Recognized as the largest, single-day festival in South Jersey, Somers Point’s highly anticipated annual Bayfest celebration returns Saturday.

The outdoor event drew 40,000 people to historic Bay Avenue last year, with its more than 100 artisan craft and food vendors, interactive activities and live music spanning 14 blocks.

This year, there will be several bands performing at Bayfest: 3 South Benson, a local band made up of three local teens who play popular hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s, as well as the Remedy, Miller's English and Steppin’ Razor, the latter a reggae band.

In its 26th year, Bayfest was originally organized to celebrate Earth Day and promote the need to take care of our environment. That tradition continues today as the event hosts a variety of environmental groups to spread the world and inspire action.

The event is hosted by the city under the leadership of the Bayfest Committee and made possible by sponsorships from local businesses and organizations, including Shore Medical Center.

Each year, the Bayfest Committee also uses some of the proceeds from the event to give back to residents of Somers Point. Recent contributions have included the installation of new playground equipment at the public beach, improvements to the Bud Kern Field and scholarships for Mainland Regional High School seniors pursuing environmental studies.

Worked as a reporter for various weekly newspapers in Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties before joining The Press many moons (and editors) ago as a business copy editor. Passionate about journalism, averse to serial commas.