PARSIPPANY, NJ - Autumn has arrived and new celebrations occur in Parsippany-Troy Hills. One of those celebrations was the 18th annual Fall Festival on September 22nd.
The fall festival is an annual event, organized by the township, and headed by the Parsippany-Troy Hills Recreation Department. The event took place all along North Beverwyck Road where over 100 tables and vendors covered the busy street, then swarmed by thousands upon thousands of spectators; all looking for some seasonal small-town fun.
“We’re spoiled for choice at this festival,” said Greg Hurst, from Morristown. “There’s food, games, raffle prizes, opportunities to volunteer and just have fun time with friends and family.”
And indeed, there was much to choose from. For the kids, there were bounce houses, festival games and prizes, face painting, henna tattoos, arts n’ crafts, and clowns making balloon animals. And for adults, there were food trucks, free chiropractic adjustments, opportunities to get involved in non-profit groups (such as WISE Animal Rescue) and live music from bands, such as The Time Machine Band.
The Fall Festival is also an opportunity for local and out-of-town departments, institutions and non-profit organizations to showcase their business and activities, such as insurance companies, ambulances (such as the Parsippany Volunteer Ambulance and the Rockaway Neck 1st Aid Squad), churches (such as the Liquid Church), sports (such as the Parsippany Regional Ice Hockey), music programs (such as the Lakeland Youth Symphony) and countless local restaurants (such as Shahi Kabab). All who had a vendor on North Beverwyck Road were happy for the chance to connect with people, in and out of Parsippany.
“It’s great to bring the community together,” said Andrew Choffo, member of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Education. “While showcasing local businesses, the festival is simply a family fun day that doesn’t revolve around electronics.”
This was the fifth year that the Parsippany Board of Education had set up their own vendor. There were even tables set up outside the house of the Lake Hiawatha Fire Department, by the firefighters and by members of the Parsippany Police Department. Both tables featured educational booklet and items to help teach spectators the kinds of dangers and activities that servicemen participate for their communities. There was encouragement for volunteers, as any department always needs new help.
“We’re here because we’re part of the community,” said Fire Chief Steve Colantoni, who has been with the fire department for 15 years. “The festival is wonderful for both residents and local organizations to meet each other and learn from each other.”
The fire department even sold t-shirts and allowed spectators to come inside their garage to view the equipment and vehicles. Police officers, such as community relations officer Reno D’Alessandro, were grateful for a chance to reach out to their hometown.
“This is a fantastic way to bridge a gap between the residents and the Parsippany police that we serve,” said Officer D’Alessandro.
And the township residents themselves were happy to be provide this bridge, stretching all over North Beverwyck Road.
“I like it because you get to walk in the middle of the street and see all the booths,” said Martha Loaiza-Boyer, from Parsippany, joined by her fraternal twins Mike and Milena, and her husband Michael. “And you end running into people and friends you know. We look forward to it every year and the best part are the free bouncy houses.”
The Fall Festival lasted until the evening. And even by then, there were still countless spectators, all wanting to make sure the festivities lasted and sample every piece of culture that Parsippany-Troy Hills had to offer.
“The 2019 Parsippany Fall Festival was a great success for one of Morris County’s largest street fairs,” said Mayor Michael Soriano. “Hundreds of people spent thousands of hours working to make this a special day for every resident of Parsippany. I particularly want to thank our Recreation Department, Police Department, first responders, and community volunteers for keeping the event safe, orderly, and fun. The full spectrum of what Parsippany has to offer is always breathtaking to behold, and I could not be more thrilled with Sunday’s success.”