The SPARK workshop series is back with three new Saturday workshops. Join us for one or all three. We hope these will inspire you to celebrate your story! Space is limited so register early!
Cost: $40 ($35 each if you register for all three sessions)
Session 1: So you want to be a writer. Sat., Feb 4, 10am to noon
This workshop will discuss the many options for writers – books, magazine writing, blogging as well as give an overview of various genres or areas of expertise. The workshop instructor will be Brandi Megan Granett. She is an author, online English professor, and writing coach. She earned her Ph.D. in Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University and her MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. Her latest novel, Triple Love Score, was published by Wyatt-Mackenzie.
Session 2: Poetry as an art and inspiration. Sat., Feb 11, 10am to noon
This workshop will encourage both poets and non-poets to view their writing, and the world around them, through a poet’s eyes. Participants will read and discuss a variety of poetry, and learn how poetry can inform your own writing as well as work on personal verse. Workshop instructor is John Smith. He has an MA in American Literature from Lehigh University. John retired from teaching Creative Writing at Hunterdon Central High School in Flemington, NJ in 2010. John’s first poetry collection, Even That Indigo is published by Hip Pocket Press.
Session 3: Getting personal – telling your story. Sat. Feb., 18 10am to noon
Learn how to tell your personal story and the art of writing memoir with Skye Van Saun. Skye holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. A featured poet at the Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge Poetry Festival and nominee for a Pushcart Prize for “Hide nor Hair” in the anthology Submerged: Tales from the Basin. She teaches creative writing at Bucks County Community College’s New Hope/Solebury Community School.
Contact: Caroline@bookgarden.biz; 908-996-2022
The annual Frenchtown ZOMBIE CRAWL takes place on Saturday, Oct. 22nd. The Crawl begins at 4:30pm and zombies can scavenger hunt your way through town in search brains…and then shamble back to Sunbeam Park for prizes and a dance with the dead. Zombie make-up experts will be on hand at Sunbeam Park from 1pm to 4pm (cost $5 per person). Zombies can start their day early in Frenchtown and then crawl their way down river to New Hope for the New Hope Crawl starting at 6:30pm.
This year zombies won’t be the only creatures stalking Frenchtown. Martians feed on the waves of fear emitted by humans so, what better way for them to enjoy a feast? Simple! They land in Frenchtown once the zombies have scared the bejeebers out of everyone.
You too can experience the Martian invasion if you head down to Frenchtown and listen in as The Book Garden’s very own River Town Radio Theatre presents LIVE: ‘War of the Worlds’ at Frenchtown Elementary School.
Join in this historical reenactment of the invasion we all remember oh so well. The War of the Worlds radio theater performance will be presented Saturday October 22 at 7:00 p.m. at Frenchtown Elementary School located at 902 Harrison Street. A donation of $5 per person will offset the production costs. Call The Book Garden at 908-996-2022 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your seats.
Come celebrate the diverse range of avian wildlife in the Delaware Valley at this year’s Riverfest Celebration in Frenchtown on Sunday, September 4th. Themed Wings Over the River, festivities kick off at noon and will go until 6pm. Bird Hatching, a bird parade and a screening “Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill” will take place at Art Yard. The Paper Boat Riverfest Regatta, a wildlife show, live music, environmental exhibits, great food and much more family fun all around town.
Visitors will be dancing in the streets to the sounds of local favorite bands and back by popular demand will be Star City Tribal Bellydancers. Live music will include Jon Savage and the Classic Rockers, The Revalotors, The Wallace Brothers, The Saddletones and Joe Cocco. Eyes of the Wild will be back to entertain and educate us on critters great and small. There will be a variety of local artists and environmental exhibits along Bridge Street, poetry by the river and shops will be featuring in-store entertainment and sales.
Kids and adults can take part in paper boat building and boat races on the Delaware. Brokaw Photography will showcase The River Towns Photo Exploration Project.
Learn about the rich and diverse heritage of the Delaware River Valley with historian Hal Taylor. He will be at The Book Garden speaking about the role of the river in U.S. history and the environment and signing copies of his book, The Illustrated Delaware River.
Rick Epstein will conduct walking tours of downtown Frenchtown at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. cost $10. Meet in front of the Book Garden at 28 Bridge St. No reservations are needed. Epstein came to Frenchtown in 1977. As editor of the Delaware Valley News, he learned much of his history from chatting with the old timers. He also read all the history books and even unspooled some microfilm in the cellar of the county library.
“I tell about the Great Fire of 1878 and the time Sarge Russell’s wagon shed blew down on Louie Gelegonya’s Ford Falcon, which was around 1979,” says Epstein. “I can also show you an old leather mask used in the mystic rites of the Odd Fellows lodge, and explain how the guillotines of France sent our founder running to America in 1794.”
Because hot weather is likely, Epstein has arranged for all the talking and listening to take place in shady places. “The tour takes about 70 minutes unless everyone decides they want the long version,” says Epstein. For more information about the tour, call 908-200-0480.
Riverfest is organized by the Frenchtown Business and Professional Association; and sponsored by TD Bank, Stem Brothers, Shenberger Insurance, H.J. Opdyke Lumber and River Mills at Frenchtown.
Worried about parking? Valet bike service and free park and ride from Artie’s
Free Park and Walk from DesignPlan Lighting.
Riverfest will be held on Sunday, September 4th starting at noon. For more information visit delawarerivertowns.com or Frenchtown Today on Facebook. Contact Mike Tyksinski at Frenchtown Home and Hardware, email@example.com, 908-996-2283.
The Book Garden celebrated Harry Potter’s birthday and the release of the much anticipated, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Saturday, July 30th. The book is in stageplay form, written by John Tiffany and Jack Thorne with help from JK Rowling; Thorne adapted the story into book form. It is the first Harry Potter release since 2007.
A core group of young local fans, Aiden, Grace, and Charlotte worked diligently since February to set the stage for the evening and were joined by Brianne, Megan, Julia, Annecy and Emmaline in May to pull together the final details.
The result was an evening filled with trivia, treats – butter beer, unicorn blood punch, Bott’s Beans and Hagrid’s Rock Cakes (three varieties as part of tasting contest).
By 11pm the Book Garden was transformed into a miniature Hogwarts with over 100 students, professors and other witches, wizards and muggles spilling out into the street where dueling matches took place.
Just before midnight, Roger of the River Town Radio Theater troupe read the epilogue of the last Harry Potter book to a mesmerized audience.
The magic of Harry Potter swirled through Frenchtown well into the morning hours and beyond. We are honored to have been part of this fantastical experience.
Frenchtown kicks off its Bastille Day Fete with a fashion show highlighting its je-ne-sais-quoi couture. This year’s event, which will be held on Saturday, July 16th from noon until night features all things classic French, and classic Frenchtown – classic cars, petanque, music, food and art are just of a few reasons to come join in the celebration.
The Frenchtown Couture Fashion Show will start the day at noon and will showcase fashions from local boutiques, shops and designers. Seth Andrew & Doug Miller Jazz Duo will accompany the fashion show and play throughout the early afternoon. The swinging sounds of Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra will be heard along Bridge Street from 2pm to 5pm. Freedom Art and Music will have live music and an art show in their courtyard on Race Street. Plein air artists will be found around the corner and along the river capturing the beauty and unique vistas of Frenchtown.
This year’s fete is full of fun for the entire family! Get your face painted, enjoy a puppet show, a scavenger hunt, and play a little petanque. Come see professional pogoers doing extreme pogo stick demos. Local Extreme athletes Nik Patino and Henry Cebalus, students at New Hope Solebury High School, have performed for the Pope in Vatican City, on the Great Wall of China and at the Eiffel Tower in Paris! And now they will be bringing their show to Frenchtown thanks to Village Toy Shoppe!
Bastille Day certainly wouldn’t be the same without the Stilt Walker and Mime entertaining visitors as they stroll through town listening live music.
Shops and galleries throughout Frenchtown will have special sales, activities, food, raffles and much more. Madame DeFarge will be knitting away at The Spinnery and you might even run into Marie Antoinette at the Pirate Cupcake Truck. The Book Garden will once again welcome the River Union Stage Puppet Show to the backyard.
The Bridge Café will offer Street-Side French-Vietnamese fare and Early Bird Espresso & Mercantile will tempt you with made-to-order crepes. Other restaurants will offer favorite French fare and Food Trucks will dish out delicious favorites.
Frenchtown was named after a wealthy French-speaking immigrant who purchased the land in 1794. Henri Mallet-Prevost was a Swiss fugitive of the French Revolution who ran to New Jersey to escape the guillotine. Since Prevost and other early settlers were French speaking, other locals began referring to the area as “French’s Town.”
Learn more about Frenchtown’s rich history during one of Rick Epstein’s walking tours – he’ll be setting off on four tours during the festivities.
After walking through Frenchtown’s history, visitors are invited to end the day with a journey to Gertrude Stein’s famed Left Bank salon with Raconteur Radio. The show will be held at ArtYard (formerly Two Buttons) at 6pm. This theatrical experience will immerse visitors into an evening with Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Isadora Duncan, Henri Matisse, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Salvador Dali, Alice B. Toklas, and, of course, the Mother of Modernism herself!
Visit us on Facebook at Frenchtown Today or www.frenchtownnj.org for updates and join us on Saturday, July 16TH from noon until night for the 18th annual Bastille Day Fete.
We are excited to welcome author Patricia Whitacre, who will share her restoration journey through history on Sunday, June 12 from 2pm to 4pm here in the garden.
The author’s journey began in 1982, when she and her husband bought an abandoned farmstead in Bucks County, PA. The picturesque Pennsylvania German barn architectural style has spread from early settlements in eastern Pennsylvania to settlements across the Midwest. In 1987, the late J. Jackson Walter, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, wrote: “The destruction of thousands of unique barns and farmhouses, as well as the historical landscape itself, continues today all across America. … The ordinary American farmhouse, preserved in its rural setting, has much to teach about an area’s past and much to give to future generations.”
The couple spent the next thirty years researching, restoring, and preserving the farm in an ambitious do-it- yourself project that earned placement on the National Register of Historic Places. Forefather Farm details their adventures, reflecting the sense of humor that has sustained them through the challenges as they maintained the exterior integrity of all the buildings, and adapted the interiors to 21st century living with minimal compromise to the original structures. Their project included preserving the surrounding fifteen acres of habitat, and working for the preservation of the natural and historic resources of the entire rural township.
Patricia Valentine and Robert Whitacre met when they were students at Duke University. Their shared interest in antiques and history led them to develop skills in restoring antique furniture and remodeling their first home in New Jersey, where Pat was a teaching naturalist at an environmental education center, was active in historic preservation, and researched family genealogy. Their two children and five grandchildren have learned about their own roots while observing life on Forefather Farm.
MEET THE AUTHOR!
The author talk and signing will be on Sunday, June 12 from 2pm to 4pm at The Book Garden, 28 Bridge Street in Frenchtown, NJ. Refreshments will be served. For details, contact the store at 908-996-2022 or visit The Book Garden on Facebook or at www.bookgarden.biz.
Reserve your copy today
All orders MUST be in by April 24th
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
Join us on July 31st for a special midnight launch party!
The Hunterdon County Library welcomes New York Times best-selling author Kathryn Aalto on Sunday March 13 at 2pm at the Hunterdon County Library Main Branch on Route 12. Ms. Aalto is the author of the recently released The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh (Timber Press), a vivid guide to the Ashdown Forest in England, the area that became A.A. Milne and illustrator E.H. Shepard’s Hundred Acre Wood where Christopher Rob- in and his friends could be found.
Kathryn Aalto is a writer, landscape designer, historian and lecturer. For the past twenty-five years her focus has been on places where nature and culture intersect: teaching literature of nature and place, designing gardens, and writing about the natural world; she is also the author of Nature and Human Intervention.
This event is co-sponsored by the Book Garden of Frenchtown; books can be ordered in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org or 908-996-2022.
The event is free to attend but reservations are recommended. Contact the Hunterdon County Library at 908-788-1434 or visit hclibrary.us and click on the Calendar of Events.
The Book Garden continues its celebration of stories through poetry with a special visit by Marshall James Kavanaugh and Stephanie B on their regional spoken word tour.
When: Monday, March 7
Time: 6pm to 8pm
Where: The Book Garden, Frenchtown
Kavanaugh will be sharing his new collection of poetry, Travel By Haiku, Volumes 1 through 5: Still Trippin’ Across the States. His performance will bring the audience along on the road with him across the country taking brief pauses to admire the air, the sunsets, the beaten earth, the tall trees on high mountains, and the breath of the ocean surf. Video projection and audio accompaniment will add to the audience’s dream cycle. Samples of his work can be found at www.marshalljameskavanaugh.com.
Stephanie B. is a native farmer from New Jersey, who takes cues from the earth, her voice, and the human body to create an exciting narrative between modern humanity and our primordial roots. Her newest work titled Letters To Aunt Lucy, uses the letter form to create an often personal reminiscing on where the human species originated from and how far it has to go. Samples of her work can be found at www.youtube.com/+StephanieBartusis.
Refreshments will be served. Let us know you will be there: email@example.com
Our Kitchen Conversation book club pick for February is Me, My Hair, and I. But we won’t be meeting in the kitchen this month. Join us on Tuesday, Feb. 23rd at Purotu Salon next door – what better place to let your hair down and talk about, well, hair!
Email us if you want to be part of the discussion.