It’s back! The annual Chatsworth Cranberry Festival, a true South Jersey gem is this weekend! The festival takes place throughout the small town of Chatsworth, nestled between routes 70 and 72, just south of Brendan Byrne State Forest. It will be held this Saturday and Sunday, October 15th and 16th from 9 am until 4 pm. Yes, it’s a cranberry festival, but it’s so much more!
Where is Chatsworth?
First off, if you’ve never been to Chatsworth, well it’s kind of a modern-day one-horse town. According to the Cranberry Festival’s website, the village of Chatsworth is unofficially the Capital of the Pine Barrens. Chatsworth is located in Woodland Township, Burlington County. It is an area of over 96 square miles and a population of approximately 2000 residents. It is the largest township with the smallest population in the county!
A little Chatsworth History…
The early settlement of the area can be traced back to the late 1700s. In 1760. Iron bog ore deposits were being used to supply cannon balls in the Revolutionary War. Sawmills were built to supply materials as the population grew. In the 1820s, settlers came from Ocean County and began farming the land. In the late 1800s, the town had one church, two stores, one school, a wheelwright, and a blacksmith shop. Also, a railroad station and about 20 homes, with a population of 389. It was in the late 1800s that cranberries came into the picture. It was the cranberry bogs that were the town’s lifeblood. Today the cranberry industry in Chatsworth is no more, and the population is around 900. That number will swell this weekend though!
If You Go…
Hundreds will invade the small town, parking along the main road into the festival for miles. Once in you will see multiple flea markets right on people’s lawns, food vendors lining the streets, wood carving, local wineries, live music, and of course EVERYTHING cranberry! Cranberry jam, cranberry bread, cranberry muffins, cranberry chili, cranberry wine, and my absolute favorite, the locally made Millers Cranberry Hot Sauce! If you are a hot sauce lover, you gotta try it! Street parking is free, and it’s free to attend the festival. Hey, I’ll see ya this weekend at the Chatsworth Cranberry Festival!