MILLBURN, NJ - Saturday afternoon in Taylor Park, the culmination of months of work came together as more than twenty civic organizations, business groups and religious organizations celebrated the history and diversity of Millburn Township.
Each group was part of the Millwheels Rolling into Millburn Festival, a long-term art project designed to connect the community and celebrate the town's past, present and future. All participating groups were given a small millwheel by the town with the instructions to decorate it as they so choose.
The millwheel has a major significance in Millburn's history, appearing on the town seal in recognition of the municipality's history. Through that medium, the town's Cultural Engagement, Diversity and Arts (CEDA) Committee allowed each organization to decorate the wheel as they so chose.
According to Deputy Mayor and CEDA Chairwoman Jackie Leiberberg, the millwheels project was created "to embrace our rich cultural history as well as [Millburn's] diversity."
"This is the first of hopefully many projects that will drive community engagement and participation," Leiberberg added. "We have 24 different organizations represented here today and we're very excited about the opportunity to connect our past with our present."
Along with the millwheels on display from organizations like the Paper Mill Playhouse and the Millburn Chamber of Commerce, several food vendors were hawking a variety of international dishes. Additionally, two different groups of performers entertained the crowd with a program full of culturally relevant dance and music.
Among the groups on display was a wheel from the Millburn High School Class of 2020. Senior class president Jamie Serruto was standing by the wheel and said in his interview that he enjoyed being part of the project.
"This is a great event to celebrate the diversity of Millburn Township and be inclusive of all of the great ideas that make up such an awesome community," Serruto said. "I think it was important to showcase the senior class because we are the this is our final year in town. And we want to show that we do care."
Leiberberg also noted that the Millwheels project would be the first of many put on by CEDA in order to continue to drive community bonding in the near future.