NJ - For the first time in 15 years, the Ogden Memorial Presbyterian Church will be reviving their Strawberry Shortcake Festival at the 46th Annual Fishawack Festival on Saturday, June 10th.

Members of the Ogden Memorial Church will be spending the morning of Fishawack chopping up fresh strawberries and perfecting their homemade strawberry shortcakes.The church’s goal is to bake 150 strawberry shortcakes to sell to the community from 1-3 pm.

The church will also offer two free tours of its stained glass windows from 1:30-3 pm.“The best part of it is that it’s the community that it builds amongst the citizens and the residents," Victoria Fife, Chatham Borough Council President, said.  “And the Ogden Church is bringing back the Strawberry Shortcake Festival which has been missing for almost 15 years. It’s a huge hit but it’s an undertaking for them and they’re up to it this year. We’re thrilled they’re bringing it back. Everybody loves that.”

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Fishawack will kick off at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning with the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign Race Warm Up, the pre-race event at Plaza Railroad South. Following shortly after will be Chatham’s 40th annual Jaycee’s Fishawack Race. The race has been benefiting Nonprofit Community Organizations for decades -- including the ECLC School, Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts, Chatham Emergency Squad, local scholarship funds and P.T.O.s. The race will begin with a 1-mile fun run at 9 a.m., followed by a 4-mile run at 9:30 a.m.

Also featured at the event will be a Tri-County Firematics Competition -- where visitors can practice their firefighting skills -- hosted by the Chatham Borough Volunteer Fire Department; a car show; a local art exhibit; a Kids’ Fun Zone featuring a rock climbing wall, inflatables, and an obstacle course; remote control NASCAR racing; a Great War Centennial Celebration; a taekwondo demonstration; pony rides, and a petting zoo. The evening will conclude with a Movie Under the Stars hosted at Railroad Plaza South.

"On your day-to-day, you don’t really get to talk to the neighbors on your street because you’re driving your kids, you’re going to work and nobody has time for anybody,” said Janice Piccolo, the Borough’s director of community services.

“We need to be together and I think it’s a great way to do it. It does also provide an economic stimulus for our businesses so we don’t just have our residents downtown. We hope to draw a regional crowd so they certainly will see it and then come back. It’s going to be a great day.”

There will be no shortage of dining and entertainment at this year’s Fishawack Festival. A dining pavilion held at the event’s nucleus, Railroad Plaza South, and will be bustling with hungry Fishawack participants from 10am - 4 pm. The River Grille Outdoor Pub will be providing dining and drinks from 12pm - 8pm.

Community members can enjoy dancing and impressive live performances by Dance Innovations, a community band led by Brian Conti, vocalist Jeff Webb, Kathy Byers’ Children Performance, a flute ensemble, a jazz band, the School of Rock, and finally Asbury Fever -- a Bruce Springsteen tribute band.


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