AddamsFest returns to Westfield NJ in October

AddamsFest will return to Westfield this fall, transforming the town into a unique celebration honoring its own Charles Addams and penchant for the macabre with a wide variety of events.

Born in 1912 and raised in Westfield, Addams was one of the nation’s leading comic book artists, his work featured prominently in “The New Yorker.” His most successful creation, “The Addams Family”, was inspired by his hometown environment. Characters that started out as illustrations have gone on to become a TV series, a live-action movie franchise, a Broadway musical, two “Addams Family” animated films, and the upcoming “Wednesday” series on Netflix. He was posthumously inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2020.

AddamsFest welcomes the next celebration with a return to more traditional experiences, including family events, talks, exhibits, film screenings and adults-only fare.

Returning for 2022, the Addams Family Home on Mindowaskin Pond, the Wicked Windows of Westfield and the Haunt Your House contest. Addams-inspired murals will be on display showcasing the work of local artists on both sides of the underpass on Central Avenue.

From October 14-30, “Evolution: Addams and the Artistic Process” will take place from 5-8 p.m. Fridays, 12-6 p.m. Saturdays, and 12-5 p.m. Sundays at the Rialto Creativity Center. Featuring original works, drafts and more on loan from the Tee & Charles Addams Foundation, the exhibition not only gives insight into the Addams process, but will feature the work of local students who participated in a cartoon workshop Week-long AddamsFest in August.

Westfield is the inspiring ancestral home of Charles Addams, creator of

Partygoers will dance the night away at the sold-out Morticia & Gomez Masquerade Ball on October 14 at the James Ward Mansion. Joining the couple, attendees dressed to kill will feast on gourmet Addams-inspired dishes, sip steaming libations and dance the night away in an interactive setting.

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Considered “the most requested event of the season”, Charlie’s Ale Garden will be open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on October 22 at the Westfield Armory. Able to once again be inside the spacious venue, the evening will feature a lineup of local bands and the headliner ‘Saved by the 90s’. Food truck meals and beverages are sold separately with beer and wine donated by Harvest Restaurant Group.

Advance tickets to Charlie’s Ale Garden will cost $25 each, with a limit of four per household, and include admission to the event, a commemorative cup and live entertainment. Participants must be 21 years old and provide proof of age. Ticket sales are based on the Armory’s indoor capacity. If the weather allows the event to be extended outdoors, additional tickets will be sold several days in advance.

Complete with a cast of shadows, the Cranford Theater hosts “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at 10 p.m. on October 22. Plus, a classic family Halloween movie will be screened at the Rialto on October 29.

“Chatting with Charlie” is the latest installment in Gomez’s lecture series, which brings together artists, scholars and performers to discuss aspects of Charles Addams’ life and art. In 1981, Addams sat down with John Callaway of PBS for a conversation about the artistic process, his life in Westfield, and all things Addams.

The Rialto Creativity Center will host a screening of the interview at 7 p.m. on October 27. After the interview, light refreshments will be served while guests enjoy a private tour of “Evolution: Charles Addams and the Artistic Process” and a Q&A session. with Tee & Charles Addams Foundation Executive Director Kevin Miserocchi.

While other children were having fun with friends, a young Addams spent his time hanging out in Westfield’s oldest cemetery, Westfield’s Burial Grounds Presbyterian Church. As part of Gomez’s lecture series, 20-minute lantern tours given by Westfield Presbyterian Church will highlight the appeal of the young artist. To book a visit, go to Tours run at 10-minute intervals from 5-6:30 p.m. on October 15. The suggested donation is $5 per person/$10 per family.

Addams Family Fun Day is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 16. Closed to cars for the day, downtown Quimby Street will see character visits from the ‘Addams Family’, live performances including local youth groups, displays from the Maniac Pumpkin Carvers and OMG Bubbles, readings of “Tonight, Tonight is Halloween” by author Peter Lyons, pumpkin decorating, activities with local merchants and a community art project with street artist Norman Kirby.

For more information, visit www.addamsfest.comor follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@addamsfest).

Email: [email protected]

Cheryl Makin is an award-winning feature film and education journalist, which is part of the USA Today network. Contact: [email protected] or@CherylMakin. To get unlimited access, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

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