MADISON, NJ - On Saturday, October 5th, it was hard to make your way through the downtown of iconic Madison. The celebration taking place lining the streets was the annual Bottle Hill Day. Many residents said that this year's was one of the best in decades, attracting hundreds of people to the historic Morris County college town.
“There’s so many people around here that I’m always bumping into someone, no matter how carefully I walk,” said Roger Holloway, from Kinnelon. “But I can’t help it either as there’s so much to view and explore in this very diverse landscape.”
Bottle Hill Day is an annual festival that is organized by the Downtown Development Commission, which works to promote the business district of Madison. For the festival, numerous local businesses were given the opportunity to set up vendor booths and become sponsors so they could gain exposure for their organizations. Thousands of tables lined the streets of Central Avenue, Chapel Street, Cook Avenue, Elmer Street, Main Street, Kings Road, Lincoln, Waverly Places, Green and Maple Avenues, and Prospect Street.
Vendors included restaurants, insurance companies, massage parlors, charities, political parties and school organizations such as the Madison Community House Preschool and the Before and After School Child Care (BASCC) program, who combined forces to set up an exhibit together.
“We do this every year that they have it,” said Dorothy O’Connor, BASCC director, from Madison. “We do it for community awareness and to let everyone know we are around.”
Patty Driscoll, director of the Madison Community House Preschool, felt the same way. “We serve for 25 years in Madison,” said Driscoll. “Bottle Hill Day is a fabulous community event that bring families together and helps everyone know what’s in our town, from businesses, to non-profits, to local organizations. We love meeting new families and seeing old ones that we’ve connected with.”
Bottle Hill Day was first created over 30 years ago, with its name originating from Madison’s original establishment in 1715 - The Village called “Bottle Hill.”
Aside from the over 200 vendors on display, there were many other fun activities. Several concerts venues were set up and sponsored by the Atlantic Health System, Provident Bank, Merck Animal Health and MACA/Madison Music & Arts Stage; each having the stage named after them.
Republican council candidate Kathy Dailey was happy to see the fun and have a booth set up for the Madison Republican Committee. “Bottle Hill Day is a great opportunity to come out and celebrate the fall season together,” said Dailey, who is running for a three-year term for this November.
There were also beer gardens, food trucks and amusement rides on the front lawns of the Hartley Dodge Memorial Building and Central Avenue Elementary School. Kids enjoyed face painting, fire truck tours, a petting zoo and pony rides on the front lawn of the Presbyterian Church.
One of the biggest highlights was the annual car show held in conjunction with Bottle Hill Day and by the Madison Chamber of Commerce and Madison PBA #92. The Museum of Early Trades and Crafts held live demonstrations of hearth cooking and woodworking on their front lawn.
“We’re spoiled for choice here in Madison,” said Amanda Foster, from Hackettstown. “There’s just at least two or three things for every single person at Bottle Hill Day. There’s no way you can’t come into Madison today and not have any fun.”
To learn more about the Downtown Development Commission and their other upcoming events for the Madison business community, visit them on the municipal webpage at https://rosenet.org/371/Downtown-Development-Commission.