Arts & Entertainment

Towacofest Rocks Towaco

Zach Matari performs at Towacofest Credits: Melissa Benno
Melissa and Juan Carlos Iturralde with their daughter Credits: Melissa Benno
Anthony Duke Claus Credits: Melissa Benno
Century 21 The Crossing team at Towacofest 2016 Credits: Hope White
Performing Arts Academy Credits: Melissa Benno
Zach Matari Credits: Melissa Benno
Zach Matari Credits: Melissa Benno
Zach Matari Credits: Melissa Benno
Zach Matari Credits: Melissa Benno
Sanmik Gifts Credits: Melissa Benno
Patriot Glasswerks Credits: Melissa Benno
LuLa Roe Credits: Melissa Benno
Silk colors Credits: Melissa Benno
Debbie's Doggie Delights Credits: Melissa Benno
Gooserock Farm Credits: Melissa Benno
Performing Arts Academy Credits: Melissa Benno
Brazilian jazz singer Elin Melgarejo Credits: Melissa Benno
3Tiger Martial Arts Credits: Melissa Benno
3Tiger Martial Arts Credits: Melissa Benno
3Tiger Martial Arts Credits: Melissa Benno
Last Flight Home Credits: Melissa Benno
Nicky Costabile Credits: Melissa Benno
3Tiger Martial Arts Credits: Melissa Benno

MONTVILLE, NJ – Despite chilly fall weather, Towacofest was well attended and fun for all, according to Towaco Civic Association President Kimberly Bott.

The Oct. 1 event featured Montville Township High School 2012 graduate Zach Matari, who played his John Lennon song-writing contest award-winning song “Up to You.”

 “It’s so great to be back in Towaco,” Matari told TAPinto Montville. “It’s great to see familiar faces.”

Sign Up for E-News

Matari’s first original “Day One” EP premiered at number five on the iTunes R&B chart and was featured in the Top 100 overall on iTunes, according to Matari’s website. Matari said he has signed a record deal with Clippers Sounds.

Matari also performed “Cake by the Ocean,” “Killing Me Softly,” and “How Do I.”

MTHS graduate Anthony Duke Claus also performed at the festival, singing 50s and 60s hits, along with Broadway show tunes. Songs included “This is the Moment” from the musical Jekyll and Hyde, Barry Manilow’s “Even Now” and Bobby Rydell’s “Sway.”

MTHS School of Rock alumnus Nelson Moreno performed with his alternative rock band “Last Flight Home.” Their original songs included “No Luck for the Late” and “Rise and Fall.” The four-member band consisted of Moreno on guitar and vocals, Scott Buksbaum on bass and vocals, Evan Cohen on drums and Jon Lopatine on guitar.

Performing Arts Academy in Lincoln Park put on a show of dance and acrobatics. The girls flipped and jumped in formation. 3Tiger Martial Arts showed their talents breaking boards and flipping each other onto the pavement.

Nicky Costabile of Hillsdale played her own original songs while accompanying herself on the keyboards. Her songs included “Indecisive,” and “Beautiful Tragedy.” She later sang a duet with Matari of Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning.”

The soft sounds of Brazilian jazz singer Elin Melgarejo also entertained the audience.

To see a compilation of the day's entertainment and performances, click: 

Shoppers could find many items to choose from at the array of more than 100 vendors at the festival. Lula Roe offered fashions, Silk Colors offered indigo-dyed rayons and silks, and Sanmik Gifts featured lush plants. Debbie’s Doggie Delights sold hand-made dog biscuits, and Montville’s own Gooserock Farm offered honey treats. Jewelry, kitchen items and stained glass were just a few of the items for sale.

Montville Township civic groups such as the historical society and area churches also greeted residents.

The kids had their own area with bounce houses, kiddie rides and Re/Max offering pumpkin painting.

Great food included Maryland crab cakes, gyros, shih kabobs, Italian sausage and Philly cheese steaks.

Melissa Iturralde and her husband Juan Carlos brought their young daughter out to enjoy the rides.

Karen Gasbar drove out with her father from Passaic to enjoy a daddy-daughter day.


“The live music is nice,” she said. “I’m enjoying the weather – it doesn’t bother me. I bought a dog harness and some scissors and I’m enjoying Last Flight Home. My father is trying waffle fries for the first time and he loves them.”

Rich Linstedt and his friend Linda Monik drove out from Mount Arlington because they enjoy seeing the musicians, they said.

“We cruised the vendors,” Lindstedt said.

Towaco resident Judy Rosen said she loves to attend Towacofest every year.

“It’s so nice to have Towacofest in our town,” she said. “I look forward to it every year. I come for the music. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go get a crab cake!”

The Towaco Civic Association would like to thank the sponsors of Towacofest: Century 21 Wessex Realty and Montville Financial Group.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Sun, February 25, 1:00 PM

Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area, Montville Township

Snowshoe Sundays at Pyramid Mtn

Health & Wellness


Sun, February 25, 5:00 PM

Montville Township High School, Montville

Harlem Wizards Fundraiser for Pathways

Education Food & Drink Giving Back Sports


Mon, February 26, 7:00 PM

Senior House, Montville

Montville Republican Club February Meeting



Tue, February 27, 1:00 PM

Pyramid Mountain, Montville Township

Family Science Day



Wed, February 28, 3:30 PM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

Birthday Party for Dr. Seuss

Education Food & Drink

Adults Who Interact With Teens Offered Free Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

February 24, 2018

With teenage suicide rates on an upswing, a barrage of tragedies in the news, and the heightened pressures of adolescence in a media-frenzied world, it’s more important than ever for caring adults to know how to intervene effectively.

Morris County again this year is funding Youth Mental Health First Aid training through NewBridge Services for adults who regularly interact with children ...

Boy Scout Michael Manetta Achieves Eagle Scout Ranking

February 11, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – Members of Boy Scout Troop 74 gathered on Jan. 14 as Scout Michael Manetta was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout at his Court of Honor.

Officials such as members of the Montville Township Committee, the Montville Township Board of Education, former post commander Frank Warholic of VFW Post 5481, Dee Cook, who is treasurer of the Dog Park Advisory Committee and Fishawack ...

SHREK THE MUSICAL Comes to Montville Township High School

February 19, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ- SHREK THE MUSICAL is the spring production for the Montville Township High School Drama Club. The performers will stage the Tony Award-winning musical Thursday through Sunday, March 1 through 4 at MTHS. SHREK THE MUSICAL is based on the 2001 Dreamworks movie. Tickets to this fun family production are only $15 for adults and $12 for students and senior ...

Talking Baseball in Februrary; Roxbury Teen Keeps Swinging for Cancer Patients

February 24, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ - Major League pitchers and catchers reported for their first workouts last week, one sign that baseball season is on its way. Another: The beginning of Roxbury High School student Landon Monro's annual effort to register players and sponsors for his anti-cancer baseball tournament.

The 5th Annual Landon Monro Stand Up to Cancer tournament ...

Cops Called for Two People Shouting Racial Slurs During ‘Black Panther’ in Sparta

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night after a drunken woman and her boyfriend interrupted a screening of the movie “Black Panther” by shouting racial slurs, according to a witness and police.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including ...

Adults Who Interact With Teens Offered Free Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

February 24, 2018

With teenage suicide rates on an upswing, a barrage of tragedies in the news, and the heightened pressures of adolescence in a media-frenzied world, it’s more important than ever for caring adults to know how to intervene effectively.

Morris County again this year is funding Youth Mental Health First Aid training through NewBridge Services for adults who regularly interact with children ...


How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting can have an ...

Ask the Care Advocate

Dear Heidi,

My mom lives home alone and a few days ago she fell while reaching for something

in her hallway closet. She was able to push her emergency alert button and they

called me. I live nearby so I went to check on her and she had pain in her leg and hip

area. We got her to the hospital and it turns out that she broke her hip. She had

surgery to repair it and now we are faced ...

Century 21 The Crossing Open Houses this Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are Century 21 Open Houses this weekend:

Saturday, Feb. 24 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)

Sunday, Feb. 25 from 1 - 4 p.m. 

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
8 Summit Drive, Bld #10, North Caldwell


Another Luxury Listing in the Pond Section of Montville Presented by Century 21 The Crossing

MONTVILLE, NJ - Century 21 the Crossing and Jason Failla do it again!  Another luxury listing in the Pond section of Montville.

"This new listing has had over 13,000 views in less then a week," Century 21 The Crossing's Jason Failla said. "Anyone can list your home, it takes a comprehensive marketing strategy to sell it!"

"Luxury is in each ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

The Best Way to Pay Your Child a Compliment

“Of course you’re good-looking.”  “You’re the best friend ever.”  “Who wouldn’t want you on their team?”  Is there a parent out there (including me) who hasn’t praised a child in order to make him or her feel better?  Sometimes it’s true, and sometimes we say it because we just can’t stand to see them ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

Pet Corner