LIVINGSTON, NJ — July 4th at the Livingston Memorial Oval has been known as one of Essex County’s greatest summertime events for families, friends and neighbors for 82 years. Wednesday’s Independence Day celebration will bring back annual favorites like the auto show and food festival, and will also feature a live performance by EPICSOUL, a Cricket exhibition and the Bands, Beer & Wine Café, which will include wine for the first time.
Just prior to the fireworks finale at dusk, the town will welcome EPICSOUL, an 11-piece R&B and Soul band led by Livingston resident Joe Burach, to entertain on the main stage. Featuring two male and two female singers as well as a dynamic horn section, the group includes musicians who have toured with artists such as Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, Sting & the Police and Jay and The Americans.
After playing at the 4th of July event’s Bands & Beer Café last year, Burach said he and his band mates look forward to entertaining the main crowd with favorites from different genres and different decades so that everyone has a good time.
“While the band plays festivals and events all over the metropolitan area, playing the beer garden at last year’s 4th of July event was the first time we played in Livingston,” said Burach. “We had such a great time and were really excited to be asked to come back and headline this year’s event. I am honored and thrilled to be part of Livingston’s July 4th festivities.”
In addition to Burach, Livingston residents will recognize the band’s bass player, Livingston High School’s music technology teacher Amedeo Ciminnisi, who has played with South Side Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.
EPICSOUL entertains crowds with classic soul hits, Motown medleys, pop and dance tunes that get crowds off their feet. According to Bruach, the cover band is best known for surprising audiences with songs they knew and loved, but haven’t heard in years. The band will take the main stage at 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday, sponsored by Saint Barnabas Medical Center (SBMC).
The day begins at 9 a.m. with Livingston’s 25th annual Auto Fest, the largest July 4th car show in the state, hosted this year by the Natural Class Corvette Club in the high school parking lot. Music sponsored by Nielsen Dodge will entertain guests until 3 p.m. as they vote for their favorite muscle cars, collector cars, antique cars and more. Trophies for the winners will be sponsored by Schumacher Chevrolet.
At 10 a.m., Livingston Kiwanis will host a patriotic ceremony at Haines Pool with its annual pool carnival immediately following.
Elsewhere around the high school, daytime programs will include Cricket Exhibition at the baseball field; a Cricket game at the SBMC Community Field; Pickleball at the tennis courts; nine-hole mini golf; ice-cream eating contests and much more. Additional program sponsors include Prestige Volvo, Investors Bank, Regal Bank, Bernheim Apter Quinn Hopping, Harte Orthodontics and Swede’s Frozen Yogurt.
The Bands, Beer and Wine Café will open at 3:30 p.m. and will include wine for the first time this year. Café bands, including Black Dog & Butterfly, PM Ryder and The Red Light Band, are sponsored by CareOne. Last call is at 7 p.m., just prior to the main stage event.
Entertainment on Wheels mobile video game theatre will be available for free from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., sponsored by Livingston Bagel and ShopRite, and food trucks will line the Oval for all to enjoy from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Summit Medical Group will sponsor the 82nd annual Fireworks Spectacular at approximately 9:15 p.m. to end the day-long event with a “bang.”
The 4th of July Committee extends its thanks to all sponsors, the mayor and council, the department of public works, first responders and everyone else who helps make this event possible. General parking will be available all day at St. Philomena’s Church, and handicap-accessible restrooms will be available at the high school.
In the event of inclement weather, daytime activities will be held in the high school cafeteria, and afternoon/evening performances will occur as scheduled at the covered stage at the Oval. A decision on fireworks will be made by 2 p.m., with a rain date of July 5 at 9:15 p.m.