MONTCLAIR, NJ - For the past few weeks, Montclair has been in the running to be named New Jersey's best downtown in New Jersey Monthly's 'Downtown Showdown' competition.
Montclair has already victoriously survived two prior rounds, beating out Westfield and then Hoboken. In this third round, Montclair is up against Maplewood. If successful, Montclair will advance to the final championship round for the title.
Starting with 16 original towns in the first round, has now resulted in four remaining towns. Montclair, Maplewood, Morristown and Cape May have emerged as winners in the second round of New Jersey Monthly's Downtown Showdown, stated a release issued by the magazine.
According to the release, the initial group of 16 downtowns were chosen by the editorial staff of New Jersey Monthly. Each week towns faced off based on population with winners squaring off in Week 2 and now they will advance to Week 3.
The championship round starts tomorrow, with the ultimate winning downtown to be named on Sept. 29.
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Montclair leaders were asked their thoughts on Montclair's progress thus far and they had this to say:
Mayor Robert Jackson said, "New Jersey is blessed with amazing downtowns, including Westfield and Hoboken with whom we had the honor to compete against in the initial rounds."
Jackson continued, "We are humbled that the voters think so highly of us and inspired to do even more to establish Montclair as the preeminent downtown in New Jersey, if not the United States."
Deputy Mayor Robert Russo said, "Of course I'm thrilled to see Montclair advance to the next round as the best downtown. Hope we win over our good neighbor Maplewood, which has a nice quaint downtown, but ours is by far the best."
Renee Baskerville said, "I think we should celebrate all of the improvements that Montclair is doing. This is a great way to do that. It also brings awareness of the downtown areas in all of the participating towns. However, there's no place that people could ask me about that I wouldn't choose Montclair every time."
Councilor Robin Schlager added, "I'm pleased to see people are showing their pride by voting for our downtown against some really tough competition like Westfield & Hoboken. But I also assume that some of Montclair's votes are coming from residents of other towns who are big fans of of our downtown. That really speaks well of Montclair."
Councilor Rich McMahon said that Montclair was up against some tough competition, yet still prevailed. He stated, "I have to admit I was a little concerned seeing Montclair up against Hoboken in this contest. Hoboken has a great cachet, particularly among the young professional. To best them says a lot and confirms my feelings about what a great home and destination Montclair is."
Councilor Sean Spiller said in jest, "Having a little fun through this competition is a great way to highlight what Montclair residents already know. We have a great downtown that is second to none which complements our overall township feel! Hey Maplewood, come on by and enjoy!"
Councilor William Hurlock said, "I am thrilled that Montclair has advanced to the next level."