MONTVILLE, NJ – The 4th of July celebration started Thursday with bands and the carnival in Montville Township and continued Saturday with the parade.

After the parade, the colors were displayed and the Pledge of Allegiance was said by the VFW Post 5481 and the Montville Police Explorers Post 805, led by former post commander Frank Warholic. Montville Township High School graduate Jackie Moldawsky sang the National Anthem.

"We live in the greatest country in the world, don't ever forget that," Warholic told the crowd.

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Following the Pledge was a rifle salute by Civil War re-enactors, the 7th New Jersey Infantry Co. "A."

The Battle of the Bands ensued, and “Get Real,” made up of David Vinder and Mike Gelvan, was pronounced first-place winners, with The Little Engineers taking second place.

Between band sets were the hot dog- and pie-eating contests.

Despite her status as a national contender in the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog-Eating Contest, Superintendent of Schools René Rovtar, who was present, demurred to participate with a laugh.

Given five minutes to eat five dogs, winner Daniel Longo polished his off with several minutes to spare.

In the pie-eating contest, it was down to three close contenders, who finished off most of their pies except for a bit of crust, but Mike Kideckel was pronounced the winner with 11-year-old Maddie Keezer a very close second place.

The festivities were complemented by the flea market, carnival games and rides in the parking lot of the high school.

At 9:45 p.m. residents were treated to 25 minutes of spectacular fireworks, accompanied by an eclectic mix of music from Neil Diamond, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake and many others.