MILLTOWN, NJ - On Monday, WalletHub released a listing of the most patriotic states in America. New Hampshire ranked number one while the two states that share the Statue of Liberty, New Jersey and New York, were at the bottom. The Garden State was dead last. WalletHub complied their data based on the number of people enlisted in the military along with the amount of residents who casted a vote in the 2016 presidential election as well as the number of New Jerseyans engaged in volunteerism. New Hampshire came out with a score of 63.08 while New Jersey crawled in with 21.55.
Least patriotic? Well, Milltown would beg to differ. The borough has been hosting a Fourth of July parade since the 1920s and has a total July 4 celebration that lasts all day starting with a fishing derby in the early moring and ending with fireworks at night.
Just ask the Milltown Fourth of July Committee how patriotic the town is. The committee begins planning the event shortly after July 4. An entire year of fundraising and planning puts together the July 4 celebration that includes memorabilita. Its annual parade draws more than 15,000 people every Fourth of July and the town is currently gearing up for its 12th annual Most Patriotic House Contest. The deadline to enter was today with photos being taken on June 30. Voting takes place on July 4. Oh yes and there is the apple pie contest too.
Milltown's Fourth of July celebration is so popular that last year when the fireworks had to be canceled because the company the committee had contracted couldn't deliver the fireworks, it made national news. Milltown was even featured on WOR AM's Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning on Tuesday when one of the radio show's reporters came to the borough after hearing about Milltown's devotion of July 4 from a New Yorker who skipped the Macy's fireworks show to head to Central Jersey to experiece the borough's Fourth of July celebration every summer. Milltown Fourth of July Committee Vice-President Neil Marotta was interviewed by the show along with a few residents. Milltown even got some patriotic love on the social media site Twitter when followers were sounding off on WalletHub's article.
"Don't let Milltown see this" one Twitter user tweeted about WalletHub's survey.
So, is Milltown the most patriotic town in the Garden State? Head to Central Jersey on July 4 and see. There really is a little something for everyone from a Firecracker 5K and Fun Run for runners in the morning to a rubber duckie race in the afternoon. Oh and wear red. It's the color of choice for this year's theme which is "Bringing People Together."
The full list of July 4 activities is as follows:
- 6 a.m. - Fishing Derby at Mill Pond by the Milltown Rescue Squad Building
- 7:45 a.m. - One mile Fun Run stars by Gloria Bradford Park right in front of the Senior Center
- 8:10 a.m. - Firecracker 5k kicks off by Gloria Bradford Park in front of the Parkview School
- 10 a.m. - Parade along Main Street
- 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. - Family-friendly run in Gloria Bradford Park including Field Day with Rangers AC, Mr. Ray, rides, vendors, music and free hot dogs and soda until supplies run out
- 2 p.m. - Announcement of the Patriotic House, Best Apple Pie and fireworks start button winners
- 2:30 p.m. - Duck Race sponsored by St. Paul's Church at the Main Street bridge (vounteers will be selling ducks along the parade route)
- 7 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. - Music and vendors in Gloria Bradford Park
- 9:30 p.m. - Fireworks in Gloris Bradford Park from Celebrations Fireworks
“We keep on adding each year,” Milltown Fourth of July Committee chairperson David Potter said. “Every single dollar we get goes toward the whole day. The more money we raise, the more we can do for the town.”
“We love it,” Potter said of the borough’s Fourth of July celebration. “It’s a great day.”