Published On: Fri, Apr 28th, 2017

A Quick Guide to Lambertville Shad Festival 2017

What’s Lambertville Shad Festival 2017 all about?
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.

Today, Shad Fest has grown from a local event to an award-winning tourist attraction. It takes place on April 29 and 30, 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. Hamilton’s Grill, Lambertville Station and others have incredible variations.

What if I don’t like fish?
No worries, Shad Fest has something to nosh for everyone. Everything from taco salads to fried calamari is available at the food court, including favorites like shad chowder, hot dogs, fried Oreos, hamburgers, fries fresh lemonade, and Wild Bill’s Olde Fashioned Soda with flavors like root beer, cream soda and sarsaparilla.

What should I do at Shad Fest?

1) Honor the roots of Shad Fest by purchasing local arts and crafts. Over 80 of the region’s finest artists and crafters will be on hand.

2) Bring your kids. The Kids’ Bazaar on Church Street gives kids of all ages the chance to create their own arts and crafts, from making candles to printing T-shirts. The Lambertville Station parking lot has carnival rides, and watch for face painting, sand art, and other children’s activities. Also, check out the Shad hauling demonstrations each day at 1 p.m. on Lewis Island at the end of Lambert Lane. The Lewis family has been fishing these waters since 1888, and holds the only remaining commercial license to catch shad with nets.

3)  Show your support for local non-profits. These groups use Shad Fest as a venue to raise awareness and funds to support their important missions.

4) Catch the tunes. Live music fills the air at Shad Fest. Acts ranging from rock to Country & Western to blues and funk perform Saturday and Sunday.

5) Don’t miss the poster display and auction. Over 200 original art posters, created and donated by local artists, are on display during Shad Festival weekend in the recreation room of the First Presbyterian Church, 31 N. Union St. The posters will be auctioned off on Sunday at 3 p.m., with proceed going to scholarships for students pursuing a collegiate career in the arts. Stop by the Church to see auction posters. Local schoolchildren’s posters will are on display at the Justice Center, 25 S. Union St.

Is there a rain date?
Shad Fest takes place rain or shine. Be sure you dress for the weather.

Where do I park?
On-street parking meters accept nickels, dimes and quarters. Fixed-rate parking is available at commercial lots. 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 in New Hope. Proceeds benefit school activities. Make sure to stroll the streets of New Hope for more shopping, food, entertainment, history, and art at Bucks County’s #1 tourist attraction.

Make sure to check out the full schedule at the Shad Fest Facebook page.

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  1. We have been going to and enjoying Shad Fest for many many years now. I have many of the shad fest t-shirts from years past. I was not able to be there this year but my husband is was and brought me a t-shirt. Unfortunately it is an XL and

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