April is World Autism Month, and Fanwood, NJ, is gearing up for its annual Rockin’ For Autism festival on Sunday, April 28.

Rockin’ for Autism is the brainchild of 17-year-old Fanwood resident Mallory Banks, who since 2011 has raised more than $52,000 in honor of her brother, Ethan. In 2018, Rockin’ For Autism was named the top autism awareness fundraiser for Autism New Jersey.

The music festival will feature some serious eats by food trucks and local restaurants including The Empanada Guy, Amanda Bananas, Thai Elephant, The Juice House, Custom Cakes by Kristen, Taxi Cab BurgerNick’s Pizza, a beer garden and raw bar hosted by Sheelen’s Crossing, plus popcorn, cotton candy, shaved ice and lemonade vendors, the annual Rockin’ For Autism bake sale and more.

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While you’re digging in, enjoy performances by 12 local bands and performers, headlined by Bruce Springsteen tribute band The BStreetBand. Other bands and soloists appearing in the festival include Eric Harrison, Sami Gootman, Armada, Jammin’ Jenn, Gradient, Patrick Bamburak, The Golden Dimes, Leave The Gun, Matt Levine, Three Piece Nugget and the Bryan Hansen Band.

Among the activities at the event will be Child’s Play Challenge Courses, a soccer clinic with the Scotch Plains-Fanwood girls’ varsity soccer team, a basketball clinic with Wolves Basketball Academy and a skateboard experience with A-Skates — all of which are suited for children on the autism spectrum.

Kids can meet the Caped Crusader and other “Super Friends,” a stilt-walking balloon artist, therapy dogs from Creature Comfort Pet Therapy and more.

A “Chill Zone” quiet room will provide respite for those in need of a low-stimulation environment.  

The event will also feature dozens of prizes in its massive merchant tricky tray raffle and silent auction, plus a boulevard of local merchants and vendors.

If you go:

Rockin’ for Autism is scheduled for Sunday, April 28, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at La Grande Park in Fanwood, 200 La Grande Ave., in Fanwood, NJ.

Learn more at Rockin4Autism.org.

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