22nd Annual Spring Festival Brings Back Entertainment! Quimby Mountain Band, Buck Dilly & Live Bait, and Battle of the Bands competition

The Hackettstown Spring Festival is excited to announce that this year's 22nd Annual event will be bringing back entertainment to the weekend long mix of fun.

Hosted by the Hackettstown Business Improvement District and the Warren County Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Spring Festival this year will feature music all day and all night on Saturday May 3, as well as Community Exhibition groups on Sunday, 2-5:30 p.m. The action kicks off Friday night May 2 with rides, food, vendors and more!

The Battle of the Bands competition is scheduled to take place from 2-5:30 p.m. under the music tent. The evening show will feature special performances Buck Dilly & Live Bait at 6 and then Quimby Mountain Band starting at 8. The music is free!

Major sponsors for this year's festival are MARS, Hackettstown Regional Medical Center and Atlantic States. A trio of car dealerships, John Johnson Automotive Group, Rossi Chevrolet Buick GMC, and Smith Motors, is sponsoring the Music Tent, combining to present this year's entertainment.

Hours for the weekend are Friday, 6-10 p.m., Saturday Noon to 10 p.m., and Sunday, Noon to 6 p.m. The event will showcase a host of vendors selling a variety of products and services.

Pre-sale ride tickets are available at Jack's Scissor Wiz, Fulton Bank on Mountain Avenue and Rt. 517, Mama's Restaurant and Café Baci, Leo's Lunch, the Hackettstown BID office on Main Street, and the Panther Valley Pharmacy.

Buck Dilly & Live Bait offers Americana style music and features Buck Dilly, formerly of Blue Sparks From Hell. Quimby Mountain Band, which has in recent months performed at the Sherman Theater, Blairstown Theater, Stanhope House, Starland Ballroom, and other major venues, just released its newest CD. Their live shows are amazing and draw throngs of crowds wherever they perform.

For more information on exhibitors, vending or community exhibition groups, call the HBID office, 908-850-5004, or the Chamber office, 908-835-9200. More information can be found on the HBID website, www.HKTWN.com.

Quimby Mountain Band Surrounds Stroudsburg with Sound

By Madisyn Jackman

The sounds of Soul, Southern Rock, Funk, Blues, and Reggae spilled out from the stage from the minute Quimby Mountain Band began its performance at the Sherman Theatre on April 12th.  That minute lasted a solid 90 minutes.

Opening acts for the band included the Jordan Koza Family Band and Mike Frank & Friends.

Jesse Bardwell on lead vocals and later on the mandolin pumped up the audience by sweet talking the microphone on "Sweetheart and a Cigarette" as well as showcasing some fine dance moves.

Matt Schmidt, on lead vocals and guitar performed ‘Breaking the Bank’ with an effort and soul almost as if he was a back woods bard who had fallen on hard times.

Bob Noble brought on the bass with heaviness reminiscent of being deep in the depths of the South on ‘Down in Tennessee’.

Harry Noble who performed on guitar and backup vocals showed off his skills by shredding his six string on "Cannons in the Corn Field".

Matt DiPaolo on drums kept up a steady and consistent beat throughout the duration of the concert.

Along with a horn section, John Ginty accompanied the band on organ hammering away at the keys on songs such as "Stew- Bone", "She Caught the Katy", "Bloody Well Right", "Beer and Whiskey", "I’d Rather Be", "Don’t Do It", "Troubled Mind", "Town of Love", and with the encore, "Cocaine" - an Eric Clapton classic.

Clustered around the barricade, those in attendance thoroughly enjoyed the concert.  Singing along, and some energetic whooping ensued among audience members.  Also among them a few brave individuals busting a move as the night wore on. Equal interaction and enthusiasm between audience and band members made the night memorable for this reviewer.

Warren Arts Festival Adds Green Fest to April 26 Event

This year's Washington Business Improvement District's Third Annual Warren County Arts Festival in Downtown Washington on Saturday April 26 (rain date April 27) will have a new twist to it. In addition to the dozens of artists displaying their works, a "Green" theme has been added to the mix. The "Green Fair" will be set up in the Downtown as well. 

There will be thousands of dollars in prize money offered to artists whose original works are chosen as among the best in show. This event has grown throughout the years, with dozens of participating artists and vendors and Washington businesses, special activities, and drawing large crowds throughout the day. There will be special activities during the day, from music with performances by the incredible Claire Reynolds from 11-1 p.m. and Mike Esposito from 1-3 p.m., to various demonstrations.

The festival, sponsored by ComForcare Senior Services, Rossi Buick Chevrolet GMC, Smith Motor Company, Warren Hills Memorial Home, PNC Bank, WRNJ Radio and Washington Borough Clean Communities, takes place along Route 57 throughout the Downtown and runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Only artists displaying original works are eligible for cash prizes. All art styles are welcome, from painting to pottery to jewelry and everything in between. 'Green" and re-sale vendors are invited to register for the festival.

The weekend kicks off with the season's first Art Walk, from 5-8 pm on April 25. The Art Walk features several artists' works at various establishments around town, with receptions at each one. The featured artist for the first Artwalk of the s is Milford native Jon Stettler. Jon's "historic fusion" photography is a unique blend of old landscapes and city-scapes beautifully blended with current photos. He is also a master of capturing nature scenes, eclectic light imagery, street culture, and micro-photography. For more information about his work, visit his website at http://www.jstettler.com.

Washington's newly formed "Green Team" is hosting the very first annual Green Fair in association with the Warren County Arts Festival on Saturday. The Green Team is looking to raise awareness regarding environmental concerns and how consumers can reduce their impact on the earth by selecting sustainable, eco-friendly products and services, reducing energy consumption, conserving water and limiting their dependence on fossil fuels. A host of vendors are expected to participate in the Green Fair, which will also include special activities and demonstrations.  Organizations that are already committed to the Green Fair are the  NJ Audobon Society, the Musconetcong Watershed Association, Project Learning Tree, and the Wattles Stewardship Center

Among the day's activities are: Washington Borough Clean Communities will sponsor a Critter and Litter Craft, presented by Diana Dove of Dove Environmental from 1-3 p.m.. Children will create a "Make & Take" wildlife craft with a message about how animals are affected by litter. There will also be face painting and other children's activities.

There is a $15 charge for artists with original works and it is $25 ($35 day of show) for all "green" and resale vendors. If you are interested in registering please contact the WBID office, 908-689-4800, or visit www.washingtonbid.org. This event has been a sell out for the past two years. Pre-registration is highly recommended as this event sold out the past two years.

The WBID also hosts monthly art walks. If interested in participating in one of these artist opportunities, you can call 908-689-4800 or visit the WBID website for more information.