MILLTOWN, NJ - The high temperatures and uncomfortable humidity did not keep folks away from the borough's annual Fourth of July parade through Milltown yesterday. Hundreds lined both sides of the streets along the route decked out in red, white and blue to enjoy the festivities. Even Santa stopped by, taking some time off of his summer vacation to remind everyone to be nice not naughty and that there were only 147 days until his next visit. Santa's pickup was a huge hit with the kids who really loved the rubber duckies he tossed to eager little hands.
The two-hour parade featured classic cars, motorcycles, floats, bands, fire trucks, emergency vehicles, bag pipes, Mummers and more. Of course, there was the candy that spectators young and young at heart love to gather.
The borough's Fourth of July festivities kicked off early with the Fishing Derby at Mill Pond, which was followed by the one-mile Fun Run and Firecracker 5K. Milltown native Kyle Price was the overall race winner, finishing with a time of 17:06.6.
After the mid-morning parade, many spectators headed over to Gloria Bradford Park for music, food, rides and games. The only damper on this year's Fourth of July celebration was the cancellation of the borough's fireworks display.
The company contracted by the borough failed to deliver the fireworks. The Fourth of July Committee posted on their Facebook page about the cancellation, saying there was not any plans to reschedule the event. They also apologized for being unable to provide residents with the usual fireworks spectacular that typically ends a full day of events.
The Milltown Fourth of July Committee spends countless hours pulling together resources, fundraising, organizing and more to assemble an Independence Day celebration showing off the patriotic essence of the close knit community.
Many residents took to Facebook to voice their displeasure at the cancellation of the annual fireworks display.
Beachwood, New Jersey had to cancel their fireworks display as well because of a failed fireworks vendor delivery. Both Milltown and Beachwood had contracts with Fireworks Extravaganza. Milltown posted on their Facebook page that Fireworks Extravaganza would be providing this year's fireworks display in a post on June 29.
Fireworks Extravaganza was a new company for Milltown's annual July 4 fireworks display as well as Beachwood's. The company is housed in Rochelle Park according to their website and provides fireworks displays for New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
According to a published interview with Beachwood Mayor Ron Roma, the company told him on July 4 that it did not have a driver to bring the fireworks to Beachwood from Maryland. Like Milltown, Roma said the town would not be scheduling a makeup date for the fireworks display, which has been a mainstay in the Ocean County community for the past 77 years.