WEST MILFORD, N.J. – Between 15,000 and 20,000 people are expected to descend Saturday on Union Valley Road in West Milford for the township’s 22nd Annual Autumn Lights Festival.
The event, which is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., features about 250 vendors, food and performances for both kids and adults and is a big day for the township, according to Rocky Hazelman, festival chairman.
“We call it a celebration of West Milford, because there are friends and families coming together,” he said, adding that many residents use the festival as an opportunity to invite friends and family to visit and enjoy the day.
The festival – known as ALF to local residents – began as a small event to celebrate the installation of the first traffic light in the town center, Hazelman said.
For 15 years, it was on the lawn of town hall and some surrounding buildings, then in 2008, it was moved onto the Union Valley Road thoroughfare, and “all of the sudden, we started seeing the thousands of people increase to the point to where we are today,” he said.
This year’s festival features live performances on three stages. Performances range from puppet shows and a sing and dance along with princesses to performances by the West Milford Dance Teams and bands like Country Comfort and Blue Sky Band.
To accommodate the large volume of attendants, shuttles will go between the festival and three locations around the township: The Hillcrest Community Center on Macopin Road; the West Milford Recreation Center on Cahill Cross Road and the parking lot of the former A&P on Union Valley Road.
For a complete schedule of performances, a list of vendors and information on the shuttles, visit www.autumnlightsfestival.com.
The rain date for the festival is Sunday.