Koi Fest 2023 blew us at FFP out of the water! This was an all hands on deck event for us and we couldn’t have been happier to host all of you at our FFP Farm in Milford, NJ! Our VIP guests arrived first. With the VIP ticket guests were allowed to check in at 9am as opposed to 10am, received a Koi Fest t-shirt, giveaway tickets and a $30 Fitz’s Fish Ponds Retail Store Gift Card. We had hourly giveaways with a bunch of great prizes! At 11am we gave away 3 tosai, at 12pm we gave away a Nisai koi and a $250 off Service or Maintenance Visit! At 1pm we gave away a Sansai koi and $500 off a FFP Landscapes & Stonework Project. At 2pm we gave away a $200 retail store gift card and $500 off a New Pond Build or Re-build! At 3pm we gave away a Microbe Lift Sponsored Product Package and at 4pm we announced the Japan Trip Winner! Congrats to John Grumino who won this amazing experience!
In addition to the giveaways we had hourly Koi Auctions! We brought in an amazing Auctioneer, Alfred, who kept the koi auctions vibrant and exciting all day! The koi for the auction were displayed in our formal pond with a glass viewing window so interested participants could view the koi that they wanted to place bids on! We also created some Youtube content featuring these auctions leading up to the event! Click Here to View the Auction Draft Videos: Part 1 and Part 2
They were definitely an exciting part of the day!
This year, we hosted even more Vendors and had a number of sponsors as well! A major feature of Koi Fest this year was that we simultaneously hosted The ZNA Koi Show. Guests of Koi Fest were able to enter koi they bought from FFP into the ZNA Koi Show if they wished to do so and had the opportunity to win awards! At the koi show the ZNA Koi Club flies in judges from all over the country in order to evaluate the quality of the koi based on size, body, color, breed and other qualities. It was a great experience to have our FFP customers be able to see what a koi show looks like and help them see this aspect of the hobby! FFP also hosted a banquet to follow koi fest where customers, ZNA Koi Club members and FFP staff enjoyed a wonderful dinner catered by Kevin Trimarchi, owner of 22 West, Oink & Moo, and Nana’s Pizza. Medals, Trophies and awards were given out to the Koi Show winners during the event and it was truly a wonderful way to end the Koi Fest celebration.
Other vendors of the event included Techo Bloc, which brought in a 50+ ft trailer as their portable display room to showcase their amazing products. Don Schnoor, of Evolution Aqua USA set up a wonderful display, the Mid-Atlantic Koi Club also had a great presence, Tall Man Woodworking had an awesome display of products, Hikari helped with display in the retail tent, Kifu Bonsai had some stunning bonsai trees available for sale, Jay from Atlantic Oase had a great display of Product and Dave of H2Koi displayed his awesome high quality koi monitoring systems and predator protection devices as well. Shanna Rivkin from Sikora Realty set up an awesome table and Dot Fitzsimmons from ERA Bonaikowski sponsored a prize as well!
FFP had its own vendor booth displaying some merchandise as well as fantastic art pieces and jewelry hand painted and handmade by Jenn Bujalksi, who works in our Fairfield Retail Store and Rae Cauley who works in our Green Brook Retail Store. Should any customers be interested in their artwork to follow the event, click HERE to inquire!
We also had three food trucks this year: Oink and Moo, Nana’s Pizza, and Q Bros Italian Ice & Ice Cream! Kyle Mita performed live music throughout the entire day and he was an absolute hit! For kids we had a Koi Fest themed coloring book and crayons, bubbles and stickers to play with, a bounce house and one of the highlights of the day was the Dunk Tank! Fitz got in the dunk tank and all the kids at the event took joy in hitting the bullseye! Let’s just say, Fitz got dunked and these kiddos had some pretty good arms! An appearance from the “Kohaku” joined Koi Fest later in the evening as well!
Of course the highlight of the event was our Koi Tent. We featured 25 tanks of koi this year that ranged from Tosai to Yonsai ranging from $30 to $4000. These koi were featured at the BEST prices of the year and we were so happy to give them some great new homes! If you bought a fish from us at Koi Fest, send us a picture of your koi in its new environment! We love to see the beautiful ponds our koi get to live in when they become yours! We also had great deals on plants this year and displayed and sold some beauties to be added to your ponds!
We are so proud of our amazing team from Fitz’s Fish Ponds to help make this event a success, the team worked tirelessly from planning, to setting up through the event, and the clean up after. Great work team! We are also grateful to our friends in the industry who flew in to help us as well! Tim Waddington from Quality Nishikigoi in Warrington, UK flew in for the event.
The Saito family, including Masaru Saito, Kensuke Saito and his wife Miko, of Shintaro Koi Farm all flew in from Niigata, Japan to be here this year for Koi Fest! We also had Peter and his family from Mountain Top Koi in Pennsylvania helping out for the duration of the event. Eric Twigg and Austin from Mid-West Aquatics in Iowa flew out to help us for the event! Koi Fest is getting bigger every year and the support of our friends in the industry helps us make it as great as it is! We are so grateful to all of you!
All in all, we can’t believe Koi Fest 2023 has already come and gone, but here at Fitz’s Fish Ponds we are already looking towards Koi Fest 2024! If you were able to make it this year THANK YOU for coming, we were so happy to share the day with you and if you couldn’t make it, we look forward to seeing you next year!