Tom Briglia/Thousands of people attend Margate’s annual Fall Fest by the Bay. This year’s event will be held Sept. 25-26 on Amherst Avenue.

MARGATE – Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Margate Business Association’s Fall Funfest By The Bay brings fresh and exciting family friendly and adult venues for 2021. Being held Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 25-26, thousands of visitors will enjoy mor than 100 booths, activities, live music, beer gardens and more. In a true celebration of the season, the beautiful bayfront and recently completed promenade reflects the friendly spirit of Margate.

The event, started in 1998 by Margate businessman Joseph Tozzi, is designed to give a boost to local businesses in the shoulder season and to showcase so many of Margate’s attributes.  Funfest took a 3-year break beginning in 2004 but came back strong from 2007-2019, only to be cancelled last year due to COVID-19.

This year, all of our booths on the fairground will be spaced 6 feet apart for safety. MBA staff members will be wearing masks at all of the service points that the MBA controls. There will also be hand sanitizing stations throughout the fairground. If any additional guidelines for outdoor event are issued by the city, state, or federal government or further recommendations are made by the CDC, the MBA will most certainly comply.

Tom Briglia/Children’s activities are planned for the Fall Funfest by the Bay, Sept. 25-26.

Vendors from throughout the region will be offering unique crafts and savory food, including seafood, barbecued meats, pizza, funnel cakes, acai bowls, fruit shakes, cheesesteaks, Tin Cup sodas and much more. The beer gardens and a special Tito’s Handmade Vodka tent will provide a wide array of adult beverages. Amherst Avenue’s signature bars and restaurants will be offering delectable foods and beverages.  A dozen musical bands will be featured on the main stage, playing everything from rock to country and jazz.  

The fun kicks off on Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and continues through Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., along Amherst Avenue, between Decatur and Coolidge avenues. Free jitney shuttle service is available all along Ventnor and Amherst Avenues and from the parking lot at the Eugene Tighe School, 7804 Amherst Avenue.  Just look for the Free Funfest Jitney sign in the jitney window.

Tom Briglia/Scarefest After Dark is Definitely not for kids.

New this year is a Saturday Cornhole Tournament with a $500 top prize, open to all ages. Register online at or 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Washington Avenue. The tournament begins at 1 p.m. and is hosted by Colmar True Value Home Center, with music provided by 95.1 WAYV. Sunday offers free cornhole recreational play.

The  95.1 WAYV Kid’s Stage will be featuring the Emerald Isle Academy of Irish Dances performance troupe and Currier’s Magical Mania and One-Man Circus juggler and magical illusions. The excitement continues with performances by the talented students of Suzie Neustadter, vocalist Christine Piper and Blake’s Gymnastics.

Attractions will include special guests, Miss New Jersey Alyssa Sullivan, and daily parades, autograph and photo sessions featuring the Jersey String Band with Captain Pat Walton. Buzz Lightyear, Cinderella, Paw Patrol, Darth Vader, ACUA’s Supercan mascot and new to the Funfest, Poppy Troll and her flash mob dance where all are welcome to participate. Make sure to stop by and visit the Lucy the Elephant booth, Alissa Dirato face painting, pumpkin decorating and Margate City Police, Fire, Public Works and Recreation departments.

On Sunday, visitors can enjoy Steve and Cookie’s 24th annual Dog Show featuring best dressed farm animal, small/large dogs, and prettiest/most handsome small/large dog categories. Register on-line at 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Steve & Cookie’s before the show. A K-9 demonstration will be held at 11:30 a.m. by Scent Works K-9 Academy.

Ray Scott’s Dock be hosting “Wetland Wonderland,” which includes a myriad of activities isuch as turtle releases, local wildlife artists, and a new addition, Skelfish Metals artistic depictions of bay life.   Highlights also include Turtle Encounters Jeff Quicksall and Barry Winakur, and spectacular back bay eco kayak tours. Reservations are suggested and there is an admission fee the eco kayak tour.  For more information contact Ray Scott’s Dock at 609-822-6819.

Tom Briglia/Margate City Fire Department distributes life-saving information and little plastic firefighter helmets during the MBA Fall Funfest.

Dozens of juried artisans offering a wide variety of handmade crafts, including pottery, photography, fall décor, culinary artisans, handmade candles, soaps, and unique jewelry will be at Funfest. New crafters include Collier’s Candle Company, soy candles poured into Mason jars; Pet Portraits by Joe Brewer, painted art work of your pet; Sand Jewels LLC, handmade glass art, jewelry pendants, ornaments, candle holders, plaques, wine charms, coasters, mosaics, magnets, keychains and more.

Sponsor tents will feature exciting free activities and giveaways. T-Mobile will be patrolling the site giving random acts of kindness awards; WAWA will be randomly handing out product coupons; Atlantic County Utilities Authority’s environmental giveaways, waste disposal information, and participants of all ages are invited spin to the environmental trivia question wheel and be on the lookout for Supercan mascot; Renewal by Andersen is offering 25% off select services and items; Hartman Home Team Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach Hartman Realtors interactive activities and South Jersey Electric Vehicles golf cart display.

A new activity presented by 95.1 WAYV now offers listeners a chance to be “DJ for a Day” with their interactive display that puts participants in front of a live microphone, with a custom radio station music bed, script and backdrop. Create your “DJ” name, then the station records your audio and video, posting on station socials for your friends and family to see. This activity is open to people of all ages.

Scarefest After Dark, Sept. 25 in Margate.

“Scarefest After Dark: Definitely Not For Kids” will continue the weekend’s fun 7:30-10 p.m. Saturday night.  A new take on Funfest After Dark, Scarefest is all about costumes and tastings, dancing and mischief, guests are invited to get a jump on Halloween and arrive dressed in costume. This is a special adults-only event, admission to the tasting is $20 in advance, $25 day of event, and includes five samplings of wine and spirits, finger foods, and access to the Spooktacularly decorated lounge on the Washington Avenue Pier and the special Tito’s Handmade Vodka tent. To purchase tickets, visit Eventbrite at Scarefest After Dark.  A wicked good time featuring live music by Mas Tequila Orchestra where all are invited to dance in the street at Washington and Amherst Avenues

Learn more at


Categories: Downbeach

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

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