Lambertville offers 21st annual Shad Festival

Trenton Titans to make appearance this weekend.

By: Carl Reader
   LAMBERTVILLE — Familiar booths and local entertainers will be at the 21st annual Shad Festival this weekend, but a new children’s hockey contest may draw even more families than ever before.
   "The newest thing is the Trenton Titans are involved with us this year," said Shad Festival Chairman Steve Stegman, also a city councilman. "That’s one of their promotional campaigns. They’re going to be here with their mascots, Clash and Rivet."
   The local ice hockey heroes will do more than just meet and greet the crowd. There also will be an event where aspiring hockey heroes can strut their stuff.
   "They (the Titans) have a hockey goal contest for the kids," Mr. Stegman said. "Generally, when we put new things in the festival, they’re kid-oriented."
   The Titans will be in town at the North Union Street parking lot both Saturday and Sunday. The festival runs from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. both days, according to Mr. Stegman. Admission is free.
   New Jersey Lottery will be a sponsor both days, and the entertainment will be provided by some familiar faces. The food booths open at 12:30 Saturday, along with arts and crafts, children’s activities and the poster displays. The West Amwell School stage band plays from 1 to 1:30 p.m., and the historic walking tour also begins at 1 p.m. as does the shad hauling display. The River City Ballet goes on at 1:30 p.m.
   On Sunday, there will be demonstration by Reynolds Karate Academy at 12:30 p.m. and music from several different bands.
   "We like to involve a lot of the local groups in the entertainment aspect of it," Mr. Stegman said.
   Aside from entertainment, the festival will provide insight into what makes the celebration possible — the river and the surrounding environment.
   "As part of our continuing focus on the health and vitality of the Delaware, we have the Delaware Riverkeeper," Mr. Stegman said.
   The Delaware River Basin Commission will give a demonstration on Lewis Island about taking "water snapshots" to show the quality of the water. Children will also be taught how to test their water at home.
   "The demonstration will show where the water comes from and why it’s important to keep streams and rivers clean," Mr. Stegman said.
   Officials also will discuss why Lambertville and the region have come back to better environmental health.
   That concern is why last year’s festival won the 2001 New Jersey Governor’s Conference Eco-Tourism Award as the best event in the state touting the environment. There were more than 30 entrants competing for the award, according to Mr. Stegman.
   Then, of course, there’s the shad. In the river and out, it’s what gives the festival its flavor and will be offered up in several ways at several different food booths throughout the weekend.
   Maps showing where each event is and at what time will be available at the festival.