BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, NJ - Thousands of township residents and their friends, families and neighbors turned out despite cloudy skies on Saturday to enjoy Charter Day 2015 - a celebration of the 255th anniversary of the founding of the Township of Bernardston by British King George II.
Informational and entertainment exhibits, live music, rides, art, local history, giveaways and games and food - plenty of it - were featured on what likely is the most popular event of the year in downtown Basking Ridge.
The 21st annual Charter Day event was organized by the Bernards Township Department of Parks and Recreation, through the efforts of many township staff members as well as volunteers.
Charter Day officially kicked off at noon
Opening ceremony was held under gray skies at the main stage in front of the Presbyterian Church of Basking Ridge at noon. Pastor Dennis Jones, the first speaker, offered a prayer of thanks for "the gift of rain that nurtures," but added that he hoped the rain would hold out until about 8 or 9 p.m. that night.
The reverend pretty much had his prayers answered. Unfortunately, he should have asked that the "gift of rain" wait until 10 or 11 p.m.
Although the sun shone for much of the day, the event's organizers called off the evening concert with Funktion 11 that had been scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on the main stage. By that point, thunder clouds were gathering, and a tornado warning was in effect.
Busy day anyway
But there was plenty to do until that time. Kids had a chance to go on rides and inflatable attractions at the field behind Oak Street Elementary School on West Oak Street.
Food vendors lined South Finley Avenue along with tables set up by local businesses and service organizations.
A Battle of the Musicians took place on the Henry Street stage in the Oak Street School parking lot.
Links to videos of some of these events are here and on the TAP Into Basking Ridge Facebook page.