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  • Writer's pictureKristin Guglietti

Crafts, animals & more at Blueberry Crossing

Kristin Guglietti/THG Bill Doberstein with The Health Tree’s mascot Oliver, 3 years old.

HAMMONTON—People enjoyed buying crafts, petting animals, face painting and more at the 10th annual Blueberry Crossing Fall Festival, which was held at Blueberry Crossing, 240 S. White Horse Pike on Sept. 30.

Bill Doberstein and Chris Giardino of The Health Tree organize the event each year.

“We started 10 years ago. We were like a little committee for Uptown Hammonton because Downtown Hammonton they have all kinds of things they do down there, not to be jello, but we get nothing up here on the White Horse Pike,” Doberstein said.

Doberstein and Sharon Bertino, the owner of The Health Tree, helped to start a committee called Uptown Hammonton, Doberstein said.

The idea for the fall festival came from the Uptown Hammonton committee.

“We tried to get a bunch of different things going on but this one stuck. This is our 10th annual. We’ve been doing this for 10 years and it just grew. Every year it grows. But it was mainly started to generate business because a lot of small businesses they need something to jump start,” Doberstein said.

Giardino said every year 500 to 1,000 people visit the Blueberry Crossing Fall Festival.

There are also more vendors and food trucks this year than before.

“It takes us from January to now to get it together. It’s only me and Bill. We put it together. We always have a good crowd,” Giardino said. “We have more vendors this year. Normally we have 45 vendors. This year we have 70. We normally have five trucks. We have almost 10 this year.”

Food trucks included Mister Softee, Tacos Al Carbon, Big Papa Jai’s BBQ, Dutch Funnel Cake, Mary’s Mobile Diner, Bake N Bacon and Skippy Dogg’s Food Truck.

The petting zoo was new this year, which included goats and bunnies for people to pet.

Another new addition to the fall festival was a vendor who sells plants and pumpkins.

“We have the plant ladies out here. She’s one of our regular customers,” Doberstein said.

There were several activities for children including balloon animals, face painting, pumpkin painting and sport activities.

“We keep adding to it ever year,” Giardino said.

Sheila Gibbson said it’s her ninth year selling handmade the fall festival.

“I enjoy it. I love crafting. I’ve been doing crafts probably 10 years,” Gibbson said.

Ron Heston of RJ Laser Engraving sold custom engravings on wooden items.

Heston said four years ago, the Blueberry Crossing Fall Festival was his first craft show.

“Very first craft show and then COVID-19 shut me down, but we’re back doing it and having a good time,” Heston said.

Heston said he keeps coming back because he likes the people of Hammonton.

“I like it here. People in Hammonton are warm and accepting,” Heston said.

Giardino said he can’t believe it is the 10th year of the Blueberry Crossing Fall Festival.

“We couldn’t believe it was 10 years, but I had always said 10 years and that was going to be it, but we’re going to keep going,” Giardino said.

The next Blueberry Crossing Fall Festival will be on Sept. 28, 2024.

If people would like to be a vendor next year, they can call Doberstein or Giardino at (609) 561-8316 or text Doberstein at (609) 576-6221.


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