Top Columbus Day Weekend Events in New Jersey

2018 Celebrations, Parades, and Popular Events

NJ Columbus Day Weekend Events

Discover what's happening during the Columbus Day Weekend 2018  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.

Note: This information is provided by event sponsors as a free service to our viewers. Sometimes conditions require cancellations or changes of dates, times and location which are not reflected in the original schedule. Before planning a trip to visit one of the listed events, it is suggested that you call the event sponsor to confirm the event schedule or for additional information on the event.

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

2018 Northern Jersey Columbus Day Weekend Festivals, events, and Parades

Jersey City Columbus Day Parade
Saturday, October 6, 2018; 1pm
The parade starts at 6th & Newark, goes east to Grove Street, right on Grove and comes to an end City Hall with a street fair celebration

Dunellen HarvestFest
October 7th, 2018: 11am -4pm (RAIN OR SHINE)
Washington Park
N. Washington Ave., between Dunellen Ave. & First St.,
Dunellen, NJ 08812
This Family event will feature artists and crafters from around the Garden State, local nonprofits, activities for kids, foods, music, dancing, and more!

Nutley-Belleville Columbus Day Parade
Sunday, October 7, 2018; Noon
Franklin Avenue
At the Oval
Nutley, NJ
Contact: Pasquale Meola at 973- 489-7002 or email at
One of the largest Columbus Dasy parades in northern New Jersey, will step off at noon Sunday, Oct. 7, from Belleville High School, then proceed north on Franklin Avenue toward Nutley. At Holy Family Church in Nutley; a flag-raising ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, at Belleville Town Hall.

East Hanover, NJ Columbus Day Parade and Festival
Monday, October 8, 2018
Starting at 2pm the parade will begin at the East Hanover Fire Headquarters, 323 Ridgedale Avenue and continue along Ridgedale Avenue beginning at DeForest Avenue and ending at Lurker Park. Cristina Fontanelli, award winning opera singer and actress, has been chosen to be this year's Grand Marshal for the 13th Annual Morris County Columbus Day Parade
Beginning at 12 noon at Lurker Park, there will be a Food Truck Festival featuring a savory variety of food vendors along with music, kiddy rides and games

2018  Central Jersey Columbus Day Weekend Festivals, events, and Parades

Ocean County Columbus Day Parade & Italian Street FestivaItalian Festival
Friday, October 5, 6th, 7th, 2018
Parade: Sunday, October 7th, at 1:00pm on the Boulevard, Seaside Heights.
Floats, bands, antique cars, contests, clowns, etc
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.

Hometown Harvest Fair
Saturday, October 6, 2018; 10am - 4pm, rain or shine
North Main Street/Rt. 33
Hightstown, New Jersey
Held annually on Columbus Day Weekend, this family festival is designed to bring awareness to the community, to bring commerce to local business and sponsors, and to provide fun for the children. The celebration now encompasses all of our historic Business District with the addition of food trucks, live music, special attractions, and much, much more! With an eclectic mix of nostalgic flair and modern entertainment, the Hometown Harvest Fair has a little something for everyone in your family.

Belmar Octoberfest
October 7th, 2018; 11am - 5pm RAIN or SHINE
Main St., (between 8th & 10th Ave.)
Belmar, NJ 07719
This event features a German Beer Garden with Food Vendors, the Samuel Adams Stein Hoisting Contest, d live music, and Food Vendors

Columbus Day Pumpkin Fest
October 8th, 2018; 11 am - 4 pm
Delicious Orchards
320 Rt. 34
Colts Neck, NJ 07722
Held annually on Columbus Day, this festival features fun for all ages. The day includes: Pumpkin Painting and Decorating, Fun Games, Antique Tractor Display, Live Music, and free food samples

2018 Southern Jersey Columbus Day Weekend Festivals, events, and Parades

4th Annual LBI FLY International Kite Festival
October 5th - 8th, 2018
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

Annual Sea Isle City Italian-American Festival and Columbus Day Parade
Saturday. October 6th, 2018; 10:00 am until dusk
In front of the Italian American Club on JFK Boulevard
Sea Isle City, NJ
609-263-4 461 x 1230 or 609-263-6341
The Parade starts at 2:00 pm in front of the Italian-American Club and ventures down Landis Avenue and ends at KIX-McNutley's, 63rd Street where the Italian Festival will be happening.

Fall Block Party & Fireworks Spectacular
October 6th, 2018; 9am – 5pm
861 Asbury Ave.
Ocean City, NJ
This family event features over 400 crafters, food, vendors, music and and a grand finale fireworks display in the evening over the ocean.

Wildwoods Seafood and Music Festival
October 6th, 2018; 11 am - 8 pm; Rain date Sun. Oct.7th
Atlantic Avenue (between Wildwood and Schellenger Avenues)
Wildwood, NJ 08260
This family event features live music, crafters, food vendors, pie eating contest & much more!
Two stages of free musical entertainment. A "Kids Korner" with activities including pumpkin painting, crab hat making and inflatable bounce houses will take place from noon - 5 p.m.

29th Annual Cranberry Fest
October 6, 7, 2018
Downtown Bordentown, Farnsworth Ave.
Bordentown, NJ
This family event features live music. a beer garden. "Family Friendly" Kids Zone, and over 150 artists and artisans, crafters and makers in offering one of a kind, handmade, vintage, and upcycled treats to nourish both the heart and the home.

Atlantic City Columbus Day Weekend Comedy Festival

October 6, 7, 2018
Boardwalk Hall
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Attendees will experience hilarious, side-splitting humor from some of the nations most noted, critically acclaimed comedians. The all-star line-up features comedians Sommore, bruce bruce, earthquake, guy torry, tony rock, buck wild, mike epps, rickey smiley, lavelle crawford, tony roberts, & huggy lowdown.

Avalon Seafood Festival
October 6th, 7th, 2018; 10 am - 5pm
30th St. & Beach
Avalon, NJ 08202
This family festival features fresh and local seafood from area restaurants, craft and seasonal beer and wine and live entertainment. Let's Party Events will be on-site with children's activities including face painting, balloon art and even a family-fun Art Bar! Be sure to return on Sunday for the famous Chowder Championship at 1pm. Entertainment will be provided by Sound Advice Lounge, live-streaming the weekend's College and NFL football games throughout the weekend.

27th Annual Blackwood Pumpkin Festival

Sunday, October 7, 2018; 11am - 4pm (raindate: Oct. 14th)
The Studio at Mainstage
27 South Black Horse Pike
Blackwood, NJ
This annual festival features food, games, live music, and crafters, including four stages of entertainment, amusement rides, hayrides, pumpkin painting and carving, scarecrow making, a costume contest, and more.

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