Arts & Entertainment

Westfield to Hold 3-Day ‘AddamsFest’ Celebrating Charles Addams and His Creations This Fall

dff39f4657e0769433e0_e4ced1594c2e6ea0322d_a5cd2130492e3a3a7b87_IMG_2523.jpg
Councilwoman and AddamsFest Chairperson Dawn Mackey and Mayor Shelley Brindle work together on the three-day festival celebrating Charles Addams. Credits: Kim Forde
77d078644d17e0052f83_addamsfest.jpg
To watch a video teaser, visit www.AddamsFest.com. 
dff39f4657e0769433e0_e4ced1594c2e6ea0322d_a5cd2130492e3a3a7b87_IMG_2523.jpg

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s creepy. It’s kooky. And it’s taking over Westfield from Oct 26 to 28. AddamsFest, a town-wide celebration honoring Westfield native Charles Addams and his most famous creations, The Addams Family, will be a destination event this fall with family-friendly activities, lectures, exhibits and film screenings, the town announced Thursday.

Watch the video teaser: 

Born in 1912 and raised in Westfield, Addams was one of the country’s premier cartoonists, with his work prominently featured in The New Yorker. The Addams Family, inspired by his surroundings in Westfield, began as illustrations and grew into a television series, a live-action movie franchise and a Broadway musical. An Addams Family animated movie is expected to be released in late 2019.

Sign Up for E-News

“This festival is about pride of place, bringing the community together to celebrate something that’s uniquely ours,” Mayor Shelley Brindle said. She hopes that AddamsFest will put Westfield on the map, while at the same time encouraging a sense of community and supporting downtown businesses. If successful, it could become an annual event that grows each year.

Festival events will celebrate Addams and his penchant for the macabre. Highlights will include family-friendly activities, such as a trunk-or-treat and an Addams Family Fun Zone; lectures and exhibits featuring Addams’ work spanning his career at The New Yorker and as creator of The Addams Family; screenings of the 1991 “The Addams Family” movie and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at Westfield’s New Vision Rialto Theater; Morticia’s Masquerade Ball at The James Ward Mansion downtown; and special food and beverage events throughout the town’s restaurants.

The idea for the three-day festival came about very organically, Brindle said. She was reading the book “What I Found in 1,000 Towns” by Dar Williams. After a chapter about how a small town in Pennsylvania put itself on the map with Blobfest, she began thinking about what unique aspect of Westfield’s history could be highlighted here. Three days later, Ron MacCloskey introduced himself as a local Addams enthusiast.

(MacCloskey is interviewed in TAPinto stories about Charles Addams here and here.)

“He told me about these ideas he had and it was like a light bulb went off for me,” Brindle said.

The idea of AddamsFest instantly resonated with Councilwoman Dawn Mackey, who became the festival’s chairperson.

“Having grown up with the Addams Family, I immediately saw what this could be,” Mackey said. “I think we could get another generation excited about his work.”

Brindle spoke about the inclusivity, acceptance and diversity that are aspects of The Addams Family, and how these could be incorporated into the festival.

“You think you know Charles Addams, because you know his work,” Brindle said. “There’s a lot of dimensions to Charles Addams himself that I feel people will be fascinated to learn about.”

The festival will tap into the talents of people here in town, Brindle said, and there will be plenty of opportunities for adults and even high school and middle school students to play a role. Want to get involved AddamsFest? Email info@addamsfest.com to learn about how to become a volunteer or sponsor.

Visit the AddamsFest website at www.addamsfest.com for updates.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Westfield Family Continues ‘Summer of Kindness’ with Infant Clothing Drive

July 12, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield mom and teacher Sara Liptack is continuing her family’s “Summer of Kindess” with an infant clothing for Furniture Assist, an organization in Springfield that helps formerly homeless people, veterans, the elderly, fire victims, refugees and people fleeing domestic violence.

“I said, ‘What’s the one thing you really ...

It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You

EMOTIONAL EATING: FEEDING YOUR FEELINGS

Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

Send a Message to Nick Scutari and His Cronies: Corruption Has No Place in Union County

July 19, 2018

Dear Editor:

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption from the start.

To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million County ...

When to Dial 911: Scotch Plains Rescue Squad Tip of the Month

July 10, 2018

There are many times you should call 911. If you or someone around you is in true medical distress, such as experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pains, bleeding, possible stroke, or any other serious health issues, then 911 should be called as soon as possible. If there are wires down, fire, a crime in progress, or other dangerous conditions to people or property, call 911 ...

Pizza and Trivia at Scotch Plains Public Library on Weds, Aug. 8

July 21, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- ​On Wednesday, August 8 at 6:00 p.m., join the teen staff for a night of trivia and pizza!

Teams of four will compete to figure out who has the best musical knowledge. Questions will range from “Name that Tune” to “Who Wrote that Musical?” The winning team will receive prizes. Registration is required and will begin on Monday, July 30 at 11:00 ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_b3322a9af399ab00349f_nightsky

Mon, July 23, 8:00 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

View the Night Sky at the Scotch Plains Public ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Carousel_image_99864111416f9af936dd_dsc_2436

Wed, July 25, 6:00 PM

JCC of Central NJ, Scotch Plains

The JCC’s Barracudas Swim Team Meet the Coaches ...

Sports

Carousel_image_989b40b66144f89908a8_pizza_run

Wed, July 25, 7:00 PM

Westfield

Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza

Sports