RUTGERS UNIVERSITY, NJ - All local campuses of Rutgers University came alive this weekend for the annual Rutgers Day event and the New Jersey Folk Festival.
The Saturday festival began with a parade. Rutgers musicians were joined by the North Brunswick High School Raiders Marching Band, the Rutgers cheerleaders, the Rutgers Marching Scarlet Knights and the Scarlet Knight mascot.
Busch Campus in Piscataway hosted dozens of workshops for children, prospective students and adults, covering topics like remaining flexible through the years and other medical information sessions to non-alcoholic "mocktails" demonstrated by the Rutgers Culinary Club.
East Brunswick's Anneleise Mueller, a 1990 Rutgers alumna who makes the soup for Elijah's Promise, joined her husband, Ernst, at Busch to explore engineering programs and see the labs on campus.
"It's exciting to see what's new to learn," she said.
In New Brunswick, thousands of visitors occupied the streets of the Cook-Douglass Campus to view and participate in programs presented by university organizations, local artisans, folk musicians, farmers and historians. There were speeches and songs, plants and pigs, traditional crafts and innovative creations. And there was plenty of food, with trucks selling everything from vegan burgers and university-grown meats to lobster mac and cheese.
The event, which ran from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., featured performances on three stages by bluegrass singers, harpists, Lenni Lenape tribal performers and a Turkish band.
On the Cook Campus, Rutgers let its agricultural soul shine. Families visited Rutgers cows, sheep, and pigs. The farm store, which serves both the farmers' markets in New Brunswick and at Rutgers Gardens, was open, selling packages of local, organic meats.
And there were plants. Varietal tomatoes, especially. Visitors carted around plants and seedlings to usher in the spring on the 80-degree day that graced the festival after a night of lightning and thunder in Middlesex County.