As the days get cooler and back to school shopping takes over our beach days, Downtown Toms River looks back on everything Summer 2017 had to offer. From featured events that included cook-offs to farm fresh produce and art showcases as well as a number of new and established businesses, it was quite a summer to remember.
Kicking off the summer festivities in May was Downtown Toms River’s 28th Annual NJ State Chili & Salsa Cook-Off where the best chili and salsa chefs and home cooks collided in It was an event to remember as the streets were packed with Jersey based vendors, live entertainment and of course, the aromas of meat, beans, and spices.
As May rolled into June, Downtown Toms River became home to Wednesday’s Farmers’ Market featuring over 16 farmers and vendors at its new location on the lawn of The Ocean County Parking Garage along Hadley Avenue. (Don’t worry, the market is continuing through October, every Wednesday from 11am – 5pm and is the perfect place to stock up on all your Jersey Fresh produce!)
July and August were truly artsy months in Downtown Toms River as Huddy Park became home to Shakespeare in the Park. Attendees of all ages came to enjoyed six live performances of The Tempest, all under clear skies and in the comfort of their lawn chairs. The turnout was so well received that Lori Garrabrandt, the organizer of the event, is planning on Shakespeare in the Park returning for Summer 2018.
In August, Huddy Park became home to the 5th Annual Art in the Park. Over 40 artists participated in the event, which was organized by The Toms River Artist Community (TRAC), which included an award for best piece of art displayed. Those strolling through the park also had an opportunity to purchase some original artwork for their own home too!
Featured Businesses This Summer
Throughout the summer, What’s Happening in Downtown Toms River also spotlighted some of our favorite local businesses. It was a chance to introduce everyone to the unique collection of retail shops under one roof at The Downtown Shops @ 53 Main as well as Perfect Swing Golf, the perfect place for golf lovers to improve their game with the help of their high tech fitting studios, expanded club building and repair shop, as well as an enormous retail area.
Downtown Toms River is also the new home to Café Enigma, a unique coffee lounge that not only specializes in great coffee and delicious food (from breakfast to dessert and everything in between), but also in the art of socializing. At Café Enigma, they want you to sit down, chat, and hang out a while!
Last, but certainly not least, Downtown Toms River highlighted the unique role that The Toms River Branch of The Ocean County Library plays within the community. From connecting people to providing resources for those of all ages, they continue to transform the lives of locals through the power of information and stories.
Now that we’ve looked back on all the summer had to offer, it’s time to look ahead towards the fall where Downtown Toms River will be the host of many fall activities including the Harvest Arts Festival on October 21st to the Annual Halloween Parade. Stay tuned next month and see how you can enjoy everything Downtown Toms River has to offer – every month of the year!