Arts & Entertainment

Press Releases

Once-in-a-Lifetime Chance to Witness History as Battle of Short Hills Unfolds at Oak Ridge Park in Clark

74494fd3f4db4c20c9ae_BSH_publicity_soldiers.jpg
74494fd3f4db4c20c9ae_BSH_publicity_soldiers.jpg

Union County residents and visitors can partake in a once-in-a-lifetime experience this Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25 at Oak Ridge Park in Clark, when hundreds of uniformed men, women and children stage a re-enactment to commemorate the 240th anniversary of the 1777 Battle of Short Hills.

The two-day event covers everything from dramatic clashes with British regulars to the everyday challenges – and occasional pleasures -- of camp life for a war weary army on the move.

Members of the public are invited to view the battle scenes, visit the camps and participate in multi-age activities. The event is free, and free parking is available.

Sign Up for E-News

A free outdoor concert by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra at Oak Ridge Park this Friday, June 23 will jump start the action packed weekend.

“The Battle of Short Hills was a crucial moment early in the Revolutionary War. It revealed the relentless courage, tenacity and ingenuity of ordinary citizens who fought the battles and supported the solders in camp,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “This commemorative re-enactment will be an enriching experience that is unlike any other the Freeholder Board has ever staged in our County parks, and we are proud to partner with the Brigade of the American Revolution to present it for all to enjoy, free of charge.”

The re-enactment is a project of the Brigade of the American Revolution and is sponsored by the Freeholder Board. BAR is the premier international living history organization dedicated to portraying the challenges facing the men and women who won freedom for the former British colonies in America.

“When you see the Battle of Short Hills unfold before your eyes, you gain a deep respect for the citizens who rose above their day to day concerns and joined together for a greater cause,” said BAR President Tom Delucco. “We hope that this weekend’s event inspires all who witness it with a renewed appreciation for the freedom we enjoy today, and for which our forebears sacrificed their comfort, their livelihoods, and their very lives.

The Battle of Short Hills was a running battle that crossed half a dozen towns in the general area of Scotch Plains in Union County and nearby in Middlesex County on June 26 in 1777, when General William Alexander (aka Lord Stirling) and his division of the Continental Army teamed up with local militia to engage General Howe’s superior British force.

Historians credit the outgunned and outnumbered Colonials with preventing the British from pursuing other Continental Army troops lead by General George Washington.

The result was a strategic victory that played a pivotal role in the many long years of war to come.

The Battle of Short Hills 240th Anniversary Commemoration is open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25.

All ages are invited to participate in public activities in the camp before the battles begin, and watch from a safe distance as the action unfolds.

Public activities include musket and cannon demonstrations, an up close look at cooking and other routines of the camp, a step by step follow-along with a soldier’s life and more.

A complete schedule is available online at ucnj.org/parks-recreation.

Educational displays and programs sponsored by the Union County Department of Cultural and Heritage Affairs and local historical societies will be featured on site.

In association with the Freeholder Board, the FreeWalkers fitness and history organization is also sponsoring a “Battle of the Short Hills” march to coordinate with the Oak Ridge Park event on Saturday, June 24.

The Battle of Short Hills Commemoration is free of charge and free parking is available. Visitors are advised to bring water, sun protection and a portable chair or blanket, as the event is staged in open fields.

Food trucks will be on site and visitors are also welcome to pack their own food.

Access is via the main entrance of Oak Ridge Park, on Oak Ridge Road in Clark.

Visitors can start the weekend early by coming to Oak Ridge Park on Friday, June 23. The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra will present a musical “Road Trip Across the USA” featuring John Williams’s moving score for the film Lincoln among other history-themed works.

The concert kicks off Union County’s Summer Arts popular series of free outdoor concerts and yoga programs. The yoga session begins at 6:30 (participants should bring their own mat), and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra will take the stage at 7:30.

For the full Summer Arts schedule and other activities in Union County parks this summer visit the Special Events Calendar online at ucnj.org/parks-activities.

For more details on the Battle of Short Hills 240th Anniversary commemoration visit on Facebook, facebook.com/BoSH2017.

More information about BAR is available online at brigade.org.

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

Connect with Union County on social media.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Sleep out at Covenant House

June 18, 2018

I can enjoy the same movies over and over like it were the first time to see them.  My kids roll their eyes at this.  Well, many unimaginable things happen as you become a certain age, and you tend to learn to accept those things graciously as gift.   But I remember the movie “The Blind Side.”  Until I saw that movie, I didn’t know homeless children ...

Summit Community Blood Drive is Sunday; First 50 donors Will Get a Free Union Theater Movie Pass

June 19, 2018

The weather may have just started to warm up, but New Jersey Blood Services (NJBS) is already urging the public to donate blood as we head into the summer months.  With schools closing and vacations scheduled, less people donate blood from June through August but transfusions are still needed for local patients.   

“We’re especially thankful to our dedicated donors ...

Union County College Hires New Dean of Humanities

CRANFORD – Dr. Melissa R. Sande is the new Dean of Humanities for Union County College. Dr. Sande joined Union in the fall of 2013 as a full-time instructor of English. She has more than ten years of teaching experience and has previously served as a program coordinator, writing tutor, and an adjunct instructor.

As the Dean of Humanities, Dr. Sande will be responsible for the supervision ...

Summit Area YMCA Swim Team Tryouts July 24

On Tuesday, July 24, the Summit Area YMCA will hold tryouts for its 2018-2019 Swim Team. The tryouts are open to children of all ages, from the surrounding towns of Summit, New Providence, Berkeley Heights, Chatham, Millburn, Short Hills, Watchung, Long Hill, Mountainside and Springfield.

THE FEE TO TRYOUT IS $25 PER SWIMMER. PRE-REGISTRATION IS AVAILABLE AND ENCOURAGED AT THE FRONT DESK OF ...

Very special "Annie, Jr." coming June 29-July 1 at Rahway High School

The CAU Community Players will be staging a very special production of "Annie, Jr." at the Rahway High School Center for Performing Arts on Friday, June 29, and Saturday, June 30, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 1, at 2:00 p.m.

The CAU Community Players is a troupe of actors both with and without developmental disabilities. Formed in 2012, the troupe empowers members with disabilities ...

Watchung Borough Mayor and Council Approve Affordable Housing Settlement

June 9, 2018

WATCHUNG, NJ -The Watchung Borough Council voted on Thursday night  to settle its third round affordable housing obligation mandated by the state of New Jersey. Watchung Borough’s immunity from builder's remedy lawsuits  expires on June 30.

 Mayor Stephen Pote was forced to cast the deciding vote after the council deadlocked at 3-3.

Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith Attends Gun Safety Bills Signing Ceremony with Gov. Murphy in Trenton

June 14, 2018

TRENTON, NJ -- Mayor Al Smith attended a gun safety package bill signing ceremony at the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton on Wednesday with Governor Phil Murphy. Mayor Smith joined a bipartisan group of local and state elected officials, as well as members of Moms Demand Action of Union County, at the event. 

“As a leader in Sandy Hook Promise, I was happy to accept the ...

Union County Freeholders Support LGBTQ Community with Historical Pride Flag Raising Ceremony

June 4, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - The rainbow flag, a symbol of pride and independence fly’s high at the Union County Courthouse in recognition of June as LGBTQ Pride Month. 

This historic event by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and the Office of LGBTQ Services, Department of Human Services and many others, brought dignitaries and people from all over New Jersey to the steps of the ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, June 20, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

The Masterwork Chorus Launches 19th Summer Sing ...

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_3e68b1f0c65d22cd79bc_d6a71058d531d31a8cff_achievers

Mon, June 25

Summit YMCA, Summit

June 2018 College Tour

Education

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM

Madison

Kids' Critter Camp

Education

Mon, June 25, 10:00 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Summer Reading Kick-Off: Eyes of the Wild

Arts & Entertainment

Mon, June 25, 10:00 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Summer Reading for Adults at the New Providence ...

Education

What's Hot and What's Not

Summer is a great time to take a step back, sip a cool beverage, and take a look at what’s going on in the world of college admissions.  Departments use the summer to evaluate how their year went and plan on any changes they want to make for the fall.  Did they over-enroll? Under-enroll?  What application materials were useful to them?  Which were redundant or time ...

How to Design Your Ideal Retirement

Would you like to design your ideal retirement? Where do you begin? First of all, what does retirement mean to you? If you’re in a relationship, does retirement mean the same to you as it does to your partner? Do you know if your “ideal retirement” is affordable or just a pipe dream?

In past generations, retirement planning didn’t involve very much. You stopped work ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...