LIVINGSTON, NJ — For the first time on July 4, Pickleball exhibitions, demonstrations and clinics will part of the 80th annual daylong Livingston Celebration 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Memorial Park Tennis Courts.

Complements of Livingston Pickleball and its partners High Country Ski & Tennis, A+ Physical Therapy and Alden Business Graphics, participants of all ages can watch exhibitions and learn how to play the sport completely free of charge. Pickleball equipment will also be made available to all.

Also for the first time, David Feldman of Swede’s Frozen Yogurt will sponsor the ice-cream eating contest rain or shine on Monday.

Sign Up for E-News

“We have a total of 100 cups of ice cream and we do separate group—each with 50 kids,” said 4th of July Committee Co-Chair Scott Maynard. “The first group is the young kids, 4 to 7, and the second group is 8 to 13. Come hungry.”

Maynard also wanted to remind residents of the many vendors that have been added to the event and a special performance by “The Nerds.” Click HERE to read more about the 80th Anniversary Livingston 4th of July Celebration.

Mayor Al Anthony, who recently included Pickleball on a council meeting agenda, said that Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in Livingston. In fact, due to its popularity, the council agreed to paint Pickleball lines on both the Heritage and Memorial Park tennis courts when they are redone next year.

“We’re proposing 10 dual-use Pickleball/tennis courts by the end of next year,” Livingston Township Manager Michele Meade said at the meeting. “So there will be six more courts after the rehabilitations are complete.”

Currently, Pickleball players across town have been taping lines on the existing tennis courts and tennis players are often frustrated with the lack of shared space available. The dual-sport courts will allow the two popular sports to co-exist.

The Pickleball courts will be used in the same way the tennis courts are currently being used, which is first come, first serve.

“If the situation changes and that’s going to be difficult, we can put some other system in place,” said Meade, who also reminded the council that there was a reservation system many years ago that no longer seemed necessary. “[Pickleball players] can still use any of the other tennis courts and continue to use tape until we rehabilitate them.”

Councilman Ed Meinhardt recommended putting signs up now so that people understand that the courts are intended for dual use with a one-hour time limit if people are waiting.

Councilman Shawn Klein also suggested that when the county redoes Riker Hill Art Park, the council should look into placing some additional Pickleball courts.