Top Columbus Day Weekend Events in New Jersey

2023 Celebrations, Parades, and Popular Events

NJ Columbus Day Weekend Events

Discover what's happening during the 2023 Columbus Day weekend with celebrations of parades, events and festivals in New Jersey.

While some states have replaced Columbus day with Indigenous Peoples Day as a holiday, New Jersey still recognizes the 2nd Monday in October as Columbus Day.

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 the 2nd Monday in October as Columbus Day and a Federal holiday.

Note: . 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

2023 Northern Jersey Columbus Day Weekend
Festivals, events, and Parades

Great Pumpkin Festival
September 16th - November 5th, 2023: On selected days - (Wednesday through Friday during October, including Columbus Day).
Heaven Hill Farm.
Rt. 94N
Vernon, NJ
This popular fall event features 35+ family fun outdoor activities included! Hayrides, Alien Invasion themed corn maze, farm animals, live entertainment, and so many fun activities for the entire family. Plus, don't miss the 100's of photo opportunity spots along the way!
They also have 12 carnival rides, Apple Cannon, Paintball Range, Gem Mining, Wine Tasting, Food Vendors, Kettle Corn, They also have their famous Apple Cider Donuts, amazing selection of pumpkins, gourds, mums and much more!
Enjoy live entertainment with the Canine Stars Stunt Dog Show followed by Pig R.

Crystal Springs Music Fest
Saturday, October 7, 2023 (Rain Date: Saturday, October 15th
Crystal Springs Resort
3 Wild Turkey Way
Hamburg, NJ
Cost: Adults 18 and over: $65, Ages 4 - 17: $20, 3 & Under: Free
Admission (Fee covers festival entry and all activities. Food and drink is available a la carte)
The event features musical performances in a bucolic mountain setting at #NJsFavoriteResort.  Admission includes access to all entertainment and fall themed activities.  Tasty food & beverage will be available for purchase onsite from the Crystal Springs culinary team as well as a variety of food trucks. 

Hanover Twp. PBA Food, Wine & Brew Festival
Saturday, October 7, 2023; 12:00 PM ق│ô 6:00 PM
Bee Meadow Park
Brickyard Field
111 Reynolds Avenue
Whippany, NJ
This charity event features great food, Wine, brews, activities, games, and live music by Jersey Bound.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to a local charity.

West Milford Autumn Lights Festival
Saturday, October 7, 2023; 10am - 5pm
Union Valley Rd
West Milford, NJ
[email protected]
The Autumn Lights Festival first started 27 years ago as a celebration of West Milford 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 one of North Jersey's largest street fairs that have over 300 vendors, live music, child activities, games, and rides with about 30,000+ 'ALFers' that visit throughout the day!

East Hanover, NJ Columbus Day Parade
Sunday, October 8th, 2023
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.

Nutley-Belleville Columbus Day Parade
Sunday, October 8, 2023; 1:30pm
Belleville, NJ, 07109
The parade line up will be at Belleville High School at noon. At 1:30 p.m., participants will march west on Joralemon Street then proceed to Franklin Avenue heading North to the viewing stand at John H. Walker Middle School in Nutley.

2023  Central Jersey Columbus Day Weekend
Festivals, events, and Parades

Ocean County Columbus Day Parade & Italian Street Festival
October 6th,7th, 8th, 2023
On Grant Ave
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.

Annual Oktoberfest in Highlands
Saturday, October 7th, 2023; 12pm - 7pm (rain date October 8th)
Veterans Park
Bay and Shrewsbury Ave
732 - 291- 4713
Admission and Parking is free.
Modeled on the traditional Munich, Germany Oktoberfest with an emphasis on eating; drinking and being merry while providing something for everyone. Authentic German food, children's activities, crafters, live music. Oompa Bands & Dancers, stein holding competition, costume contests, and other great entertainment.

The Hightstown Fair
Saturday, October 7th, 2023: from 10:00am to 4:00pm. (Rain or Shine)
Downtown Hightstown, NJ
The family event features a fun day filled with artisans and crafters, small businesses, live entertainment, great food, and children's activities.

Somerset County's Journey Through The Past
October 7, 8, 2023; 12pm - 4pm
20 Grove Street
Somerville, New Jersey 08876
Website/Historic Sites/Activities
Event Cost: Free
Make a vibrant connection to history at Somerset County's 18th annual Journey Through the Past! Bring the whole family as you explore the vast history of Somerset County and discover what life was like 50, 100, or even 200 years ago!
30 historic sites throughout Somerset County will be open free to the public on Saturday, October 7th, 2023 from 10:00AM-5:00PM and on Sunday, October 8th, 2023 from 12:00PM-4:00PM.

Annual Dunellen HarvestFest
Sunday, October 8th, 2023: 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!

Long Branch Columbus Day Parade
Sunday, October 8th, 2023; @1pm (Rain Date: October 15, 2023)
The parade begins @ 1 pm (from Middle School)
Route: Bath Ave. - right onto Broadway - right onto Morris Ave. - end @ Morris Ave. School

New Brunswick's 5th Annual Oktoberfest
Sunay, October 8th, 2023; 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Monument Square Park
George St & Livingston Ave
New Brunswick, NJ
Email: [email protected]
Free Admission
This Oktoberfest event features a fall celebration of music, food, and community. Enjoy a variety of local and traditional food, craft brews, German beers, and vendors that will keep your interest. Bring your friends and family to enjoy an afternoon of music, games, activities, and so much more! Plus take part in our Stein holding competitions as competitors hold a full one-liter beer stein out in front of their bodies with a straight arm, parallel to the ground, and the last person holding with good form is the winner! Partygoers are encouraged to get into the Oktoberfest spirit by wearing their best dirndl or lederhosen. The music line-up includes a combination of performances of a broad mix for all age groups, including Traditional German music!

2023 Southern Jersey Columbus Day Weekend
Festivals, events, and Parades

Annual LBI FLY International Kite Festival
October 6 - 8, 2023
Ship Bottom
Long Beach Island, NJ 08008
The event features a 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.

Submersion Festival
October 6, 7, 2023
Paradise Lakes Campground
500 Paradise Dr.
Hammonton, NJ
This 2-day (with a pre-party on Thursday, Oct 5th) camping music festival in the Pine Barrens features two unique stages offering sounds of all tempos, flavors and styles with a little something for everyone regardless of where you land on the electronic music spectrum. The music runs on both stages from 6:45PM - 4:00AM. Music begins as early as 12:30 PM on Friday & Saturday and runs until Sunrise.

South Jersey Pumpkin Show and Carve
October 6, 7, 8, 2023
Salem County Fairgrounds
735 Harding Hwy
Woodstown, NJ
Web Site
In addition to the giant pumpkins for the pumpkin carve on Friday night, this family event features live music, rides, hay rides, food vendors, crafters, free kids PG haunted house, free kids zone, pumpkin patch picking, and much more!

Annual Cranberry Fest
October 7th & 8th, 2023
Downtown Bordentown, Farnsworth Ave.
Bordentown, NJ
This family event features live music. a beer garden. "Family Friendly" Kids Zone, and over 175 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 Comedy Festival
Saturday, Sunday, October 7, & 8, 2023
Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall
2301 Boardwalk
Atlantic City, NJ
The Atlantic City Comedy Festival features two days of hilarious entertainment. There are a total of 2 shows, with one show each day.
Each show typically features 5, and sometimes more, comedians each day.
Line-up: Oct . 7 Sommore Earthquake Lavell Crawford Guy Torry Donnell Rawlings Ray Dejon
Oct. 8 Bruce Bruce Bill Bellamy Arnez J Don DC Curry Dominique Tony Roberts Turae

Ocean City Fall Block Party and Fireworks Spectacular
Saturday, October 7, 2023: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
from 5th - 14th Streets on Asbury Ave.
Ocean City, NJ
information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ
This annual family event is blockbuster fall festival features over 400 crafters, food vendors, music, and more. In the evening, fireworks over the boardwalk from 6th Street - 14th Street.
This annual tradition is one of New Jersey's most popular fall events.

Festival of Fine Craft
October 7th, & 8th, 2023; 10am - 5pmRain or Shine
1000 Village Drive
Millville, NJ
Cost: $12.00 Adults $11.00 Senior Adults (62+) $7.00 Students Children 5 & under are free.
This even features two-days with a diverse collection of 150 artists exhibiting and selling their handcrafted works of art. Experience unique crafting demonstrations, relax in the Beer & Wine Garden*, and create with hands-on family art activities. Listen to live music in the food court with a selection of gourmet food vendors and specialty food trucks.

Lima Bean Festival
Saturday, October 7, 2023, 9:00am - 4:00pm
Wilbraham Park
Perry Street
West Cape May, NJ
The lowly legume takes center stage delighting locals and visitors alike with her vast array of recipes, crafts and products available. Come out and celebrate West Cape May's farming heritage with lima bean soup, tacos, salad, jewelry, T-shirts and more! Enjoy great food, quality vendors, antiques, crafts, entertainment and fun.