Arts & Entertainment

South Orange holds First 'Downtown after Sundown' Concerts of the Year

On the Hoof performing Credits: Jason Cohen
On the Hoof performing Credits: Jason Cohen
Peter and Jamie Bright watching the band with their kids Credits: Jason Cohen
Catherine Bernard with her kids and sister watching On the Hoof Credits: Jason Cohen

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ- With summer around the corner, many people will spend their weekends down the shore, but three years ago the South Orange Village Center Alliance created the Downtown after Sundown Concerts allowing people to stay local and enjoy their beautiful vibrant downtown.

The 2013 season kicked off Friday and Saturday and featured The Frost Kings and The Baby Please on Friday night and On the Hoof and Mother Funkers (Columbia High School seniors) on Saturday night. The series presents four concerts every weekend in May through September and all of the performers are from Maplewood or South Orange The music can be seen at Spiotta Park and the corner at Sloan Street and South Orange Avenue.  Executive Director of SOVCA, Lisa Hackett said it’s a fantastic event for the entire community.

“South Orange is walkable and has a great nightlife,” Hackett said. “There’s so many local bands that everybody’s a fan of.”

Sign Up for E-News

Unlike surrounding towns, South Orange has numerous liquor licenses, which attract people to dine there at night, Hackett said. Furthermore, it is the number one stop in New Jersey on the Morris and Essex train line and the SOVCA wants to take advantage of that by keeping people in town instead of going to New York City, she said.

Since it started a few years ago, the reaction by the residents has been tremendous, Hackett said. While only a handful of people came out Saturday night because of the weather, Hackett said Friday night Spiotta Park and Sloan Street were jam packed with children dancing and families enjoying the music.

“It was a spectacular night,” she said.

One of the bands who rocked the house Saturday was On the Hoof. The group, which formed three months ago, is comprised of lead singer Jeremy Bunting, guitarist Sam Godsey and bassist Ian Kenselaar. Kenselaar, who has played in the music festival the past two years with his funk band Scratch and Sniff, said it’s an awesome event and he loves performing in front of his family and friends.

 “It’s a fun night,” he said.

Several parents brought their youngsters to see them play and the kids were shaking and grooving to the beats throughout the evening. Peter and Jamie Bright, who moved to South Orange last year, said the downtown was one of the main reasons they relocated there.

“We like anything that brings life to the downtown,” Peter said.

After having dinner at Bunny’s with her sister and two children, Catherine Bernard said they decided to check out the music. Bernard said she did not know there was a concert series throughout the summer, but once they sat down her kids could not stop dancing.

“It’s sort of serendipitous that we found them and we’ll definitely come back,” she said.




TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News



AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!


Maplewood Police Blotter - Thefts from Unsecured Vehicles Reported

May 25, 2018

May 14 - Theft from Auto; During the overnight hours electronics and coins were removed from two unsecured vehicles parked on Lexington Ave.

May 14 - Theft from Auto; During the overnight hours a wallet and other items were removed from two unsecured vehicles parked in a driveway on Princeton St.

May 18 - Burglary; During the daytime hours a home on the 500 block of Richmond ...

South Orange Police Blotter - Two Arrested and Charged with DWI

South Orange Police Blotter as of May 24

Theft of Bicycle - A South Orange resident reported that sometime between 5:45 a.m. and 1:20 p.m., Tuesday, May 22, actor(s) unknown stole his black & white Gary Fisher mountain bike, which had been locked and secured to the bicycle rack under the main train station.

Commercial Burglaries - Two adjacent West South Orange ...

South Orange's Spiotta Park is Renovated and Ready for Summer

May 26, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The community came out on Wednesday to celebrate the newly renovated and revitalized Spiotta Park, which at the corner of South Orange Avenue and Village Plaza, is in the heart of downtown South Orange.

Matt Glass, Chair of the South Orange Village Center Alliance (SOVCA) Board of Directors, welcomed all and shared his gratitude to those who worked together to ...

Maplewood and South Orange Events for Memorial Day Weekend - and What's Closed

MAPLEWOOD AND SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - There is a lot going on in the two towns this Memorial Day weekend, as well as some closures on Monday in observance of Memorial Day.


The Maplewood Community Pool opens at noon for the 2018 season. (The South Orange Community Pool is opening June 2, details here.)

Downtown After Sundown presents "Jazz on ...

Marines Land at Millburn High School

May 26, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ – After getting rained out last year, United States Marines successfully landed four military aircraft on the Millburn High School football field on Friday under sunny skies. At 10:00 am an MV-22 Osprey, a CH53 Super Stallion Helicopter, a UH-1 Huey Helicopter and an AH-1 Super Cobra Helicopter touched down to create static displays for the students to explore and interact with ...

Domestic Violence Prevention Advocates SOFIA Honors Local Leaders During Annual Gala

WEST ORANGE, NJ - More than 200 supporters gathered at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange on Sunday to celebrate 9 years since the founding of S.O.F.I.A (Start out Fresh Intervention Advocates).

Founder Cynthia Walker and the gala committee of Chaz Moore, Kelly Moore, Lisa Boyd and Ida Walker pulled out all stops incorporating the color of purple throughout the venue for ...

A.J. Perri Helping Veterans in Need - Again

May 24, 2018

TINTON FALLS, NJ – A.J. Perri is back helping veterans in need – this time launching a search for veterans and their families through a partnership with ABC-TV.

As part of the A.J. Perri Cares Program, a lucky New Jersey veteran and their family will receive air conditioning/heating relief this summer.

"They fought for our country, and their families sacrificed," said ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

SOMA Two Towns for All Ages to Host Transportation Summit on June 6

May 26, 2018

On June 6, SOMA Two Towns for All Ages will host a Transportation Summit with speakers and vendors focused on transportation options for older residents.Come and hear about the important role transportation plays in an individual’s independence and health.  

Learn more about the South Orange and Maplewood Senior Bus services. Sign up for classes by AAA, NJTIP, and more.  alk to ...

Free Adult Health Screenings at the Maplewood Library on Wednesday, June 6

Free Adult Health Screenings    

Wednesday, June 6           

10:30 am-noon at Main Library 

Blood pressure and carotid bruit screening, medication, weight & health counseling, Open to Maplewood residents 18 and older. Staffed by Maplewood Health Dept. nurses. Drop in.

Weekly Specials at Ashley Marketplace - and a Memorial Day Coupon

Shop Ashley Marketplace & Cafe for your everyday needs!

This week's specials are:          

Wheatgrass Shot  $2.99 (Bakery)
Corn 4/$2.99
Roasted Vegetables $7.99lb(Prep Food)
Boar’s Head Beef Pastrami  10.99lb(Deli)
Cooked Shrimp $17.99(Ashley Fish Market)
Cave Aged Gruyere $16.99lb ...