MILLBURN, NJ - In an event that has quickly become an annual tradition in town, more than a dozen bands came together to play on stage as part of Rocktoberfest, a massive fundraiser for the Millburn Education Foundation that took over Taylor Park for a full day of activities.
The education foundation works as an organization to raise extra funds for school enrichment programs. By fundraising, the group can help stretch the operating budget of all the schools in town to provide the best possible opportunities for all students.
The fourth annual event saw thousands of attendees, as people from both in and outside of town came to enjoy the day and partake in the many activities. Local merchants showcased their wares down the center path of the park as kids frolicked at games an inflatable rides.
But the real center attraction for the day was a pair of stages, on which dozens of bands performed from noon until the late night.
Speaking with TAPinto, event co-chairs Joanna Parker-Lentz and Micole Richter both gushed about how great the event was, both from a community and a fundraising perspective.
"I think we put on a killer festival," Parker-Lentz said. "I'm very proud of our team. It's not an easy task to do this and we thankfully have a lot of people behind us helping. Super hard, lot of sleepless nights [planning]."
"It's so great to see our friends [and] our family come out," Richter added. "Friends from Millburn/Short Hills, but also Livingston, Maplewood, South Orange and all the surrounding towns who have come out to enjoy this great day with us."
Both women also took the time to thank the bands anf business who took the time to come to the event.
One person who was extremely thankful for the work of the education foundation was Millburn Superintendent Christine Burton. She spoke with TAPinto about the positive impact the foundation has had on the schools.
"Any time that we can partner with the Millburn Ed Foundation, we take full advantage," Dr. Burton said. "They have provided for us, things that we can't do outside of the operating budget.
"To come together on a fantastic fall day is kind of an opportunity for our school community. I'm fully on board, and taking advantage of the great weather and great fun today."
As the day moved on into night, attendees continued to stay, in order to enjoy the music and partake in the beer garden that remained on the premises until the very end of the night,
One such resident was Paula Pastore of Short Hills, who simply credited the team of Millburn Education Foundation volunteers that worked to bring the event to life this year.
"How amazing are these people that pull all this together," she said. "They all have jobs, but yet this is important enough to them to pull this together for our town. It's amazing."
At the conclusion of the evening, several hundred attendees made their way over to Moonshine Supper Club for the after party and cool down event, before making their way home.