CRANFORD, NJ - The Cranford Municipal Alliance will host its third annual Cranford Cookout on Sunday, May 21, following a weekend full of town-wide, family-friendly events.

The weekend begins on Saturday, May 20, with a family movie night at dusk, sponsored by the Hanson House Conservancy. The conservancy’s yoga instructor, Bridget Briant, will host a family yoga class on Sunday before the CMA cookout. In addition, the Historic Preservation Advisory Board will sponsor a walk-through of Cranford’s historic sites on that Sunday, according to a press release sent by the CMA.  

The town-wide cookout is a night for Cranford’s residents to get together and enjoy live music, crafts, face-painting and dinner prepared and grilled by the town’s police, fire and municipal employees. The CMA started the cookout in 2015 as a way to promote its family dinner night initiative, according to the press release.

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"The Alliance introduced family dinner night a few years ago and since then, it’s evolved into so much more," William Ilaria, chairman of the Alliance, said in the press release. “Cranford is a tight-knit community and by working together, we are providing our children with a safe environment to flourish in. It's been proven that family dinners are the best prevention strategy for families trying to keep their children alcohol and substance free and we're hosting one of the largest community cookouts in the area to remind everyone of the importance of having a routine family dinner."

The CMA asks Cranford residents to attend dressed in Cougar colors and clothing to show support for the community. More than 2,000 people attended last year’s dinner, according to the press release.

“It’s become one of the largest community events in town,” Alex Paulyson, media relations for the CMA, said.

The cookout will begin at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 21. For more information, please visit the CMA’s Facebook page or the town’s website.