Somers Point is preparing for its benchmark 30th anniversary of Bayfest, the big spring festival that draws thousands of visitors to a bayfront setting for family-friendly activities.

This year’s event will take place 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 27 along  historic Bay Avenue in Somers Point.

“I have been overseeing all of the crafters as a volunteer for Bayfest for about 20 years,” event organizer Heidi Hibbs said. “I send out and process all applications, assign them their spots on the map and then the day of Bayfest, with all my block captains, we get the crafters into their assigned spaces. I love working with the amazing committee members that are involved with Bayfest. On my team alone, we are 10 strong.”

Hibbs said everyone on the team pulls together “to get all of our jobs done to put on a festival that the city can be proud of. It really amazes me to see how the entire process of Bayfest has progressed throughout its 30 years,” she said.

When Hibbs first got involved, she said they would mail out about 400 applications and respond to all of them by mail, which resulted in about 50 crafters.

“This year, almost all of the application process was done by email and we have about 120 crafters,” she explained. “I love working with amazingly gifted crafters, and I look forward to many more years of Bayfest.”

Each year the Bayfest Committee uses the proceeds from the event to help fund special projects for the residents of Somers Point. The event is great for all ages, featuring a day full of fun, food, crafts, music and more.

“In my 20-plus years involved with Bayfest, planning takes a lot of time and dedication from the committee,” Bayfest Chairman Geoffrey Hieb said. “But the size of the crowd each year and the amount of money we are able to raise for the community is exceptionally rewarding. Over the years, our committee has worked extremely well together to put on one of the largest single-day festivals in New Jersey and each year we continue to get bigger and better,” Hieb said. “We couldn’t do it without the help of our amazing vendors new and old, promotors, and volunteers.”

This year, kids can look forward to The Give and Take Jugglers aerial performance, “The Little Circus” and a petting zoo.

In addition, children will be able to get their faces painted and hang out with their favorite characters with Let’s Party Painters. As always, there will be plenty of crafters and food vendors lining the streets. Shop for jewelry and candles, while snacking on delicious baked goods or crab cakes.

John W. Atwood, president of Jonathan’s Harbor LLC, said his group has been working Bayfest since 1994.

“We continue to look forward to it each year. Bayfest is always a great way to kick off our season. Many events in our 32-year history just come and go, but Bayfest just keeps rolling on.”



Categories: Downbeach

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.