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Better Than the Boardwalk

August 31, 2010

By Brianne Harrison

You could climb into your car and join the bumper-to-bumper traffic heading to the shore this weekend…or you could avoid the hassle, head in the opposite direction, and spend a weekend along the Delaware river, where the charming towns of Frenchtown, Lambertville, and New Hope offer plenty of ways to keep you and your family busy and happy on the last weekend of summer.

The biggest event is the 6th Annual Riverfest in Frenchtown. The theme this year is Mardi Gras/Arti Gras, celebrating local artisans and life along the river. Local artists will be participating in the Mardi Gras/Arti Gras Mailable Mask project, designing masks that resemble partying animals. The masks will be on display and available for purchase throughout the weekend. Proceeds from the mask sales and other Riverfest events will be donated to the Hunterdon Humane Animal Shelter.

If you want to start the party early, there’s a wine tasting from 6-8:30 p.m. in the main tent on Bridge Street, next to the Frenchtown Inn. The tasting will feature wines from around the world, courtesy of the Wine Hut. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. Proceeds benefit the Hunterdon Land Trust Alliance. Cap off the evening with a trip to nearby Lambertville and New Hope for the two towns’ free fireworks show over the river, which starts at 9:30 p.m.

On Saturday and Sunday, Riverfest will be in full swing, with sidewalk pet costume parades both days, live music under the tent, and vendors selling gourmet foods, artwork, jewelry, clothing, and more. Foodies might want to check out the Stockton Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning, featuring gourmet goodies from local producers.

If the heat starts to get to you, rent tubes at Delaware River Tubing in Frenchtown and take a lazy float down the river (lunch included!) Those who are feeling more active can rent a bike or hike alongside the 70-mile Delaware & Raritan Canal. Shopaholics can browse for antiques, hip clothes, books, and home décor items at the area’s many shops.

With all this, who needs the boardwalk? For more info on things to see and do in Frenchtown and Lambertville, check out Georgiana Francisco’s guides to the two towns:

* Repair Mind, Body, and Soul in Frenchtown

* Lambertville: A Treasure Trove of Old and New

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