LIVINGSTON, NJ — Livingston’s annual Youth Appreciation Week (YAW) treated residents to the annual Family Festival Day at the Oval on May 20, where Livingston’s children enjoyed free activities like inflatable rides, arts and crafts, a petting zoo, a Livingston Robotics Club Exhibition a GAGA challenge and three-on-three basketball tournament, Touch-a-Truck, Open Mike Night and a presentation of Disney’s “Moana” as this year’s “Movie Under the Stars” to end the night.

This event and Sunday’s Diversity Festival at the YMCA concluded a week full of activities for children held throughout town, including annual favorites like Building Blocks Workshop and Adopt a Grandparent, a Little People’s Concert featuring Miss Dylan and a basketball tournament hosted by Livingston’s Senior Youth & Leadership Services (SYLS) and AndOne.

YAW chair Alan Karpas said the turnout for major events like the Family Festival and the Diversity Festival was excellent and that vendors were commenting on the lines of people that were at every event.

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“When you walk around these events and you see the kids grinning and smiling and just having a great time (no pressure or stress) it makes all the effort worth it,” said Karpas. “The during-the-week events were educational and fun, the weekend events was just all fun.

Livingston Mayor Shawn Klein said the entire council feels it is incredibly important to be able to express some gratitude to the township’s “outstanding children” and to help provide opportunities like this for them to enjoy themselves in town.

“Livingston is a family community and we are raising children who are so multi-faceted and who excel in so many different ways and who work so hard,” he said. “Having a week set aside for them just to recognize how special they are and how much they enrich the town is something that the town feels is important.

He added that Livingston has the best volunteers of any town and the YAW is “just another outlet for volunteers to work hard and put on an event that they can be proud of and enjoy.” He said it was equally important for volunteers to have an opportunity to “do good works and for those volunteers to be appreciated.”

Pictured above are children at play at both the Family Festival Day and the Building Blocks Workshops. To read about the YMCA’s Diversity Festival, which attracted more than 1000 people, click HERE.