New Pickleball Festival Comes To The Jersey Shore In September



The Funky Pickle Ventnor Classic – a philanthropic pickleball party with tournaments and all-day entertainment – will take place on Saturday, September 11.

The very first Funky Pickle Ventnor Classic will take place on September 11. / Photograph by Maggie Corrado.

Over the past five years, pickleball – a hybrid of tennis, badminton and table tennis that requires no prior training and is aimed at players of all ages and abilities – has grown in popularity. After a boom in participation during the pandemic – a 21.3% increase, to be exact – it is now considered the fastest growing sport in America.

In addition, the Philly and New Jersey area is home to more and more pickleball and amateur fields. (The Ocean City scene is pretty hardcore.) And next weekend, a new pickleball festival taking place on the Jersey Shore is sure to excite seasoned picklers, beginners and future alike.

The inauguration Funky Pickle Ventnor Classic will take place on Saturday September 11 at Ventnor City. Hosted by a newly founded events company Funky pickle productions, the philanthropic evening of pickleball will offer a tournament of two mixed doubles (“Get Funky” for social players, “Pickle Down” for the advanced) and raise funds for All-transparent foundation, a non-profit organization that provides mental health services to emergency responders across the country.

While the tournament is currently waiting list only, there will be plenty of * free * entertainment and activities to enjoy while watching the picklers in action, including live music from the Philly-based marching band Snack time, homemade pickle juice cocktails (!!) from Haddon Township restaurant Peace love pickles, a beginner’s pickleball clinic, beach bar, food trucks and a vendor’s market. There will also be free mammograms on site, thanks to the festival’s main sponsor, Atlantic medical imaging.

Funky Pickle Productions co-founders Alex Greer and Maggie Corrado. / Photograph by Jason Gates.

Funky Pickle Productions co-founders Alex Greer and Maggie Corrado said they decided to host an event like this not only to showcase the growing sport, but also to celebrate and expand an inclusive community and solidarity. Corrado says the meetups she joined at Narberth and Cedar Park are “really beginner-friendly” (Corrado included) – teaching her the ins and outs of the game and making her feel right at home on the pitch. .

And Greer, whose passion for pickleball peaked during the pandemic, says the sport “has helped fill the void of social interaction and the inability to produce experiences for people” last year. “As much as the game is about competition and improvement, it’s about enjoying good company and having a good time, that’s what the event is built around”, he said. . “I want people who have never been introduced to pickleball to have a paddle in hand by the end of the day.”

The duo say they plan to develop this into a series of touring festivals, visiting courts in Philadelphia, the Main Line and other parts of the Jersey Shore.

The Funky Pickle Ventnor Classic will take place 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on September 11 at the Ventnor City Courts (5600 Atlantic Avenue, Ventnor). In case of bad weather, the event will take place on Sunday September 12 or Saturday September 25. You can follow the updates on their Instagram.

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