Makers Fest 5.0 Set for Saturday at Manahawkin Lake

By Victoria Ford | Sep 18, 2019
File Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Stafford Township — The Makers Festival, the annual event that launched a widespread movement and appreciation for the handcrafted arts, returns to Manahawkin this Saturday for its fifth year, bringing nearly 200 vendors, activities, yoga, beer, food and music to the park surrounding Manahawkin Lake.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and organizers ask the public not to arrive before the figurative curtain rises at 10, to allow vendors to be fully ready for showtime. Admission is free, but it’s $10 to drink.

Organizers Dani Corso, Jeannine Errico and Erin Buterick work throughout the year to pull it all together and agonize over the vendor selection process.

“This year we are excited to have a great lineup of musicians on the Bird & Betty’s-sponsored stage and Alliance for a Living Ocean as our biergarten beneficiary,” Errico said. “We’ve hit a stride with planning at this point, but it’s still a year-round organizational commitment. The more we grow each year, the more the application process gets increasingly difficult because of all the fantastic submissions we receive.”

Errico’s favorite part? “The moment load-in is over,” she joked.

Nine local and regional musical acts will share the stage: August & Oak, Danner, Funeral Students, Zinnia Moon, Ty Mares, Nakama, Calista Quinn, Chevy Lopez and June’s Landing.

Meanwhile, the biergarten will feature varieties from Ship Bottom Brewery, Pinelands Brewing Co., Jetty Brewing Co., Garden State Beer Company and ManaFirkin Brewing Company.

Buterick said she is “most excited about some new vendors who will be showcasing at their first Makers Fest.” As passionate as ever about the burgeoning makers movement, she is “delighted to see how it’s grown, particularly in our area.”

Mud City Crab House’s Mud Shuttle and three other jitneys will run guests from the Southern Regional Middle School parking lot to festival grounds. The last shuttle to the park will be at 5:30 p.m.; the last shuttle from the park back to SRMS will be at 6.

Guests are also encouraged to bike or walk from a parking area to the event. Do not park on Route 9 or on North Lakeshore Drive between Lehigh and Route 9.

As an event that prioritizes sustainability, Makers Fest does not sell any bottle water or provide single-use plastic bags. Guests are urged to bring refillable water bottles and use ALO’s water stations located near the restrooms; and don’t forget a shopping tote (or purchase one there).

Two ATMs will be available and some vendors will accept credit card payment.

Four-legged friends on leashes are welcome, and the grounds are stroller-friendly. Manahawkin Lake Park is wheelchair accessible, and many vendors are situated along paved pathways. The park has a limited number of handicap parking spots, and an accessible bathroom is onsite.

Bring beach chairs, picnic blankets and/or yoga mats to take advantage of open space to relax and free yoga sessions near the water or enjoy the picnic tables, hammocks and rest tents throughout the park.

— Victoria Ford

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