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 fourth year, the festival will spotlight more than 20 area food trucks, two live bands, and local restaurant specials as well as a craft beer garden featuring a wide-ranging collection of local craft brews.

“The Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival is 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 the event has climbed steadily, reaching a total of an estimated 5,000 in 2016. “We expect an even larger crowd this year, and our truck lineup will reflect that,” Zacker said. “We’ll be showcasing the largest number of food trucks in our history, with offerings featuring 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 a great selection of NJ craft beers, 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 25 local NJ craft beers, as well as the Gaslight’s own locally-brewed selections.

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Food and drink are only part of the festivities. This year’s festival continues the tradition of live music on Irvington Avenue, with two local bands — Bullshark and Flip da Skrip — as well as a DJ entertaining participants. In addition, Seton Village neighbors and friends 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 Premium sponsor Seton Hall University’s Seton Hall Weekend, with an appearance by the Seton Hall Pirate. “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 a number of local businesses and organizations as sponsors. Premiere sponsor CheeZen is a newcomer to the sponsorship lineup, but a familiar sight to the thousands of festivalgoers who have patronized the gourmet food truck’s specialty grilled cheese creations over the past few years. Returning to the festival is Premium sponsor Natalie Farrell, the number one agent in Maplewood’s Weichert Realtor office and a top performer in the state of NJ as well as a Seton Village resident. Also back on board is Supporting sponsor interACT Theater Productions, a non-profit organization that brings theater for all ages to the community from its home space at South Orange’s Baird Center. Popular South Orange grocery Stop & Shop rounds out the Supporting sponsor lineup.

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 Avenue on Friday, October 20 between 2 p.m. and 11 p.m., and detours will be set up to redirect traffic. The event is from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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 Gaslight Brewery, Premiere Sponsor CheeZen Gourmet Grilled Cheese Truck, Premium Sponsors Natalie Farrell of Weichert Realtors and Seton Hall University, and Supporting Sponsors interACT Theater Productions and Stop & Shop.

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 http://www.facebook.com/SetonVillageSO.