BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The first fundraising activity for  the Berkeley Heights Peppertown Park Renewal Committee is the township's first Bocce Tournament and Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 10. The tournament will take place on regulation courts in Peppertown Park, the green space between Plainfield and Sherman avenues. Teams and individuals are invited to play in the tournament. A corn hole tournament for children will take place at the same time.  

The Bocce Tournament is a family-friendly event and everyone is invited to attend. Admission to the festival is free. The entry fee for taking part in the Bocce Tournament is $25 per person. 

Food, which will be available for purchase, will feature Italian specialities from local restaurants.  

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All proceeds from the event will go to support the Peppertown Park Renewal Project.

Details and registration for the Bocce Tournament and Festival can be found on the website at www.peppertownpark.com/events

The Bocce tournament is a bow to the township's past, as the park is rooted in Italian legacy and tradition. It was once home to the Petrone family farmstead and its name is derived from all of the pepper plants that grew on the land. Berkeley Heights was once referred to as “Pepper Town.”

Located in the heart of downtown Berkeley Heights, the goal of those working to renovate the park is for it to become a cultural hub. The dream is that it will be used as a site for Art in the Park, outdoor movies and performances, as well as be a family-friendly, multi-seasonal location that, when completed, will be enjoyed by residents and visitors for decades to come. The plan is to have renderings of the renovated park on display during the Bocce Tournament and Festival.

The renovation process is planned to be done in phases. The committee is comprised of many volunteers and the original concept design plans were created by Donovan Hall, a town resident and business owner. The committee was established by an ordinance of the Berkeley Heights Town Council as an advisory committee and the volunteers formed a 501(c)3 charitable organization.  Committee members hope to partner with the community, through fundraising efforts and by obtaining grants, to make the renewal a reality.  

Tax-deductible donations for the renovation efforts can be made online at PeppertownPark.com or may be made by mail, by making a check payable to: Peppertown Park Renewal Committee, and sending it to the Peppertown Park Renewal Committee, 29 Park Ave., Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922.