Top Columbus Day Weekend Events in New Jersey

2021 Celebrations, Parades, and Popular Events

NJ Columbus Day Weekend Events

Discover what's happening during the 2021 Columbus Day weekend with celebrations of parades, events and festivals in New Jersey.

Columbus Day celebrates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas, on October 12, 1492, or as some historians claim, that event set in motion the chain of events that led to the discovery of the United States as we know it today.

With a large immigration of Catholics during the mid-19th century and in response to discrimination from anti-immigrant activists, most notably the Ku Klux Klan, Catholics created organizations to combat discrimination and provide a means of survival for struggling immigrants.

The Knights of Columbus who chose that name in part because they viewed Christopher Columbus, a Catholic as the icon of the struggle of Catholic immigrants and their pursuit of citizenship.

Today many Italian-Americans and Italian-American organizations such as the Sons of Italy and the Italian-American Association observe Columbus Day as a celebration of their heritage.

The first known celebration of Columbus Day began in New York City, a city with a large Catholic population, occurred on October 12, 1866.

Columbus Day was first celebrated as a holiday in the United States as a result of the efforts of Angelo Noce, a first generation Italian, in Denver. In April 1934, as a result of lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, Congress and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt set aside October 12 as Columbus Day and a Federal holiday.

State of NJ

NJ COVID 19 Update:
At this this time, New Jersey has lifted all COVID-19 Restrictions.

We  continue to recommend viewers contact the event sponsors before heading out to a listed event to confirm their status.

Stay tuned --- we will be updating this list as our sponsors confirm this year's events

2021 Northern Jersey Columbus Day Weekend Festivals, events, and Parades

Jersey City Columbus Day -Flag Raising Ceremony
Wednesday, October 6, 2021; 4:30pm
City Hall Balcony

280 Grove St
The U.S. National Anthem will be played followed by Italy's National Anthem. Italian Flag raising from City Hall balcony can be viewed in front of City Hall Plaza.

West Milford Autumn Lights Festival
Saturday October 9, 2021; 10am - 5pm
Union Valley Rd
West Milford, NJ
The Autumn Lights Festival first started 20 years ago as a celebration to West Milford for getting its first traffic light! In the beginning it was just the town gathering on the lawn of Town Hall.
Today it has grown to a street fair that has over 300 vendors, live music, child activities, games and rides. With about 20,000 'ALFers' that visit throughout the day.

Crystal Springs Music Fest
Sunday, October 10, 2021
Crystal Springs Resort
3 Wild Turkey Way
Hamburg, NJ
888) 388-3472
Enjoy live music under the tent by local sensations plus talent from across the U.S. and Latin America. Your favorite drinks, tasty food choices and fun lawn games await in a casual outdoor setting surrounded by spectacular foliage. There will also be food trucks; a full premium bar with themed cocktails, wine and beer; bourbon tastings; and lawn games. street fair that has over 300 vendors, live music, child activities, games and rides. With about 20,000 'ALFers' that visit throughout the day.

2021  Central Jersey Columbus Day Weekend Festivals, events, and Parades

Annual Amazing Pumpkin Carve - Drive-in
Wednesday, October 6 to Sunday, October 10, 2021
Woosley Park
221 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road
Hopewell Township, New Jersey
(609) 281-5887
Website/tickets (Purchase tickets in advance or at the gate during hours of operation)
Admission: $25 per vehicle (1-6 occupants) $40 per vehicle (>6 occupants) $100 per bus.
This family event will feature 40 colossal pumpkins will be carved and electrified by the area's most talented artists and displayed in a beautifully illuminated drive-thru all from the comfort and safety of your vehicle!
Live entertainment – evenings from 7pm – 9:30pm

Ocean County Columbus Day Parade & Italian Street Festival
Friday, October 8th, 4:00pm to 10:00pm, Saturday, October 9th, 10:00am to 10:00pm, and Sunday, October 10th, 2021, 10:00am to 8:00pm
Grant Avenue from Bay Blvd. to Boardwalk
Seaside Heights, N.J
Celebrating the Annual Columbus Day Parade and Italian Heritage Festival. A fun filled weekend of food, friends, and Italian Culture.
The Parade will be held on Sunday at 1 pm, on the Boulevard from J Street to Sampson Avenue.

BlueClaws Laser Light Shows
October 8th & 9th, 2021; Gates open for each show at 6:00 pm and each show begins at 7:00 pm (Rain or Shine)
FirstEnergy Park
2 Stadium Way
Lakewood, NJ
Tickets are available now for just $18 for adults and $12 for juniors (12/under).
The show is choreographed to a set of spooky music is sure to excite fans with a one-of-a-kind show across the Jersey Shore sky. Food and drink will be available at the ballpark. The Boardwalk, presented by Toyota World of Lakewood, with popular boardwalk games, plus the BlueClaws mini golf course, will both be open during the event.
The night will also be Halloween-themed. Kids are encouraged to come dressed up in costume and take part in a costume contest. The contest winner will earn a 2022 BlueClaws Luxury Suite for their family, to be used in April or May, subject to availability.

Lambertville Shad Festival
October 9th & 10th, 2021 ( rain or shine)
Downtown Lamberville, NJ and nearby Delaware River towns.
The annual Lambertville Shad Festival has evolved from a local art show into a nationally recognized award-winning event. Shad Fest features the area's finest artists and crafters, great food, and family entertainment, face painting, sand Art, and other children's activities. and yes, shad! Don't miss the fun and educational shad seining demonstrations down at Lewis Island where the Delaware River Basin Commission will be teaching us about how to test water quality. The two-day extravaganza also serves as a venue for local non-profit organizations to raise necessary operating funds.

Annual Dunellen HarvestFest
Sunday, October 10, 2021 • 11am-4pm (RAIN OR SHINE)
Washington Park
N. Washington Ave., between Dunellen Ave. & First St.,
Dunellen, NJ 08812
The annual Dunellen HarvestFest features artists and crafters from around the Garden State, local nonprofits, activities for kids, foods, music, dancing, and more!

2021 Southern Jersey Columbus Day Weekend Festivals, events, and Parades

Annual LBI FLY International Kite Festival
October 8th - 10th, 2021
Ship Bottom
Long Beach Island, NJ 08008
Celebrate Columbus Day weekend with brilliant colorful artist design kites, fun flying giant inflatable kites and the amazing show of sport kiting to our beautiful island. Many of these fliers are invited guests in prestigious festivals around the world. This free and cross-generational event will yield even more spectacular and unusual kites this year – as well as displayed at local galleries prior to the festival.
Courteous social distancing is expected of all attending beachgoers.

Atlantic City Comedy Festival
October 9 & 10, 2021
Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall
2301 Boardwalk
Atlantic City, NJ
Line up:
Saturday 10/9:
Sommore, DC Young Fly, Lavell Crawford, Kountry Wayne, Karlous Miller
Sunday 10/10:
Mike Epps, Bruce Bruce, Arnez J, Earthquake, Desi Banks.

Berlin’s 10th Annual Fall Festival
October 9, 2021; 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Berlin Park,
43 S Park Drive,
Berlin, NJ
Facebook page
Free event
This event features a Mutt Strut dog costume parade, pumpkin painting, a car show, food merchants and, of course, the beer garden.

Fall Block Party and Fireworks Spectacular
Saturday, October 9, 2021: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
from 5th – 14th Streets on Asbury Ave.
Ocean City, NJ
information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ
This annual family event features over 400 crafters, food vendors, music, and more. In the evening, fireworks over the boardwalk from 6th Street – 14th Street.