Maplewood's 111th annual Fourth of July celebration, organized by the July 4th Committee of the Maplewood Civic Association, is coming back to strike up the red, white and blue with fun, food, a circus and more for the whole family. And there is a twist this year: The fireworks show gets a new site—on the lawn in Memorial Park's Athletic Field, south of Oakview Avenue.
Why is July 4 in Maplewood different from any other day? A committee press release spells out the history:
Over a century ago, July 4 in Maplewood was celebrated with a town-wide picnic, a keynote speaker (usually a politician), athletic contests and barbecues. Citizens, generally in groupings by neighborhood, made their way to the picnic grounds. Informal processions gradually turned into elaborate parades with costumes and bands, becoming fierce (and expensive) competitions between neighborhoods. The July Fourth Committee was formed to unite the township activities. Eventually the Maplewood Civic Association was organized, encompassing the committee and dedicated to a tradition of family-oriented July Fourth celebrations.
A $10 tag per person gets you entree to the entire day of activities, including the circus. Tags are available at the Town Hall Clerk’s Office, the Maplewood Memorial Libraries (both Main and Hilton branches), the Recreation Dept. at Town Hall and DeHart Park. Tags also will be for sale on July 4 in Memorial Park and at Evening Event Entrance Gates.
For agenda, tag sale locations and information go here; you can also visit the committee's Facebook Page to download a sign-up form and to look at some cool photos of Maplewood July 4ths present and past.
For more information about volunteering, contact Howard Gilman at (973) 477-7687 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Schedule of Events
7:30 a.m. 4th of July 5K Run, Start & Finish on Oakview Avenue near Field House. (This requires a separate registration and fee; get details at email@example.com. Organized by CHS Cross-Country Team parents and faculty)
8:00 a.m. Opening Ceremonies at Ricalton Square
8:15 a.m. Parade steps off from Ricalton Park with everything you can push, pedal or pull; decorated red, white & blue; all ages.
9:00 a.m. Kids’ Dashes & Relays in athletic field opposite Town Hall
9:00 a.m. CHS Robotics Club students display & demonstrate at Skate House
10:00 a.m. Community Art Project: “Circles-to-Squares” by John Kaufman; sponsors: Memorial Post 10120 VFW & 1978 Arts Center
11:00 a.m. Ice Cream Eating Contests in picnic area next to tennis courts, sponsored and presented by Maplewood Rotary
11:00 a.m. Tennis Contests at Civic House tennis courts: fastest serve and most accurate serve; presented by Maplewood Recreation Tennis Program
11:30 a.m. Baking Contest in Town Hall; all ages. Judging directed by Janet Crane. Baking Contest entries need to be at Town Hall between 9 – 9:30 a.m.
12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. Karaoke presented by New Jersey DJ Services LLC at Athletic Field, south of Oakview Avenue.
12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. Adult Softball in Athletic Field, south of Oakview Avenue, ball field near Valley and Baker
12:00 noon Kids’ Percussion Forest in Athletic Field, south of Oakview Avenue, sponsored and presented by Jamie Ross
12:00 noon Pet Awards Show in front of Town Hall: All Types, All Sizes! Organized and Presented by New Jersey Animal Coalition
Note that $10 per person tag is required for admission to the circus and to concert/fireworks spectator area.
1:00 p.m. & 3:30 p.m. & 6:00 p.m. Zerbini Family Circus under the Big Top! Rain or Shine! 1st Come, 1st Served! No Reserved Seats! Seating Is Limited so line up early!
4:00 p.m. Live music begins on lawn on Athletic Field, south of Oakview Avenue; Performances until Fireworks. Picnic until fireworks: Ice cream vendor; Blue Plate Special meals; Burgers, hotdogs, sodas by Maplewood BSA troop 5. [Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in Maplewood parks.]
Reading of Gettysburg Address by U.S. Grant Dietz, in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.
9:00 p.m. Fireworks — Come early! Times approximate. Parental discretion advised for small children and pets: consider viewing the very loud fireworks from a distance. Rain Date: July 5. (Circus and indoor events will be July 4, rain or shine).
GET YOUR TAGS AT:
Town Hall Clerk’s Office, Libraries Main Branch & Hilton Branch, Recreation Department, Town Hall and DeHart Park
MAPLEWOOD VILLAGE: Able Baker, Maplewood Stationery, No.165, Scrivener’s, Strawberry Fields, Village Wine Shop, Words Bookstore
SPRINGFIELD AVENUE: Edo’s Quality Cakes, HLS Juice Bar & Grill, Park Wood Diner and on July 4th in Memorial Park and at Evening Event Entrance Gates.
Registration is required for Bikes Etc. Parade and Dashes & Relay Races. Forms are available at Memorial and Hilton Libraries, Town Hall, online at Board of Education school websites (“Digital Backpack Flyers”), on Facebook "Maplewood 4th of July" and at www.maplewoodonline.com/cg/july4/.