A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

12th Annual Keyport Country Jamboree and Chili Fest Coming October 10-11

Keyport will be closing West Front Street to vehicular traffic from Broad to Beers Streets in a couple of weeks to accommodate the expected crowds for their 12th Annual Country Jamboree and Chili Fest. They promise food and fun for the whole family from noon to 7 pm on Saturday 10 October and Sunday 11 October 2009. Admission and parking are free. Local vendors will be open. Popular bands will be performing.

Michael Patrick's Ring of Fire Band will perform on Saturday from 4 pm to 7 pm. (See also their MySpace page.)

Southern Steel Band performs at noon on Sunday, followed from 3 pm to 7 pm by the Steel Rail Blues Band.

Keyport Online adds:
The bands will be performing in the mini-park on West Front Street overlooking the new waterfront promenade. There will be additional performers such as the Legendary OK Cowboy, and strolling Cowboys and Cowgirls. The kids won't want to miss their stunts such as knife juggling, gun spinning, whip cracking and lassoing.

And let's not forget the chili fest. Keyport Online says:
Chili lovers won’t go away hungry, with the food vendors serving up a variety of chili recipes. On Saturday, professional chili chefs will be competing for a trophy presented by Mayor Rob Bergen. The chili tasting and voting will run from noon to 5pm on Saturday and there is no entry fee to vote. Participating local restaurants will be competing for the trophy. Chili will be available for purchase throughout the weekend at the food court. On Sunday, from noon to 4PM, the Cake, Pie and Jam Contest will be opened to the general public for submissions. The winners will be announced at 5PM. There will be many children’s activities including Inflatable Bounces, Face Painting, Pumpkin Painting and Games.

Aberdeen and Matawan government officials and chamber of commerce members should make a point of studying the Keyport model. They ought to attend this event and see what Keyport is doing. They should check out Keyport's whole 2009 schedule online and see how Aberdeen and/or Matawan could adopt some of their ideas. Surely there is something we could learn from how Keyport is promoting itself. I expect Keyport brings in more receipts for local businesses and creates more goodwill towards its municipality from its schedule of events than this year's modest promotions in our Township and Borough.

I suspect Matawan could do more to promote its local restaurants and bars in connection with the Fourth of July fireworks display, for example. Matawan Day could be held near restaurants and bars on Main Street and Aberdeen Day could be held near the big shopping center on Route 34. We have tons of traffic driving by heading south for pumpkin picking and christmas tree cutting in coming months. What are we doing to attract some of those families to stop in our municipalities? Maybe we have nothing to offer?


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