BASKING RIDGE, NJ - The historic Ross Farm in Basking Ridge is opening the property gates on June 2 from 12 to 4 p.m. to celebrate and recognize important milestones in American military history as well express appreciation for the contributions of our veterans. The house and grounds will be open at no charge as visitors will be treated to live music, a BBQ Fest, a Victory Garden plus other family oriented activities. The exceptionally beautiful Ross Farm, located at 135 N Maple Ave, is only open to the public for special events.

“In many ways, we don’t do enough for our current veterans, many who suffer greatly following completion of their service.  We created this event not only to recognize and appreciate all veterans, but especially to raise funds for those who, like all the others, were willing to put their lives on the front line but have since found themselves in difficult circumstances. They are now in danger of being left behind and we cannot allow that to happen,” said Greg Toombs, Events Director for the Basking Ridge Business Alliance.

The Ross Farm, the Basking Ridge Business Alliance, and Ridge Family Dentistry are partnering to raise funds and awareness for two important and effective organizations that support local area Veterans: The Elks and MTI.

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The Elks are pledged to end veteran homelessness and ensure every veteran has the safe, stable home they deserve. Find out more at www.elks.org/vets.  Funds raised go toward “Welcome Home Kits” which assist formerly homeless or transitionary veterans when they move into stable housing.

MTI’s mission is to create employment opportunities for veterans with barriers. Operating on the Lyons VA campus, their Veteran-operated businesses include the Foxhole Café, the Maveric Driving Range and the Veteran’s Greenhouse. Find out more at www.mtinj.org

The day starts with hoisting the flag at noon and Reveille, played on the trumpet by Ridge High School Senior Edward Hu. RHS sophomore Emalee Lafean will sing the National Anthem.  Live music by Brotherflower, a three-piece band playing Americana-genre music will begin at 12:30pm with a second set later in the afternoon. 

Boy Scout Troop #351 will perform a flag retirement ceremony at 3:30 pm and the day will end with Hu returning to play Taps at 4 pm.

Minuteman Smokehouse and Foxhole Cafe will be selling BBQ and smoked food; guests will be able to “Buy a Meal for a Vet” at the event.

Other exhibits will be displayed around the grounds, including Boudinot’s Giving Garden, which gave away more than 2,000 pounds of food to local community food banks last year.  The Garden is partnering with the Alexander Library at Rutgers University to present images as an expression of how the war at home has changed over the years. 

The collaboration to highlight the military lives of the Boudinot, Southard, and Ross families extends across many parts of our community including The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills, Ridge High School’s AP US History classes, the Annin Flagmakers and Boxwood Hall, the State Museum for Elias Boudinot in Elizabeth, NJ,.

The Ross Farm will have many informative and fun programs and activities for people of all ages including scavenger hunts and kite flying if the wind is up!

“Where better to celebrate military history day than the Boudinot-Southard-Ross Farm, a place that was there at the beginning of our military history and has stood watch over the growth of our great nation for nearly 250 years,” said John Carpenter, Mayor of Bernards Township.

Support veterans at this event in any of these three ways:

First, come to the event, enjoy the day’s program and meet some Veterans. 

Second, pre-order a delicious meal from Foxhole Café or Minuteman Smokehouse online at www.brbaevents.org. You can order for yourself and your family, and also choose to buy meals for one or more of our deserving Veterans attending the event.

Third, Individuals and businesses may choose to contribute to the funds being raised for the Elks and MTI.  You can make this happen by going to www.brbaevents.org and choosing your level of support.

“Where better to celebrate military history day than the Boudinot-Southard-Ross Farm, a place that was there at the beginning of our military history and has stood watch over the growth of our great nation for nearly 250 years,” says John Carpenter, current Mayor of Bernards Township.

The conclusion of the Military Appreciation and History Day doesn’t mean the day is done at the Ross Farm as Caleb Caudle and his band take the stage at 7 p.m. for a very special concert! Hailing from North Carolina, Caudle has been dubbed one of “Ten Country Musicians You Should Know” by Rolling Stone. His latest record, Crushed Coins, has been well-received by critics and fans alike. While there is a suggested donation of $20 for adults and $5 for students, in the spirit of the day, all active duty and veterans are encouraged to attend as guests of the FoBSR. Lawn chairs or blankets to spread are suggested, and Minuteman Smokehouse and Foxhole Cafe will be on site selling their delicious BBQ!

To pre-register or for more details, visit www.rossfarm.org/event/caleb-caudle/