The Annual Fall Festival and Craft fair held by the Manasquan Chamber of Commerce, featured more than 40 vendors, food, live music and pumpkin painting for kids. PHOTO BY MARK R. SULLIVAN.

MANASQUAN — The Manasquan Chamber of Commerce held its annual Festival on Saturday, with attendees wearing face masks and social distancing.

Along with the music, food and crafts was a hope to regain some sense of normalcy after a summer altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. About 40 vendors set up shop in Squan Plaza, catering to hundreds of passersby perusing their wares

“The vendors need to work and so many jobs have been taken away from them, so many events have been cancelled, so we are lucky enough to have enough room to spread everyone out and social distance,” said event chair Pam Patullo, of the sponsoring Manasquan Chamber of Commerce.

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In addition to being a boon to vendors, the festival also gave residents an opportunity to get out and catch up with old friends.

“People would rather be outside,” Ms. Patullo said. “It is much safer, of course, and they get to socialize and visit with their neighbors where they might have not been able to do before.”

The event is a major fundraiser for the Chamber of Commerce, with the money raised going toward the cost of decorating downtown Manasquan for the Christmas season.

But first the business group has another tradition holiday event to put on — the annual Halloween Fest on the plaza, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 24.

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