Two days before the annual Highlands Clam Fest, clammer Bill Mount takes his boat out into Raritan Bay, rakes up more than 2,000 hard clams, and drops them off at the depuration plant in Highlands for cleansing. The day of the festival, he takes the hard clams two blocks west to Huddy Park, where he and his family steam, season and sell them. The clams and other seafood sold by Mount and local restaurants come from nearby bay and ocean waters and are as fresh and tasty as anywhere on the East Coast.
Beyond the clams, the reason people return year after year to the Highlands Clam Fest is the welcoming nature of this hardworking Jersey Shore bayside town. People take turns dunking the dummy to support the volunteer first aid squad, contribute to the 50/50 raffle for the volunteer fire department, and enjoy socializing on the Highlands picnic grounds.
“Folks are really happy,” says Mayor Carolyn Broullon, who owns the Feed & Seed pet and general store. “They love to tell you how much they like the town.”
The 27th annual Highlands Clam Fest is being held in Huddy Park from August 5-7. Admission is free.
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