MILLBURN, NJ - The Millburn/Short Hills 4th of July Committee has been organizing the Township’s Independence Day celebrations for the past 72 years, and according to collected receipts, the committee estimates about 3,000 people attended Tuesday’s festivities and fireworks display.
Net proceeds from the event almost doubled that of last year, signifying a growing popularity of the all-volunteer committee’s efforts to celebrate the Nation’s Independence Day with the community.
The day’s events began at 9 a.m. with the hoisting of the National Colors at Taylor Park presided by Boy Scout Troop 17 and veterans from the American Legion in Millburn. The committee’s Patriot Award, an annual tradition recognizing the efforts of an individual or organization that contributes to the township was presented, followed by the ‘Tike Trike’ race and a softball game.
In the afternoon, the gates opened up at Millburn High School for music, food and activities. Traditional carnival rides, rock climbing, bungee jumping and game stations spread across the high school’s front lawn while live bands played music throughout the day. Front and Center dancers provided a performance as well.
The evening’s fireworks were certainly the most popular attraction. As dusk approached, thousands convened at the high school’s main field, covering it with lawn chairs and blankets. Kicking off the night’s event was Soulfege A Cappella, the award-winning Millburn High School singing group with renditions of popular tunes and classic patriotic songs. Short Hills resident Patty Hetherington sang the National Anthem as she has done for many years while Katie Seifer and Halle Just sang a duet of America the Beautiful. Summit Soundz provided music as well as emceeing the evening events.
This year’s Patriot Award honoree is Down The Block, Inc., a Millburn based nonprofit organization whose aims are to provide short term financial support to residents in need. The award is in recognition of the organization’s “dedication and assistance to Township residents’. Founded in 2009 by long-time Millburn Township resident Wendi Weill, the organization has provided over $390,000 in direct financial assistance to needy residents. Down The Block is solely funded by private donations and board member support.
The 4th of July Committee is an all-volunteer group of Millburn Township residents who begin planning for the annual event in November. From garnering corporate sponsors and individual donations to event execution, the tireless efforts of the Committee continue to ensure that Millburn Township has an outstanding Independence Day for all.
Led by its President Mike Seifer, this year’s Committee members include James Cofer, William Pollock, Wells Ferdinand, Chris Drucker, former Milburn mayor Dan Baer, Randy Bobish, Paul Graves, Michael Jurist, James Kasdon, Jay Mattlin, Craig Just, Al Byington, Corey Biller, Annie Pollack and Jonathan Sym.
For more information and to support next year’s event, please visit www.mshjuly4th.com.