If you’ve ever walked down South Warren Street, chances are you’ve seen the man, the myth, the legend, Joe Festa. Yesterday marked his 87th birthday.

Joe has been cutting hair at State Barber Shop in Trenton for over 60 years. Still putting in 12-hour days and loving every minute of it, Festa stressed that “when you love what you do, you never have to go to work.”

After decades in the industry, Festa shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. What’s kept him going all these years? Giving back. Remarking on his hope for Trenton, Festa stated “well, the way I look at it, the more you give, you receive a lot more. It’s all about team effort, I can’t stop thinking about a team effort.” When asked if he had a message for Trenton, Festa went on to say “we should work together and help each other, helping your neighbors is completely helping yourself. I can’t wait to put that back every day.”

Joe Festa celebrating his 87th birthday at State Barbershop on South Warren St.
Joe Festa celebrates his 87th birthday with number shaped balloons at his shop on 116 S. Warren Street. (Photo courtesy of William “Butch” Osterman)

One thing that’s abundantly clear is the love that Festa has for his community. When asked what’s kept him in Trenton all these years, Festa replied “It’s the people, there’s some beautiful people that work down here. A neighborhood that works together stays together.”

Festa accredits much of his success to Trenton, and has made it his mission to pour back into the community. Festa went on to note about how he tries to give at least one free haircut a day, just another way he’s paying it forward to a fellow Trentonian.

From the team at Trenton Daily and on behalf of Trentonians far and near, please join us in wishing one of our community’s beacons a very happy belated 87th birthday.