What is Shad Fest?

The American Shad is the largest fish in the herring family. Every spring, shad migrate from salt water to fresh water to reproduce. Fishermen call this the “annual spring shad run.” The festival is named after this fish yet is not completely centered around eating fish.

The 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, but the two-day extravaganza also serves as a venue for local non-profit organizations to raise necessary operating funds.

True to its 37-year history, the Shad Fest is a 2-day festival full of art, music, crafts, food, and yes, shad! Hundreds of the region’s finest artists and crafters featuring everything – jewelry, ceramics, furniture, apparel, accessories, home décor and more! This is a rain or shine event.


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View the 2018 ShadFest Blog Post

The Food Court

Everything from taco salads to fried Calamari! There will also be the tried and true favorites: shad chowder, hot dogs, fried Oreos, hamburgers, fries and fresh lemonade for the traditionalists! Don’t forget to try some of Wild Bill’s Olde Fashion Soda featuring wonderful homemade sodas like root beer, cream soda, and sasparilla. Additional food and beer garden in the Lambertville Station parking area.

Family Fun

Face Painting, Sand Art, and other children’s activities. 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.

Art: Original Art Display and Auction

Created and Donated by Local Artists

Over 200 original works of art, created and donated by local artists, are on display during Shad Festival weekend in the recreation room of the First Presbyterian Church, 31 N. Union St.

These works of art will be auctioned off on Sunday at 3pm, with the monies going to scholarships for students pursuing a collegiate career in the arts.

Stop by the Church to see the art auction. Local schoolchildren’s art will be on display at the Justice Center, 25 S. Union Street.

“3 Shades of Shad” by Jennifer Chase

James Hamilton Shad Festival Scholarship Fund

The Delaware River Towns Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the 2018 James Hamilton Shad Festival Scholarship Fund.

Photo of Jim Hamilton
Jim Hamilton

“We had an amazing group of students last year,” said Shad Festival scholarship co-chairs Jane Wesby and Amy Coss. “The selection process was highly competitive. We were deeply inspired by the six students we interviewed. We strongly encourage all eligible students to apply this year. The community works hard to earn this money, and it is a delight to help fund the next generation of artists.”

Scholarship Requirements

The scholarship is open to any graduating high school senior, age 20 or under, pursuing a degree in the fine or performing arts. Applicants must reside in Lambertville, Milford, Stockton or Frenchtown, New Jersey or New Hope, Centre Bridge, Lumberville, Point Pleasant, Upper Black Eddy or Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania. Students can be matriculating at a public or private institution.


Funding The Scholarship

The James Hamilton Shad Festival Scholarship is funded through the combined efforts of local businesses who support the auction, our generous community of artists who donate their art for this cause, the patrons who fund the scholarship through their purchase of the art and the hundreds of volunteers who make the whole thing happen. The Scholarship has awarded over half a million dollars to talented students since 1981. Last year two students were each awarded $10,000.

“Our entire community is forever indebted to Jim Hamilton for his unselfish dedication to the arts, businesses, schools, and residents of Lambertville and New Hope. He was a champion for our towns and its people. We feel it is a fitting honor that this scholarship carries Jim’s name so that future generations will remember both his contributions and the importance of giving back,” said David Morgan, Executive Director of the Chamber.


Applying For Scholarship

Applications are due by April 2, 2018, and students must be available for an interview the week of April 9, 2018. Applications are available online at http://delawarerivertowns.com/scholarship. More information can be obtained by calling the Delaware River Towns Chamber of Commerce at 609-397-0055.

Tax-Deductable Donations

Individuals or businesses wishing to make a donation to the James Hamilton scholarship fund can do so by making a check payable to the Delaware River Towns Charities/James Hamilton Shad Festival Scholarship Fund in care of the Delaware River Towns Chamber of Commerce, 77 Bridge St. Lambertville, NJ 08530. Donations are tax-deductible as the scholarship fund is an IRS recognized 501c3.

The Delaware River Towns

From Lambertville to New Hope, Frenchtown to Stockton, Milford to Washington Crossing, there’s much to discover.