NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ -- New Year's Day marks the beginning of a year-long celebration to mark "300 Years of Pioneers," the 300th Anniversary of the arrival of the first settlers in New Providence.

For those who aren't up on the history of the borough, here are a few tidbits taken from the borough's website. 

  • In 1664, Jame, Duke of York and  brother to King Charles II, bought the land from Native Americans.
  • The first settlers were Puritans, who came to the area in 1720 -- 300 years ago.
  • The area was first called "Turkey" because of the number of wild turkeys on the land.
  • There were enough people in the area by 1737, to form the Presbyterian Church, which became the center of life for those living nearby.

The borough and volunteers have planned a number of events to celebrate the Tricentennial. The schedule of events includes:  

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February 22 - Tricentennial Kickoff

The first event of the celebration will be at the DeCorso Community Center, 15 E. 4th St., from 7 to 9 p.m.

All are invited to meet and greet the folks involved and/or interested in finding out more about the events planned for celebrating the New Providence Tricentennial..."300 Years of Pioneers"

Share light refreshments donated by some of New Providence’s best shops and restaurants. Learn a little about how New Providence grew and evolved into the great town it is. Talk with the Mayor, Council Members and others dedicated to helping New Providence grow and prosper.

April 25 - Turkey Dinner New Providence Presbyterian Church

To honor the original name of our town when settled 300 years ago, the Tricentennial Committee is planning a catered turkey dinner to be held at the site which gave New Providence its name.

Information about the time and how to purchase tickets will be provided closer to the event.

May 25 - Memorial Day Parade  

The Tricentennial Committee will take part in the annual Memorial Day parade, honoring community members and others who have been serving our country from 1720 through 2020.

June 14 - Heritage Day

Celebrate the history of New Providence from Turkey to today with food, music, contests, games and more. Many volunteers will be needed, both individuals and local organizations, to make Heritage Day a success.

September 26 - Celebration and Fun Day

An old-fashioned community carnival on the grounds of New Providence High School from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. will be the highlight of the celebration.

The Tricentennial Committee proposes a fun-filled, family-oriented afternoon featuring inflatable rides, games, crafts, fun foods (popcorn, cotton candy, ice cream), recreational activities, music and entertainment, and, with luck, an educational Colonial encampment on the grounds behind New Providence High School.

All of these events and more will be aimed at giving thanks for "300 Years of Pioneers." More information on these and other Tricentennial events will be published on TAPinto New Providence and on the borough's website.