Food & Drink

Livingston Summerfest Launches Season with Food Trucks, Crafters and Music

Selling ducks for the Livingston Sunrise Rotary Club Duck Race are, from left, Padam Neopane, Richard Shapiro and Joseph Magotch. Credits: Alan Grossman

LIVINGSTON, NJ – More than two-dozen food trucks offering an assortment of food and drink options from frozen chocolate-covered cheesecake to Sicilian rice balls were some of the main attractions at the second annual Livingston Summerfest, whch drew thousands of people to the high school parking lot on Saturday.

The Livingston High School parking lot served as the site for Summerfest, which, along with the Livingston First Aid Squad Food Truck event, also featured a craft show and an assortment of inflatable rides sponsored by RWJBarnabas Health, the Livingston Sunrise Rotary Duck Race fundraiser, the Haines Pool Open House and music by DJ Chuck Russo.  

“It’s great to see people coming out to support the food truck event,” said Scott Maynard, chairman of Summerfest. “Proceeds from the $5 per person admission benefit the Livingston First Aid Squad, a volunteer organization that does such a wonderful job serving the residents of Livingston.”

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Those who came for a diverse food experience were not disappointed. Along with the old-time American classics like Jersey wieners, burgers, barbecue and wood-fried pizza, there were international favorites like Belgium waffles, zeppoles and empanadas.

“It’s nice to see the addition of new food trucks and new businesses this year at the Summerfest,” said Maynard.

Among the new Livingston businesses that had booths at the Summerfest’s craft fair were Genius Gems, scheduled to open later in 2017, Cycle Bar and Gold Fish Swim School.

Genius Gems’ founder, Jennifer Romanoff, said she is excited about opening a STEM-based play space for kids and adults in Livingston.

“I got the idea for the business when I was watching my husband and our two sons building with magnetic tiles,” she said. “When I reminded him that he would be late for work again, he joked that he would rather be doing this than going to his job. We had a good laugh. And that is how the idea was born.”

“Bubbles,” the goldfish mascot, was hanging out with Goldfish Swim School owners Larisa and Jeffrey Posner and their son, Shane, at the school’s booth. Jeffrey explained that the school’s “perpetual lessons” model focuses on teaching swim and safety skills while building character.

Speaking of character, there was plenty of that at The Pink Flamingo Man booth. Pat and Rick Meyer were dressed all in pink and surrounded by flamingo planters. Rick explained that he makes each planter.

“People enjoy watching their flowers bloom in style in their own custom pink flamingo planters that I make,” he said.

At 3 p.m., Littell’s Pond was the site for the Livingston Sunrise Rotary Club’s Duck Race, which involved more than 1000 plastic, numbered ducks sold throughout Livingston in the weeks leading up to the event. The race was sponsored by Regal Bank, Investors Bank, PIP Printing and CareOne.

Selling more ducks at Summerfest were Rotary members Padam Neopane, Richard Shapiro and Joseph Magotch, who is president elect of the club. Magotch said this is one of many chartable projects the club undertakes during the year.

“We hope more people will join our diverse group, and connect with people who share their dedication to community service,” he said.

During the day, which served as a kickstart to the summer for the Township of Livingston, hundreds of people enjoyed the Livingston Senior Youth & Leisure Services’ (SYLS) Haines Pool Open House. The SYLS offered free entry to all town residents. Both the adult and children’s pools were packed with people cooling down on the first real hot day in weeks.

Summerfest sponsors were Genius Gems, Kitchen Magic, Cycle Bar, Huntington Learning Center, New York Life and the Goldfish Swim School. 

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