SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The Seton Village Committee will be kicking fall into high gear with the return of its highly successful Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival on Irvington Avenue. Back for its third year, the festival will spotlight at least 15 area food trucks, four live bands, and local restaurant specials as well as a craft beer garden featuring New Jersey’s largest collection of local craft brews.
“The Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival has become one of the highlights of South Orange’s calendar, and we’re thrilled at the community’s response to the event,” said Doug Zacker, chairman of the Seton Village Committee. Zacker noted that attendance at last year’s festival, which was rescheduled due to inclement weather, still topped 3,000. “We expect an even larger crowd this year, and our truck lineup will reflect that,” Zacker said. “The offerings will include everything from barbeque to tacos, cupcakes to waffles, and even international foods and farm to truck options that offer healthier alternatives.”
A craft beer garden, hosted by South Orange’s Gaslight Restaurant and Brewery, will also make a return to the festival. “Our festival features the largest selection of NJ craft beers available anywhere, so it’s a must for connoisseurs of the state’s local brews,” said Zacker. The beer garden, which will be open to adults 21 and over, will offer more than 15 local NJ craft beers, as well as the Gaslight’s own locally-brewed selections.
Food and drink are only part of the festivities. This year’s festival continues the tradition of live music on Irvington Avenue, with four local bands – Brother Valiant, Wedeya, Stuff Bros., and Flip da Skrip– entertaining participants on two different stages. A photo booth—free to all attendees—will again be sponsored by Seton Village. In addition, neighbors will be able to purchase T-shirts and magnets featuring the district’s logo.
Zacker pointed out the festival’s role as a kick-off event for premiere sponsor Seton Hall University’s Seton Hall Weekend. This year’s event will feature an appearance by the Seton Hall Pirate as well as the 2016 Big East Tournament championship trophy. “Part of the efforts of our organization are to strengthen and foster a connection between the Seton Village business district and the major university within its bounds,” Zacker explained. “What better way to familiarize students, parents, and alumni to the district than to give them a firsthand look at their new neighborhood and the local businesses they have the opportunity to patronize.”
Along with Seton Hall University, the festival is proud to welcome premiere event sponsors Natalie Farrell and Blink Fitness. Farrell, a Seton Village resident, is the number one agent in Maplewood’s Weichert Realtor office and a top performer in the state of NJ. Blink Fitness, a premium quality, value-based fitness brand with more than 60 locations, will be opening in South Orange this fall. Also on board is supporting sponsor interACT Theater Productions, a non-profit organization that brings theater for all ages to the community.
Established in January of 2014 by the South Orange Board of Trustees, the Seton Village Committee has been busy with improvements to the corridor including plantings and beautification, lighting, redevelopment studies, marketing and branding initiatives, and community events.
“The Board of Trustees saw the untapped potential on Irvington Avenue, and we’re very committed to seeing this neighborhood and business district thrive,” said South Orange Village President Sheena Collum. “We’ve got some tremendous energy coming from residents and businesses, and we’re thrilled to capitalize on all the momentum. This particular event is about bringing people to the corridor to highlight all of the positive change and celebrate the efforts of those who have put it into place.”
Residents are reminded that Irvington Avenue will be shut down between Ward Place and Tichenor on Friday, September 23 between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m., and detours will be set up to redirect traffic. All attendees are encouraged to walk to the event if possible as parking will be limited. Patrons of the craft beer garden should note that as per NJ state law, no one under the age of 21 will be permitted to enter the area; this includes children and babies of all ages.
The Seton Village Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival is produced by the Seton Village Committee in conjunction with the Village of South Orange, the South Orange Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs, and the South Orange Department of Public Works. Generous support has been provided by Premiere Sponsors Natalie Farrell of Weichert Realtors, Blink Fitness, and Seton Hall University, along with Supporting Sponsor interACT Theater Productions.
The mission of the Seton Village Committee is “To create a thriving Irvington Avenue which attracts patrons, residents and the Seton Hall University community with diverse shops and restaurants, and a safe, attractive and vibrant neighborhood.” To learn more and get involved, please visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SetonVillageSO.