Community Life

West Essex Area Children Ride Red White and Blue for Annual Bike Contest

Most Patriotic Gold Ribbon Winner Mason Oldroyd, age 6, of Caldwell Credits: Jeff Stiefbold

CALDWELL, NJ - Before the West Essex Memorial Parade got underway Monday morning, children were gathered at the corner of Bloomfield Avenue and Forest Avenue, Caldwell, to see who would win the annual Bike Decorating Contest. Sponsored by West Caldwell-Caldwell Recreation Department, along with the Kiwanis Club of Caldwell-West Essex, the contest welcomed riders from all over the West Essex area. 

The Kiwanis Club judged the bicycles and tricycles in the following categories:
  • Most Original
  • Most Attractive
  • Most Patriotic 
Barbara Boniecki Espy of Essex Fells,, whose granddaughter, McKenna O'Connor, won the "Most Original" award, explained that McKenna is the third generation to ride in the parade; her mom Jennifer O'Connor of Essex Fells and her grandfather, Daniel T. Espy of Essex Fells also rode when they were little.

Her mom, Jennifer expressed, "What a great day for all the kids! McKenna was so excited to be on her bike in the parade!"  Along for the day as well was Jennifer's husband, Mark.

Most Original winners were as follows:
  • Gold Winner 
    McKenna O'Connor, age 2, of Essex Fells

    McKenna O'Connor of Essex Fells   
    Credit: Jeff Stiefbold
  • Silver Award
    Gianna Ladato, age 8, of North Caldwell

    Gianna Ladato of North Caldwell with her dog Noodles   
    Credit: Jeff Stiefbold
  • Bronze Award
    Ella Lepis, age 6, of West Caldwell 

    Ella Lepis of West Caldwell   Credit: Jeff Stiefbold
Most Attractive winners were as follows:
  • Gold Winner 
    Isabel Voca
    , age 9, of Caldwell

    Isabel Voca of Caldwell   Credit: Jeff Stiefbold
  • Silver Award
    Kara Castano, age 5, of Caldwell 

    Kara Castano of Caldwell   Credit: Jeff Stiefbold
  • Bronze Award
    Bridget Castano, age 7, of Caldwell

    Bridget Castano of Caldwell   Credit: Jeff Stiefbold
Most Patriotic winners were as follows
  • Gold Winner 
    Mason Oldroyd, age 6, of Caldwell 

    Mason Oldreyd of Caldwell   Credit: Jeff Stiefbold
  • Silver Award
    Nicholas Lancia,  age 5, of Roseland 

    Nicholas Lancia of Roseland   Credit: Jeff Stiefbold 
  • Bronze Award
    Meredith Pszcola, age 5, of West Caldwell 

    Meredith Pszcola of West Caldwell   Credit: Jeff Stiefbold

Once the parade began, parents walked along with their children as they coasted down Bloomfield Avenue to their final destination at the parking lot next to the Caldwell Car Wash.

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