NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – North Plainfield’s 2016 Independence Day Parade will take place Monday, July 4 and the annual event is expected to attracted residents of all ages from the borough and neighboring communities.

The theme of this year’s parade is ‘Honoring Our Hometown Heroes’ and North Plainfield residents Gavin Costello, Kala Wright and Angelo Mel-Tos will serve as co-Grand Marshals. Back in February, the three Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School were hailed local heros after successfully bring their school bus to a stop on Route 22 West after realizing that their driver had suffered a medical emergency.

This year’s parade will step off promptly at 10 a.m. and feature a new route. Marchers will gather at Clinton Avenue and Greenbrook Road and the parade, led by the Legionaries Senior Marching Band, will make head down Greenbrook before turning right onto Somerset Street and concluding in front of Borough Hall, 263 Somerset Street.

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“We had this route years ago and decided to try it again,” said Joe Irovando, parade chairman. “We’ve extended the route a bit and, in doing so, are able to incorporate more of the residential areas and the downtown.”

As in previous years, trophies will also be awarded following the parade. Trophies will be presented for Best Themed Entry, Best Youth Group, Best Antique/Classic Vehicle, and Best Overall Marching Entry. A Judge’s Trophy and a Mayor’s Trophy will also be awarded.

The Legionaries Senior Marching Band will lead off the parade and participants will include members of various community organizations and school groups. Marchers will include members of the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Cub Scouts; North Plainfield Recreation; the Junior Canucks Football Squad; Washington Rock Pop Warner Cheerleaders; North Plainfield Education Association; North Plainfield High School Marching Band, Flag Squad, Cheerleaders and ROTC; the American Legion, Lions Club, and Plainfield-North Plainfield Rotary Club.

The Car Nutz Car Club, St. Ann’s of Hampton Pipes & Drum, and Fred Lehotay’s Ragtimers are also scheduled to take part and their will be close to a dozen costumed characters courtesy of the Dodd family. Additionally, elected officials from the county and borough, the North Plainfield Police Department and both the Green Brook and North Plainfield fire departments will also march in support of our country’s independence.

 “The parade is a great opportunity to come out and celebrate the birth of our country,” said Irovando. “It’s the Fourth of July. Let’s gather together, raise the flag, have a good time, and celebrate this great country.”

The Borough of North Plainfield will continue its Independence Day celebration with a family-friendly Community Day event on Saturday, July 9 (rain date Saturday, July 16) at West End School.

Beginning at 5 p.m., there will be free activities for children, including bounce houses, face painting, and a trackless fire truck. The evening will also include live music from the Barbara Harley Band and the Jersey Shades; food, drinks and glow-in-the-dark necklaces will be available for purchase; and there will be a 50/50 raffle and vendors. The fun-filled day will conclude with a firework show at dusk.

Anyone interested in renting space to sell products or services – at a cost of $25 – from 5 to 7 p.m. should contact Larry La Ronde at lltap@comcast.net. Space is limited.

For additional information on the Borough of North Plainfield’s Annual Independence Day Parade (July 4) and/or Community Day (July 9) events, call the Department of Recreation at (908) 756-0247 or email Joe Irovando at JIROV1@yahoo.com.

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