ROXBURY, NJ - Asked if he had any idea how many people were surrounding him yesterday evening at the annual Roxbury Beach Blast, Roxbury Councilman Fred Hall looked around and found himself at a loss for words.
It was about 8:30 p.m. and the fairgrounds section of Horseshoe Lake Park was packed for the free event. Hall said he had no idea. He could only guess: Two thousand? Three thousand?
"It's just an unbelievable event," Hall said. "I haven't seen so many people in my entire life in one spot. It's fun. Everybody's having a great time. We have great weather associated with this tonight. Absolutely no hiccups and we raised an awful lot of money for Roxbury Social Services today so it's a win-win for everybody.
The big fireworks show was about an hour away and more people were coming in a steady stream - some having parked as far away as Roxbury High School.
Around then, they stopped collecting money for the 50-50 raffle. The pot was $1,340, with each ticket costing $5. Half that money was going to Social Services, a nice chunk of change that made Social Services Director Janet Wald pretty happy.
"I think tonight was a great experience and I think it did wonders for Social Services," Wald said.
The other half of the 50-50 was won by Sandra and Rob Holley of Hopatcong, who also were thrilled.
“ Last nights fireworks show was amazing," said Roxbury Rotarian Steve Alford. "To see all those people out on the island really celebrating how lucky we all are to live in such a great community. And every year I have to ask this same group of sponsors if they will join me on providing free fireworks for our town and I keep expecting them to say 'Not this year.' But, just like always, they all respond with the same answer and without hesitation. These are great, giving people who run great businesses and we are all lucky to have them”