Arts & Entertainment

Scenes from a Lively (But Shortened) Charter Day

The Basking Ridge Fire Co. No. 1 and First Aid Squad set up in its usual spot to sell cotton candy to raise money for the all-volunteer service organization at Charter Day on Saturday. First Aid volunteer Michelle D'Autorio spins some of the sweet stuff. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Mackenzie Luther, who will turn 1 on May 28, attends her first Charter Day on May 16 in downtown Basking Ridge. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Despite overcast skies for part of the day, downtown Basking Ridge filled up with a crowd for Charter Day 2015. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Official Bernards Township Town Crier Hank Barre leads a brigade of township officials down South Finley Avenue in Basking Ridge to open Charter Day on May 16. Credits: By Walter Pardo
Bernards Township Mayor John Malay addresses the crowd with a little history lesson on how the township was created by order of British King George II. Township, county and federal officials were present at the opening ceremony. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
The first performance on the main stage on Charter Day was by children from the Treehouse Child Caring Center in Basking Ridge. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Ridge grad Brook Burnett, home from her first year at college, Ridge juniors Katie Matzen and Cassidy McKenna, and freshman Emma Wightman, enjoy the local tradition of hanging out at Charter Day in Basking Ridge. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Inflatable rides and attractions made the Oak Street School the place to be on the 21st annual Charter Day on May 16. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
The Brick Academy, established as a school in the early 1800s, was open with historic exhibits on Charter Day on May 16. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
U.S. Congressman Leonard Lance (Dist. 7-Rep.) is a regular at Charter Day, and was part of the opening ceremony for the 21st annual event on May 16. Credits: By Walter Pardo
In order to raise money for the Ridge High School hockey team freshman Liam Tormey allows participants to shoot for the goal between his calves. Ridge freshman Will Becker cheers his teammate on. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Claire Miuserner of Basking Ridge, who plays softball with Ridge Youth Sports, was at the organization's table at Charter Day. Claire stands next to a sign letting people know that registration is now open for Ridge Youth Sports Tackle and Flag Football. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Henry Street was crowded for Charter Day 2015 in Basking Ridge. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
For some people, Charter Day is all about the food - and for good reason! Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos

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.

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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.



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