WESTFIELD — It’s back! AddamsFest will return to Westfield for its sixth consecutive October as the destination event of the season. Once again, the Town will be transformed by this uniquely exciting celebration honoring its own Charles Addams and his penchant for the macabre with a wide variety of events.
Born in 1912 and raised in Westfield, Charles Addams was one of the country’s premier cartoonists, with his work prominently featured in The New Yorker. His most successful creation, The Addams Family, was inspired by his hometown surroundings. The characters that began as illustrations grew into a television series, a live action movie franchise, a Broadway musical, two Addams Family animated movies, and the highly successful 2022 Wednesday series on Netflix. What better place to honor Addams’ talent and creativity than the town where he grew up?
This year’s AddamsFest theme is WILD. Inspired by the animals (real or imagined) that populate so many of Charles Addams’ works, curious creatures will appear throughout the festival, including its art exhibit, masquerade ball, and more.
“The idea of this theme came up during a pandemic visit to Addams’ home in Sagaponack”, said Councilwoman Dawn Mackey, Chair of AddamsFest. “In awe of the many animal-themed memorabilia items displayed throughout the house from trips toAfrica taken byAddams’wife, Tee, the AddamsFest team immediately knew that we had to bring this concept to Westfield. We are so excited to see what wild things our community creates!”
Mark your calendars for a variety of events to be held throughout an October like no other!
Ticket & Registration Information: Sunday, September 10, 7 p.m. Registration opens for Haunt Your House (limited to 25 entries in each category).
Tuesday, September 12, 7p.m. Tickets go on sale for Morticia & Gomez’s Masquerade Ball.
Wednesday, September 13, 7 p.m. Deadline to register for participation in Wicked Windows.
Wednesday, September 20, 7 p.m. First round of Charlie’s Ale Garden tickets go on sale for Westfield residents (ages 21+).
Wednesday, September 27, 7 p.m. Second round of Charlie’s Ale Garden tickets go on sale (open to all, ages 21+).
Tickets for all remaining events are expected to be released in early October.
Sights to See: The Addams Family House on Mindowaskin Pond, Early October, 385 East Broad Street, Sponsored by Erin Ben-Hayon, Realtor. Be sure to take a photo of the floating Addams Family house on Mindowaskin Pond. Playing off a beloved Westfield tradition, this Halloween house is a nod to the replica of the Presbyterian Church that signals the holiday season in December.
The Wicked Windows of Westfield: Throughout October, Downtown Westfield, Sponsored by Jean Marie Morgan, Realtor. The Wicked Windows of Westfield transforms Downtown Westfield’s storefronts into delightful Halloween displays.
Haunt Your House Contest: Day and Night: Registration Opens September 10 for the First 25 Daytime Entries and 25 Night Entries; Community Voting Opens October 12, Sponsored by The Mavins Group. The competition gets stiffer every year! To make the driving routes of the entries more manageable, and to take the competition to the next level, there will be two contests this year – one for daytime haunts, and one for haunts by night. Community members will tour the routes and vote for their favorites using an online map of participating homes from October 12 through October 29.
Morticia & Gomez’s Masquerade Ball, Friday, October 13 (of course!), 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., James Ward Mansion. Presented by Premier Sponsor HBC | Streetworks Development. Libations provided by the House of Wine & Liquor. Prepare to be transported to an eccentric world of mischief and macabre. Join Morticia & Gomez Addams in high style to feast onAddams-inspired gourmet fare, sip smoldering libations, and dance the night away in an interactive setting. Perhaps the most elegantly odd event of AddamsFest, guests should dress to kill – or at least to maim.
Spellbound: An Evening of Hypnosis, Thursday, October 19, 7 p.m., The James Ward Mansion, 169 East Broad Street. You are getting creeeeppppyyyy. Hypnosis is said to bring on a relaxing dream-like state for its participants. But it also brings on smiles for those witnessing the hilarity! Whether you volunteer to be hypnotized or watch from the wings, you’re guaranteed a laugh-filled evening with Hypnotist Karl Wirtz.
Charlie’s Ale Garden, Saturday, October 21, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., The Westfield Armory, 500 Rahway Avenue, Presented by Premier Sponsor HBC | Streetworks Development. Wonder Game Area, presented by Wonder, Sponsored, in part, byAlpha Fit Club, The Garage Gym, and Salad House. It wouldn’t be AddamsFest without Charlie’s Ale Garden at the Armory! The joint will be jumping with fantastic entertainment, including a great line-up of local bands and headliner Saved by the 90s. The most in-demand event of the season will once again feature beer and wine poured by Harvest Restaurant Group, food for purchase from a variety of food trucks, and the Wonder Game Area.
Goth at the Gallery, Sunday, October 29, 5 p.m., The Gallery on Elm Street, 122 Elm Street. For the first time ever, AddamsFest is partnering with Petunia Rocks to produce a fashion show to delight the Wednesday or Enid in you. Enjoy themed refreshments and entertainment while our models showcase gothic outfits and accessories which will be available for purchase.
Charlie’s Curiosities: From crossbows to cemeteries, Charles Addams was a man of many talents and even more interests. Delve into the often eccentric and always interesting life and passions of Addams with this annual series of tours and conversations. Lantern Cemetery Tours at the Presbyterian Church of Westfield. Saturday, October 14. Tours run in 10-minute intervals from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. While other kids his age were out frolicking with friends, a young CharlesAddams spent his time hanging out in Westfield’s oldest cemetery (of course he did). Take a lantern tour of these historic grounds, hosted by The Presbyterian Church of Westfield.
Charles Addams Heritage Trail Tour: Sunday, October 22, 10:00 11:00 AM. Meet in front of the Center for Creativity at the Rialto, 250 East Broad Street. Charles Addams was just like any other kid who grew up in Westfield in the early 1900s…except when he wasn’t. Step back in time to see the sights of Westfield circa 1920 as you retrace Addams’ steps from his home to school, downtown, and even to the cemetery where he spent his lazy afternoons (we TOLD you he wasn’t exactly like the other kids!).
Gorey, Addams, and their Animal Instincts: Wednesday, October 25, 7:00 PM, The Gallery on Elm Street, 122 Elm Street. Charles Addams and Edward Gorey shared more than just penchant for the peculiar. They also enjoyed a fondness for fur coats and a deep love of their animal companions (it’s complicated…). Join The Tee & Charles Addams Foundation’s Kevin Miserrocchi and The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust’s Will Baker as they delve into the unusual similarities and extreme differences between these two iconic artists.
The Wild Walk: Pet Parade, Costume Contest, and Adoption Event, Saturday, October 14, 1:00 – 3:00 PM, Downtown Westfield. Calling all dogs, cats, and crocodiles (hey, this IS AddamsFest, after all)! Dress up Rover in their most frightening frock and join us for our pet parade and costume contest! The event kicks off on Quimby Street with registration, and judging taking place between 1:00 and 2:00 PM. While there, guests can meet their newest best friend at the pet adoption event, hosted by Wise Animal Rescue. The parade begins at 2:15 and takes revelers a short distance to Atlantic Health’s parking lot on Central Avenue, where contest winners will be revealed. In addition to best pet costume, prizes will also be handed out for Best Owner-Pet Combo and more. It’s going to be a doggone good time!
Addams Family Fun Day: Sunday, October 15, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Downtown Westfield, Sponsored, in part, by Oceans Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry and the Westfield Educators Association. From Pugsley to Grandmama, there’s something fun for everyone at Addams Family Fun Day. Head on over to Quimby Street in Downtown Westfield, which will be closed to cars for a day of family fun — including Addams Family character visits, live performances, incredible displays by the Maniac Pumpkin Carvers, delightful bubble demonstrations, readings of Tonight, Tonight is Halloween by local author Peter Lyons, pumpkin decorating, activities with some of local merchants, and more.
Further details about this year’s line-up, as well as community partner events and additional surprises, will be announced in the coming weeks. Stay tuned as the altogether ooky events continue to unfold on the AddamsFest website (www.addamsfest.com) and social media channels (@addamsfest on Facebook and Instagram). For more information on sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.