If you can't make it to Easton's Shad Fishing Tournament (given a reprieve from cancellation by Tom Ring/Brown Daub Kia! "Or I'll kiss your mother in law!"), fear not, shad lovers. Lambertville's Shad Festival is worth checking out, too. If you haven't ever crossed the bridge from New Hope to Lambertville, NJ (and you can do so on foot - one reason it's adorable), save the date: April 30 and May 1, 2011.
The festival highlights the region's arts community, the history of the City of Lambertville, the Delaware River, and of course, the Shad! Shad Fest features some fine artists and crafters, fishing for those who want to do it, great food and family entertainment - including historical re-enactments of life on the Delaware around the time when Lambertville was founded. After you check out the art, fish, and history, you can walk back to New Hope for lunch at Triumph Brewery (my BF's and my fave) or somewhere along the river. I think that Molly - who knows Lambertville like the back of her hand - would recommend Lambertville Station.
In the eastern US, shad's roe is prized because the eggs are considered a delicacy. My dad's birthday is always around the very short season when shad roe is available commercially, and it's become a ritual of celebration. (And for those of you who know my parents, you know why tracking it down, buying it in a fish store and sauteeing it in butter is such a nice thing for Mom to do.) Happy birthday, Dad!