TOWACO, NJ - The sun shone brightly when hundreds of people attended the Towaco Music and Arts Festival on Sunday, Sept. 7.

Vendors had tents and were selling jewelry, scarves, painted pumpkins, honey and beeswax items, doll clothing, photographs, and wreaths. Massages were offered and kids’ faces were painted. Santander Bank, Towaco Civic Association, and Stony Brook Realty had booths with giveaways.

For those who were hungry, Bella Pizza sold slices, Little Jimmy’s sold Italian ices, sausage and peppers, deep-fried oreos, and funnel cakes were for sale. Landauer Café served up crépes and lemonade.

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The Montville Police Explorers sold pies, sponsored a bounce house, and offered Barn Theatre fundraiser tickets for sale.

Musical performers showed off their talents starting with indie pop singer Sydney Kayne, a Montville Township High School sophomore who writes and performs her own songs along with a few covers. “I’ve been learning guitar since I was about 6 years old,” stated Kayne after her performance of songs like “Guide Me with Mistakes,” and “A Song for Blind Listeners.” 

“I perform at music festivals like ‘Music on Main’ in Boonton, and small benefits,” said Kayne. “ I’ve also come up for the open mike nights at the Fold Project in Morristown.  Now I’m even on an internet radio station called Zach Sang and the Gang.”

“I get inspiration for my songs from my life.  It only takes me about ten minutes to write a song, but then I play it over and over like a thousand times and revise it,” stated Kayne, who cites her influences as Bruce Springsteen and Ingrid Michaelson. 

“I’m so proud of my daughter,” stated Kayne’s mother Jennifer Kayne. “I love watching her perform.”

Other performers included Towaco resident Brian Moldawsky with his band Uncle Stan’s U.S. Jazz Band, which plays New Orleans-style Dixieland Jazz. “Two of the members, Stan Moldawsky and Johnny Weber have been playing music together for over 50 years,” said Moldawsky’s wife Theresa.  “The band also consists of three generations of Moldawskys with Isaac Silber on drums, Brian Moldawsky on bass and Stan Moldawsky on keyboards.”

Moldawsky’s daughter Jackie even joined the band to perform “Write Myself a Letter,” then later Jackie took the stage with her cousin Zack Manno to sing “Hey Soul Sister,” with Manno accompanying her on the ukulele.

“Take A Chance” took the stage and offered hits like the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann” and the Police’s “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.”  Later, Common Conviction played some classic rock.