WEST ORANGE, NJ – Over 7,000 people are expected to attend the 12th Annual West Orange Street Fair and Edison Day event on June 6. Last year, over 4,400 people alone trekked over to the Edison Laboratory for “Edison Day,” which was the first year the event was paired with the West Orange Street Fair.
Township Council President Jerry Guarino said he was especially pleased with the addition of Edison National Park to the event last year because by holding both the Street Fair and “Edison Day” together, last year, more than 4,400 people, many of whom were West Orange residents who had never been to the museum before, took the time to discover the Edison museum.
“Holding Edison Day alone, they never saw the kind of numbers they saw last year by holding it jointly with the West Orange Street Fair,” said Guarino. “They used to maybe get a few hundred people, but by partnering with the fair, they far exceeded that number and were able to have a huge turnout for Edison Day.”
“This is a great example of how things improve when the community works together,” said Guarino. “By getting people to work together, and build the energy, people begin to see the plusses.”
“This is our second year sponsoring the Street Fair,” said Director of the Downtown West Orange Alliance Megan Brill. “The Downtown Alliance wanted to create a signature event that shared our national park and business community with our residents.”
She added, “This year, we have well over 50 different resident businesses and community groups participating. In addition, we have more than 50 crafters and artists from our surrounding community. I have enjoyed meeting many new residents and learning even more about the citizens of West Orange.”
The street fair will offer over 100 vendors and crafters to fit every age group, with items from handmade baby dolls to fine jewelry and even electric bicycles. There will also be a classic car show, a free tour of the Thomas Edison Laboratory (see below); a beer garden and a food court, with everything from gourmet desserts to shish kebobs and homemade ice cream. In addition, there will be a Touch-a-Truck activity, which is a kid-centric event where children and adults alike will be able to have a behind the-wheel experience with large municipal and service vehicles. There will also be an evening concert featuring live music from area band The Grip Weeds.
Please Note: The 1,000-foot slide will not be present at the Street Fair. Arrangements are underway for the possibility of bringing this attraction to West Orange at a future date.
Event sponsors include: MetLife, PSE&G, Regal Bank, The Thomas Edison National Historic Park, The Township of West Orange, Leaf Filter, Evco Mechanical, Vanderhoof and Cabinets Direct USA.
EDISON DAY PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES
Programs at the Visitor Center will include the following 45-minute programs:
- 11:30 a.m. – Harry’s Magical Invention Bag
- 12:30 p.m. – Why We Love Architect Henry Hudson Holly
- 1:30 p.m. – Edison in Pop Culture
- 2:30 p.m. – Harry’s Magical Invention Bag
- 3:30 p.m. – Edison: Japan's Favorite Inventor
At the Chemistry Lab, guests will learn more about Thomas Edison’s chemistry experiments with storage batteries, sound recording technology and goldenrod rubber.
Buildings 3 & 7:
At the Pattern and Blacksmith Shops, guests will be invited to check out the wood and metal work that took place at the laboratory.
Here, guests will walk through rooms where Thomas Edison and his staff changed the world. They will stop on the third floor to hear a phonograph
Also, at the Speedwell Village, which is located on the third floor, participants will learn what Samuel Morris and Thomas Edison had in common by trying their hand at telegraphy. Note: Speedwell Village preserves the restored estate of Stephen Vail, the proprietor of Speedwell Ironworks. It was at Speedwell where the first successful demonstration of the telegraph took place in 1838.
Dream Rocket Art Project: Through this exhibit, guests will see the many ways in which people have expressed their understanding of what the importance of Thomas Edison and his inventions mean to them.
Wax Cylinder Recording Sessions: Guests will listen as the following musicians record on 100-year-old phonographs:
- 11:30 a.m., Marcus Milius—TRADITONAL BLUES & PROHIBITION JAZZ—Calling on the blues traditions of the great delta walking musicians from Charley Patton to Muddy Waters, this is a one-man act that sounds like a trio. The bluesy throat, guitar, and harmonica of Marcus Milius weave the musical styling and spontaneity of John Lee Hooker with the storytelling and humor of Tom Waits.
- 1:30 p.m., Dolunay—SONGS OF TURKEY & RUMELI—With Dolunay, three leading figures of the contemporary Brooklyn music scene create a vital new sound rooted in the Ottoman traditions of Rumeli, the Balkan region of the Ottoman Empire. Dolunay is Jenny Luna on voice and percussion, Eylem Basaldi on violin, and Adam Good on oud and tambura.
- 3:30 p.m., Chad Smith and Lynette Wardle—RUDY WIEDOEFT TRIBUTE—Chad Smith teaches saxophone at Montclair State University and performs woodwinds in hit Broadway productions like Wicked. Lynette Wardle is the principal harpist of the Richmond Symphony and the Albany Symphony. As a duo, they will perform the innovative sounds of saxophonist Rudy Wiedoeft, a featured Edison recording artist from 1917 to 1924.
Guests will visit the replica of the first motion picture studio and learn about filmmaking with Mono No Aware, a cinematic arts non-profit group. They will also watch early motion pictures and sign up to make movies in the Edison style later this summer.
Here, kids will become Junior Rangers by being able to earn a Junior Ranger badge by picking up a booklet at the tent, completing the activities and receiving a badge. There will also be hands-on chemistry activities and The North Jersey American Chemical Society (ACS) is encouraging guests to visit their chemistry table under the tent and experiment like Thomas Edison.
Other activities will include:
Game On: Kids will learn to play Chinese Checkers and Parcheesi just like the Edison family here. They will also be invited to help the museum test a brand new game, called “New Science,” that boasts a Thomas Edison game piece.
Children in the Garden: Mrs. Edison sure loved her garden and here, kids will be able to enjoy gardening activities throughout the day.
This is Jeopardy: Here, children will try out a game of Thomas Edison and National Park Service Jeopardy.
Invent Like Edison: In this activity, children will be able to take the challenge and see if they can build a project like Thomas Edison.
Experiment and Play: Those interested will be able to try a few recorded sound, movie, and nature activities from the Camp Edison program series.
In the Courtyard: Guests will help support the park and get to know the Edison Innovation Foundation and the Friends of Thomas Edison NHP by stopping by their tents to seeing how they can help the park.
Model A Car Club: From 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., guests will be able to check out antique cars in the Courtyard—weather permitting.
Ask a Ranger: At 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., kids will find out what it is like to be a park ranger, and take a peek inside the patrol car. Those interested should meet in the courtyard near Building 4.
Bus Tour: Guests will be able to join a park ranger for this 30-minute narrated ride through the Glenmont Estate in Llewellyn Park. Please note: This is a bus tour and visitors will remain on the bus for the tour. Tickets are required and are available at the visitor center in Building 1.
To accommodate all of the expected guests, vendors and activities, the West Orange Police Department has issued an advisory about traffic and road closures during the June 6, West Orange Street Fair and Edison Day event. The happening, sponsored by the Downtown West Orange Alliance, will be held on Main Street, between Park Avenue and Babcock Place, from 11: 00 a.m. to 9:00. p.m., and this section of Main Street will be closed from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., with limited access between Washington Street and Park Avenue.
If traveling south on Main Street, the police are asking drivers to plan on using Washington Street to Watchung Avenue to Park Avenue. If traveling north on Main Street, the police are asking drivers to use Park Avenue to Watchung Avenue to Washington Street, as an alternate route between these times.
There will be detour signs and Police Officers to assist drivers if necessary.
Free parking for the Street Fair will be available at 80 and 59 Main Street, and a shuttle will be available to bring guests to the Street Fair. Parking will also be available at the Washington School, and guests will be able to walk to the Street Fair. In addition, handicap parking will be available at 211 Main Street.