Blairstown Fall Festival Returns to Footbridge Park on Oct 14th with Expanded Musical Lineup and Exhibitor Collection

Blairstown Fall Festival Returns to Footbridge Park on Oct 14th with Expanded Musical Lineup and Exhibitor Collection

  • Musical performances feature Northwest New Jersey bands: “Water Street,” “Folk Out Da Way,” and solo artist “Dani Zanoni”
  • Over 50 local craft vendors and exhibitors will showcase their offerings.

BLAIRSTOWN, N.J. – September 26, 2023 – The Blairstown Enhancement Committee (BEC) is excited to announce the return of the 2023 Blairstown Fall Festival, which includes the “Bedlam in Blairstown Bed Races”. This third annual festival is set for Saturday, October 14, at the scenic Footbridge Park. The event, running from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm regardless of weather, will see the bed races and parade commence at noon.

Attendees can immerse themselves in a lively festival ambiance with live music, a local craft beer garden, children’s activities, and a vendor fair featuring over 50 exhibitors. A diverse array of food trucks will be available, including Chef D’s artisan grilled cheese, Chow Wow Asian Fusion, Rosie’s Empanadas, Tacos Chicas, Tasty Wings, and Greek specialties from Yianni & Yiayia’s.

A key festival attraction is the bed races, which are open to both racing teams and parade floats. The BEC invites community members to join in. Participants need only team spirit and inventive costumes — the rolling beds are supplied. This year’s bed race entrants include “Running Scared” and “Run for Your Lives,” both nodding to Blairstown’s “Friday the 13th” fame. Parade bed floats provide businesses and community groups a chance to showcase their creativity along the route lined with fans. Now’s the time to enlist your team! Register by the Sunday, October 1, deadline to secure your spot. Visit the festival’s “Bed Race and Parade Team Registration” webpage for details.

The community event always welcomes and needs volunteers for setting up, managing kids’ activities, and keeping the festival running smoothly. Register on the BEC’s SignUpGenius page. For inquiries, reach out to the BEC on Facebook @blairstownBEC or send emails to together@blairstownbec.com.

Expanded Festival Bandstand Performances

This year’s augmented musical performances are made possible by a grant from the Warren County Cultural & Heritage Division. The day will feature:

  • Dani Zanoni: an indie/pop singer-songwriter, Dani launched her musical journey with the single, “Facing Reality” in 2017. Explore her work at danizanoni.com.
  • Folk Out Da Way: an acoustic cover band known for folk renditions of popular songs. Learn more at folkoutdaway.com.
  • Water Street: a band that fuses Americana with spirited rock and bluegrass elements. Their third album, “All We Tried To Be,” was released in March 2022. Sample their work at waterstreetofficial.com.

About the Blairstown Enhancement Committee (BEC)

The BEC, a volunteer-driven group, focuses on beautification, economic development, and community initiatives. Their aim is to foster a thriving economy while preserving the region’s unique character. Learn more at BlairstownBEC.com or follow them on Facebook and Instagram @BlairstownBEC.

Media Contact

Kevin Doell

BEC Communications Director


The Holidays Arrive Early with Blairstown’s “Jingle Eve” and Annual “Jingle on Main” Holiday Shopping Festival this Nov 25-26th

The Holidays Arrive Early with Blairstown’s “Jingle Eve” and Annual “Jingle on Main” Holiday Shopping Festival this Nov 25-26th

BEC Volunteers decorated a locally donated 12-foot Christmas tree for the “Winter Wonderland” scene at the Gourmet Gallery Green in downtown Blairstown. The tree lighting will take place on “Jingle Eve,” Friday, Nov 25 at 6:00 pm.

On Saturday, November 26, the Blairstown Enhancement Committee (BEC) will host its annual “Jingle on Main” festival to kick off the holiday shopping season. This year’s event will feature more than 70 local vendors, live music, food trucks, and kids’ “Secret Santa Workshop” activities. The outdoor market takes place all along Main Street from 10 am – 4 pm, rain or shine (or snow!). 

The festivities kick off Friday night at the “Jingle Eve” Village Tree lighting ceremony that begins at 6 pm. Program events include holiday blessings, Christmas Carolers, and a visit from Santa Claus that takes place in the “Winter Wonderland” on the Gourmet Gallery Green. 

The BEC is also looking to start a brand new tradition this year with an open invitation for holiday enthusiasts to participate in a “Holiday Car Parade” down Main Street. The parade will feature vehicles adorned with holiday lighting and decorations to accompany Santa on his way into town. Send an email to Together@BlairstownBEC.com if you would like to participate.

The Saturday “Jingle on Main” outdoor market offers holiday shoppers the perfect opportunity to support small business vendors and local artisans. Goods on sale will include a wide range of merchandise to help you find the perfect gift for that hard to shop for loved one. Offerings will include, home decor, clothing, leather goods, soap and skin care, honey and tea, candles, jewelry, artwork, and much, much more. 

Santa will be available for pictures in the BEC Holiday Sleigh in the Gourmet Green on “Jingle Eve”

As we celebrate the season of giving, Jingle on Main attendees are encouraged to bring a food pantry item or new/gently used coat! Girl Scouts of North Warren are running a food drive on Main Street and the BEC is participating in Jersey Cares Coat Drive! Collection bins are downtown all week long.

Jingle on Main reflects Blairstown’s support of “Small Business Saturday,” an annual Shop Small holiday shopping tradition that supports small businesses every day and everywhere. Shopping at your favorite small business helps to promote more vibrant communities. Shoppers are encouraged to not only shop with the Main Street vendors that day, but to also visit the local tree farms to purchase their trees and decorations. Maps will be available at the BEC tent.

If you are in the market for a REAL Christmas tree this season, check out one of Blairstown’s local Christmas tree farms!

The Blairstown Enhancement Committee (BEC) is a group of volunteers committed to beautification, economic, and community projects that make the Blairstown area a better place to live, visit and do business. The BEC carries out activities and events such as the Spring Clean Up, “Bedlam in Blairstown” Fall Festival, “Jingle on Main” Holiday Festival and local business networking events. In collaboration with residents, business owners, township, schools, and other stakeholders, the committee’s goal is to create a thriving economy while still retaining the character and charm of the area. Visit BlairstownBEC.com to learn more about the work the organization is doing. To get involved send an email to Together@blairstownbec.com. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram @BlairstownBEC.

Join the Fun at this Year’s “Bedlam in Blairstown”

The second annual Blairstown Fall Festival is set for Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022 at the historic Footbridge Park from 11 AM to 4 PM, rain or shine. The event features the “Bedlam in Blairstown” Bed Races, a “Pumpkin Pavilion” with kids activities, a beer garden, food trucks, live music, and a craft fair featuring nearly 50 vendors.

The “Bedlam in Blairstown” events feature both “Race” and “Parade” categories. “Race” entrants form up in teams of five with four pushing and one riding in the bed. The team pushes the bed down a 100-meter course for the fastest time. The bed racing carriages are provided. No construction is necessary. Trophies will be awarded for best times as well as best costumes and best bed theme. Last year’s winning team was “Breakfast in Bed.”

“Parade” entrants decorate floats beds with the most fun and creative design they can think of. Teams only need just enough members to walk their creations along the parade route. Last year’s winner was “Flower Bed” by local flower farmer, Patti Doell of Little Big Farm. See www.BlairstownFestivals.com for details on how to sign up for the Bedlam in Blairstown event.

“We would like to thank the Township Committee for supporting the festival as well as the volunteers and sponsors who help make it all possible,” said BEC President Dave Paulson. “It’s events like these that bring a community together to make the memories that can last a lifetime. It’s what makes Blairstown that special place we call home.” 

Volunteers are still needed. Visit our SignUp Genius page to see how you can help. You may also contact BEC Administrator Kaitlin Eamigh at kaitlin@blairstownbec.com for more information.
The Blairstown Enhancement Committee (BEC) is a group of volunteers committed to beautification, economic, and community projects that make the Blairstown area a better place to live, visit and do business. The BEC carries out activities and events such as the Spring Clean Up, “Bedlam in Blairstown” Fall Festival, “Jingle on Main” Holiday Festival and local business networking events. In collaboration with residents, business owners, township, schools, and other stakeholders, the committee’s goal is to create a thriving economy while still retaining the character and charm of the area. Visit BlairstownBEC.com to learn more about the work the organization is doing. To get involved send an email to info@blairstownbec.com. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram @BlairstownBEC.

Footbridge Park Hosts Fall Festival

Article by Alexa Tironi

The wheels squeak and crackle on the pavement, attached to a four-poster bed and a mattress, as they barrel towards the finish line. Four people make the wheels turn, pushing the bed by an iron rod attached at each corner, while a fifth person lays flat on the mattress and tries not to fall off.

It’s called bed racing, a 55-year-old fundraising sport, and an old Fall Festival tradition in Blairstown, NJ. Here’s how it works: teams of five or six decorate their bed according to a chosen theme, each run their race individually— fastest time wins.

At Blairstown’s most recent festival, Saturday the 16th, seven bed racing teams competed for the trophy (a bedpost spray painted gold, but it’s more about the bragging rights anyway). Hosted by the Blairstown Enhancement Committee (BEC), the Fall Festival was held at Footbridge Park rather than Main Street, as it has in years past.

But the park is the perfect venue, the fall leaves that scatter the ground look like a colorful patchwork quilt and the sun is out and warm. It’s that time of year where you can enjoy the pumpkins and apple cider without cold fingers and toes.

This year’s bed race was the first contest held after over two decades of abandonment. Kevin Doell, the communication director for the BEC, explained the reason behind the revival of this town tradition saying, “It’s building community— it’s something fun, light-hearted, everyone can agree upon it, let’s just come out and have a good time.”

The day of the festival, it was Doell who refereed the races. Standing in the bed of a parked pickup truck, holding a megaphone and an air horn, he had the energy of a NASCAR commentator.

“And they’re off, and they’re quickly learning about the finer points of bed racing. Coming past the hay bales they reach the halfway point!”

To the team dressed as eggs and bacon, he shouts, “Here comes breakfast in bed! Are the racers ready? Talk about fast food!”

A team of doctors dressed in scrubs joins the race, along with a family of skeletons, elves and a group of ministers wearing clerical collars. In the end, Team Breakfast took the competition sunny side up to win the day.

Take a deep breath and you can smell the aroma floating from the food trucks idling near the parking lot, serving the crowd as they chew and sway to the music played by a local band. People sit for face paintings, peruse tables run by local art vendors, and meet representatives of local organizations.

Paul Avery, the project manager to Blairstown’s up-and-coming online newspaper, the Ridge View Echo, said the day’s activities were a “Great event for the town. I think this was such a success, it’s really established it as an annual event now, it’s gonna be great.”

Head of advertising to the Ridge View Echo and a Rotarian, John Maxman, chuckled, remembering the last Fall Festival, and Bed Race he ran in, “And then, after, we sold the bed! Somebody bought the stupid bed, why, I don’t know!”

After the races, people begin to meander about the park. Under the pavilion, big orange pumpkins are set up on picnic tables next to bottles of paint and brushes, while kids decorate them to their liking.

Under a tent, Ashely Hineline takes pictures of her 5-year-old daughter, Emerson, as she gets her face painted. With butterfly-covered cheeks, Emerson bounces around talking about the bed races and her pumpkin painting plans. Hineline heard about the event from Facebook. “I thought it seems like a really great thing for our community and a lot of fun. I brought my children, my mother, my mother-in-law…it’s a big family outing.” Hineline is a teacher at Blairstown Elementary School and mentions that she enjoys seeing past students and their families. As if on cue, two children come pinwheeling down the hill, shouting her name, to hug her from both sides.



A week before the festival, BEC members brought a bed down to the local farmer’s market to do some last-minute advertising. President Dave Paulson explained the organization’s focus on Footbridge Park for the festival and future projects.

“Footbridge park is actually one of the most underutilized resources we have here, it’s largest public parking space in town, and it’s directly attached or adjacent to the main street. We have a one-of-a-kind historic footbridge that leads from the park over to the downtown area… that may be the place where you start putting your first building blocks…it all made sense”

After the Fall Festival, Footbridge Park’s revitalization will continue in unique ways. BEC membership director, Evie Tilney, spoke about the up-and-coming projects, the first being a concrete-poured skate park. Around 25 years ago plans for a skatepark were submitted to the town committee, but the proposal was denied.

“Now that it’s an Olympic sport I think a lot of folks understand that it’s a really healthy, productive physical activity,” said Tilney.

She continued, “It would be a recreation spot for young people who may not be involved in other things like organized teams… kids can go hang out, skate, and then you can walk across the highway to go get a sandwich or get a drink at Dale’s…it’s really easy to spend time with people.”

Tilney grew up in Blairstown, then moved to big cities such as Cambridge, New York City and Barcelona. But a few years ago, she decided to come back.

“I think it [Blairstown] has a lot to offer…but a lot of the resources that used to be here are no longer here… What this town needs, is to have a healthy and vibrant looking downtown, one where the shops are filled, people can stay in business, where a young person or an old person can maybe go get food or walk around.”

Preserving small towns is a popular concept these days as older Americans look for windows into the past— their hometowns growing up. The BEC seeks to preserve, but Tilney says that’s not their only mission.

“We’re more focused on looking at the resources we have and the buildings we have available, using them to their best ability and taking care of them, it’s less focused on a sense of nostalgia because in my mind nostalgia isn’t always an accurate representation of how things actually were.”

She continued, “I think it is important to not stay married to an idea of how things were and look at the current conditions of what the town is asking for…it’s not just about preserving something for the sake of preservation.”


That’s a Wrap!

The Blairstown Enhancement Committee would like to thank the community for the outpouring of support for our first annual Blairstown Fall Festival!

A very special thank you to our event sponsors, volunteers and vendors. Apologies in advance if we miss anyone on this list, but we’d like to acknowledge the contributions of the many people that pulled together to make this event a success…

Aimee Jimenez
The Beehive Workshop (trophy/medal engraving)
Blairstown Enhancement Committee Volunteers
Blairstown MOMS club
Blairstown Station CrossFit
Bob Law/Rotary
Buttzville Brewing Co.
Brad Eamigh & friends
The Cycle Exchange
Doreen Neggia Pandiscia
Grand Rental Station
Henry Doell
HPC (walking tour)
John Chabot
Karen Klein/Art Magic
Karen Lance
Lauren Pegram
Lighthouse Real Estate & Property Management
Lisa Rudeau
Mark Anthony Construction
Matthew Keller for the bed rides
Nelli Bee
North Warren HS Interact Club
PowerPro Electric
Race Farm
Remax Ridge Realty
Russ Jones
Sara Bennett & Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary
Scott Hendricks
Skyland World Travel
Water Street for the live music

Thank you for the event photos, Steadroy Douglas Photography, Robert Pannullo and Bob Halberstadt at Blairstown News.

How to Race a Bed

It gets a little wacky around the 1 minute mark, but it’s all for a good cause!

Essentially, the bed race entails getting a team together of 5 people that will push a carriage, upon which sits a twin mattress-sized bed, approximately 150 yards.

Teams can include minors so long as the guardians sign a release, which will be provided when finalized. 

One person sits in the bed while the four others push the bed down a course. At the course midpoint, the person in the bed hops out, rings a bell, and returns to the bed. The racers then push the bed back to the starting line. 
Each team races the clock on a single lane. The team may get two heats to generate their best time depending on the number of entries. 

Another option is to “parade” a Team’s own bed down the course in the “float” category. No running is needed. You just decorate to the hilt and look to win on creativity. 

To register, go to https://www.blairstownfallfestival.com/

To submit the entry fee, please donate $75 on the PayPal site on the BEC Donation Page.

Racers should also review the formal rules document before the big day.

Thank you for joining us in this fun event!

BEC Business Champions Program kicks off with free webinar on how to use “Google My Business”

As the BEC has absorbed the mission of the former Greater Blairstown Business Association, a new project team has come together to help local businesses. Mary Adelman and McKitrick Chabot are putting a new program in place to help local businesses thrive. More information to come soon on the BEC website. In the meantime you can send an email to Business@Blairstownbec.com for details.

On March 8, the team held a free webinar to help entrepreneurs understand the extremely valuable free service provided by Google called “Google My Business.” Watch the video below for how to use this powerful marketing tool.

Blairstown Enhancement Committee Launches the “BEC Business Champions” Program to Boost Local Economy

Blairstown Enhancement Committee Launches the “BEC Business Champions” Program to Boost Local Economy

BLAIRSTOWN, NJ – [May 4, 2023] – The Blairstown Enhancement Committee (BEC) is excited to announce the launch of its “Business Champions” program, an initiative designed to support and promote the local economy by fostering connections within the regional business community. Through a series of referrals, professional support, and networking events, the program aims to provide members with opportunities to forge new business relationships and contribute to community improvement.

McKitrick Chabot, co-owner of “Tacos Chicas” Food Truck and Director of the BEC Business Champions Program, emphasizes the significance of supporting local businesses. “A thriving local economy is the backbone of our community. By fostering connections and collaboration among business leaders, we’re not only promoting economic development but also creating a sense of unity and shared purpose. The BEC Business Champions Program is committed to connecting, communicating, and bringing together our local businesses to help them flourish and, in turn, enrich our community.”

Melinda Gaertner, owner of The Essential Goat, shares her positive experience with the Business Champions program: “Being part of the BEC Business Champions has been invaluable for my business. The networking opportunities, referrals, and support I’ve received have not only helped me grow my business but also fostered lasting connections and friendships. I am grateful for the platform the program provides, and I highly recommend it to any local business looking to expand and strengthen their presence in the community.”

The Business Champions program continues the efforts of the former Greater Blairstown Business Association (GBBA), which served the local business community for many years. The new program caters to for-profit businesses, non-profit organizations, and farmers in the area. In joining the Business Champions, members can expect to expand their professional networks, increase sales, and create lasting friendships.

The BEC Business Champions gather for a fun networking mixer every second Thursday of the month at Buck Hill Brewery, starting at 6:00 pm. All business owners, employees, and entrepreneurs in the greater Blairstown area are welcome to join.

Current Business Champion Members Include:

Membership benefits include business referrals, a “Champions Corner” segment in the BEC Newsletter, free promotion, complimentary access to monthly Networking Mixers, one-to-one consultation services and support, and a new business listing in a forthcoming digital directory. Tax-deductible membership dues are $100 for businesses and farms, and $50 for non-profit organizations.

To learn more about the BEC Business Champions Program, sponsorship opportunities, or speaking engagements, please contact business@blairstownbec.com. To register for membership, make checks payable to “Blairstown Enhancement Committee” and send them to:

Blairstown Enhancement Committee
PO Box 527
Blairstown, NJ 07825

Alternatively, you may submit your contribution online at www.blairstownbec.com.

About the Blairstown Enhancement Committee (BEC)

The BEC is a volunteer-driven organization dedicated to beautification, economic, and community projects that make Blairstown and the surrounding areas better places to live, visit, and conduct business. With a focus on collaboration among residents, business owners, the township, schools, and other stakeholders, the BEC seeks to foster a thriving local economy while preserving the region’s unique character and charm. For more information or to get involved, visit BlairstownBEC.com or follow them on Facebook and Instagram @BlairstownBEC.

Media Contact:

Kevin Doell

Show Your Blairstown Pride during our “Summer Sweep”

BEC Member Theo Padavano Kicks off his Blairstown Summer Sweep by turning a rusty street sign into a work of art!

Our spring clean-up day fell prey to COVID-19, but now that New Jersey is on the mend, we thought it would be good to get back out there to help Blairstown shine!

The Blairstown Enhancement Committee is issuing a call for volunteers to show their hometown patriotism July 4 through 11 by participating in a summer clean-up event. A “Summer Sweep!”

Yes, there is always “sweeping” to be done, but there is always more. The idea is that we list “Jobs to be Done” around the town right here on Sign up Genius. Citizen Volunteers choose a task from the list they would like to tackle with their close friends and family in a safe and responsible manner.

If you don’t see something on the list, come up with your own clean-up idea and share the fruits of your labor.

No matter what project you tackle, be sure to take pictures of your group displaying your hometown pride and send them along to Together@blairstownBEC.com.

COVID-19 may have gotten us all down, but not out! Hang in there Blairstown! We got this!

BEC Reorganizes Board and Adds Operational Leadership Roles

On August 26, the BEC enacted a new organizational structure.
The goal of the structure is to care for the management of the non-profit’s administration and support needs while setting the stage for the success of Project Team Leaders from the community who will drive the projects they have a passion for. 

The official BEC Board of Directors now consists of:

  • Dave Paulson – President
  • Olga Brazaitis – Treasurer 
  • Theo Padavano – Secretary 

The Board will be supported by operational directors tending to key functions:

  • Kevin Doell – Communications 
  • Pat Kennedy – Fundraising
  • Cheryl Paulson – Membership 

Project Team Leaders will vary by project. 

Special thanks to Bob Law for his years of leadership as BEC President, as well as Sue Habermann, Gina Trish, and Luke Twomey for their service as board members. We look forward to continuing our work together on the many great projects ahead!

For insights on incoming BEC President Dave Paulson’s goals for the coming year, checkout the quick podcast interview with Kevin Doell.

Ashram Inaugural Flag Raising, July 4

Ashram Inaugural Flag Raising, July 4

A flag-raising ceremony at the Siddhachalam Jain ashram located on 111 Route 521, Blairstown, took place July 4. The beautiful new 35’ foot pole and flag was unfurled with great pride by Siddhachalam Trustees and Community and Township Council members. We are fortunate to have this beautiful sanctuary in our town and BEC looks forward to continuing working with the wonderful people of this community. To learn more about the Ashram visit www.siddhachalam.org.

Everything’s Ducky, July 4

Everything’s Ducky, July 4

Each year Blairstown celebrates Independence Day at Footbridge Park – a day filled with American spirit and pride and good-old fashioned fun. New Jersey Herald reported on the celebration.

After taking a year off, the July 4th Duck Race sponsored by Blairstown Rotary returned with the grand prize going to Jeanette Iurato. Blairstown Hose Company was the primary recipient of the proceeds. 

BEC member Bob Halberstadt

BEC member Bob Halberstadt

BEC member Bob Halberstadt became NJ’s (and possibly the country’s) oldest firefighter at the age of 78. Recently graduating from Warren County Fire Academy-Fifth Class with 200 hours of training under his belt, he received his New Jersey state Firefighter 1 certification last month. Turning 79 on July 4, Bob is now a volunteer for Blairstown Hose #1. In addition to 25 plus years of EMS experience, he is also Blairstown’s resident photographer and editor of Blairstown News. Great work Bob and thank you for your service.

Route 80

Route 80

NJ DOT is planning to build a retaining wall to guard against falling rocks along Interstate 80 through Delaware Water Gap. This will forever change the viewshed and beauty of the area and have severe impacts on local economies and communities, not to mention traffic flow, tourism and the potential impact on wildlife. Please join BEC in writing to federal and state transportation officials to appeal for more research into the impact of this project.

Opinions and concerns may be sent to:  Nicole R. Nason, Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, which is providing the funding for the project; and DOT Commissioner Diane Guttierrez-Scaccetti.

BES Gym Dedication

BES Gym Dedication

In memory of beloved Blairstown citizen and former Blairstown Elementary School (BES) Superintendent THOMAS C. GROSS, a dedication of the BES gymnasium took place June 8. The gym was named in his honor, paying homage to his 37 years serving as physical education teacher, principal and superintendent; his participation with many other local and state educational organizations; and his many years of service in the betterment of the Blairstown community (Blairstown Open Space Committee and BEC). 

Footbridge Gets A Facelift

Footbridge Gets A Facelift

Come check out the beautiful mural at Footbridge Park executed by Blair Academy’s LEAD’s class in May. In addition to cleaning debris in one of the coal bins and painting the mural, Blair students mulched the playground, planted trees, and contributed money toward repairing the playground set. 

Footbridge Renovation

Footbridge Renovation

Blair Academy’s LEAD’s class under the direction of faculty member Tyson Trish, will be renovating areas in Footbridge Park in May. Renovations include repairing the playground set, mulching the playground, and planting trees. In addition, the students will be cleaning debris by the coal bin, removing graffiti, and painting a mural on the bin.

Footbridge Park playground



Rosie, canine Blairstown resident, was recently cast in a Ralph Lauren commercial which was shot at a private Hardwick property. Obediently sitting in a boat alongside other models, Rosie can be seen in an upcoming RL fragrance commercial. The Hardwick home and pond were previously used in the 1990’s movie Prince of Tides starring Barbara Streisand and Nick Nolte.