Lambertville residents hosted the first Shad Fest in 1981 to highlight the local art scene. The Shad Fest tradition was born as spring blossomed, the shad made their way upriver, and the locals strolled through town enjoying the arts and crafts of their friends and neighbors.
Fast forward to 2014: Shad Fest has grown from a local event to an award-winning tourist attraction. It takes place April 26 and 27, 12:30-5:30 p.m. each day, and there’s no fee for admission.
What is a shad?
The American Shad is the biggest fish in the herring family. Every spring, shad migrate from salt water to fresh water to reproduce. Fishermen call this the “annual spring shad run.”
What’s the best way to eat shad?
Chefs prepare shad in a variety of ways. A lot of people like it smoked. One of the best local shad recipes is from Paul Eschallier of Bell’s Tavern: Shad & Shrimp Fritters. Jim Hamilton, Lambertville Station and others have incredible variations.
What if I don’t like fish?
No worries, Shad Fest welcomes lovers of all foods. There are so many things to do, see and eat at Shad Fest; you’ll love it whether you like fish or not. Spend some time exploring the Lambertville Chamber page on Shad Fest to plan your perfect day!
Is there a rain date?
The fun doesn’t stop in Lambertville due to a few rain drops. Shad Fest takes place rain or shine. Be sure you dress for the weather.
Where do I park?
Sections of Lambertville’s main streets will be closed for the festival, and parking spaces fill in the morning. Follow the parking signs to the Shad Fest lot and park for the entire day for $10. Shuttle buses will transport you to the festival from the lot located at the ESC School West Amwell Campus, 1422 Route 179, Lambertville. Proceeds benefit the Lambertville – New Hope Rotary.
Another great place to park is at New Hope-Solebury High School on West Bridge Street, just a couple of blocks up from Main Street. Proceeds benefit school activities.
Top 5 Ways to Enjoy Shad Fest (according to ShadFest.com)
Honor the roots of Shad Fest by purchasing local arts and crafts. Be sure to stop by the Poster Display and Auction where local artists donate original poster designs for auction to fund scholarships for local students heading to college to study art. There’s also local art at Lambertville Hall on Bridge Street.
Shad Fest has lots of ways for families to join in the fun. The Kids’ Bazaar in the North Union parking lot gives kids of all ages the chance to create their own arts and crafts, from making candles to printing T-shirts. Check out the Shad hauling demonstrations…
Local non-profits use Shad Fest as a venue to raise awareness and funds to support their important missions. Learn about animal rescue groups like Tabby’s Place, the Setter Rescue and the Peaceful Mountain Horse rescue.
Live music fills the air at Shad Fest. Acts ranging from rock to country & western to blues and funk perform. Click here for the concert schedule.
Shad Fest delights all five senses with local culinary specialties. Come hungry and expect intense satisfaction. Scope the Food Court early to plot your eating course for the day. There you’ll find the Bell’s Tavern Shad and Shrimp fritters, festival staples like hotdogs and Triumph Brewery’s pulled pork and beer. Other favorites are Jim Hamilton’s shad cooking demo, and shadwiches from the Inn at Lambertville Station.
Shad Fest Vendors
Tasselled Totes www.tasselledtotes.com
Diane Chapman – Distinctive Designs by Diane (Scarves)
Lori Curtis – Babies n Bows
Cynthia Farina www.mimiandwillow.com
Kerry Klinger www.dellashatbox.com
Val Sivilli, Civilian www.civilianart.com
For The Home
The Bow Knife www.thebowknife.com
Dung Luu www.handmadesilkjewelry.com
Pam Cutler www.pamcutlerdesigns.com
Tracey Lemer www.sparkleandsplendor.com
Steven Manning www.silverwareart.com
Clare Marshall www.bracelets23.com
Robin Miller www.argeebargeedesigns.com
Kim O’Hara www.kimoharaclaydesigns.com
Kristi Payton www.paytonjewelrydesign.com
Tonya Perri www.tonyalov.com
Col de Mar www.coldemar.com
Celtic Hearths www.celtichearths.com
Anneliese Honsinger Pet Bandanas
Timothy Robson www.meandmydogpetbakery.com
Marjorie Samero Step by Stepping Stones
Lanelle Gallagher – Face Painting
Herbertsville Honey www.herbertsvillehoney.com
Charlie Keifrider -Children’s Games and Activities
Craig Ferrante – Children’s Amusements
Ampersand Projects www.ampersandprojects.com
The Bucks County Herald www.buckscountyherald.com
Bucks County River Country www.rivercountry.net
Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty SPONSOR www.callawayhenderson.com
River Valley Landscape Design
River Valley Realty www.rivervalleyrealtynj.com
River’s Edge Chiropractic www.riversedgechiropractic.com
East End Foodies Specialty Vinegars and Finishing Oils
Freszy’s Concessions – Sour Tails Imported Licorice
Giuseppe’s Italian Ice
Kath’s Catering Watermelon
Maggie Moo’s Ice Cream
The Nutty Bavarian
Papa’s Kettle Korn
The Philly Pretzel Factory
Sandy’s LLC – Desserts and Cupcakes
NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS/SCHOOL GROUPS
Bucks County Playhouse www.bcptheater.org
Delaware River Basin Commission www.drbc.state.nj.us
Delaware River Shad Fisherman’s Association
Delaware River Steamboat Floating Classroom S.P.L.A.S.H.
FACT of Bucks County www.factbuckscounty.org
Fisherman’s Mark -Lambertville Academy
Friends of SHRHS Robotics
HART Commuter Information (Sat. only)
Lambertville Area Education Foundation www.laefforthekids.org
Lambertville Environmental Commission (Sun. only)
Lambertville Historical Society www.lambertvillehistoricalsociety.org
Make Peace With Animals Greyhound Rescue
Meals on Wheels of Hunterdon County
New Hope Celebrates www.newhopecelebrates.com
SHRHS Class of 2016