Rutgers Day and New Jersey Folk Festival Officially Bring Spring

Russian nesting dolls reveal secrets Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Musical walking sticks for sale Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick Sports
Teeny tiny books Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Stained glass mosaics catch the light Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
It was a day to celebrate folk traditions. Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
East Brunswick's finest supporting the economy. Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Art in Coin. Will we have coins anymore? Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Pawprints and peace signs capture the spirit of the day Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Abe Lincoln, revisited Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Native American music and images filled the air Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Hand-blown glass by local artists Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Carin Baum, of East Brunswick's Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Older than the USA Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Student volunteers, shining in the sun at Rutgers Day Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
On the corner of George Street and Albany Street Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
New garage band? The New Brunswick Seedlings? See you at the Court Tavern... Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
BRUUUUUUUUCE... Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Lawrence Brook Watershed partnership - speaking out for our local preservation Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Students teaching students about their environment Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Celebrating Cook College and it's long tradition in the natural sciences Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Rutgers Farm Market meats will be for sale at Rutgers Gardens next Friday Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Pigs just having a bit of a hang Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Waiting for Charlotte... Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
"TAPping" into Rutgers GSE class of 1991 Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Smart cookies Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Something for everyone on Rutgers Day Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
A t-shirt motto: "If you're not doing it outdoors, it isn't any fun." Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
"If you can spell it, we can make it" Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Best shirts at the festival Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Maglione's Italian Ices, as devoured by Jeannine and Dave Lonski, East Brunswick's official tasters Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Blacksmiths "striking while the iron is hot" Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Pottery teacher Anneliese Mueller and her husband Ernst shop for handmade children's toys. Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
The Magnolia Street String Band perform Americana Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Founder of the Turkish Republic, poses for pictures. Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
The skyline of New Brunswick, as seen from the Douglass Campus. Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick

RUTGERS UNIVERSITY, NJ - All 5 local campuses of Rutgers University came alive yesterday for the annual Rutgers Day event and the New Jersey Folk Festival.  It was time to dig deep into our Jersey roots and recognize new growth and deep traditions.

Like every great event in America, it 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.

The Busch Campus in Piscataway hosted dozens of workshops for children, prospective students, and adults ranging from "Flexibility for All Ages and Stages" presented by the Physical Therapy Program; to informational sessions given by the New Jersey Medical School Office of Admissions; and a creative take on non-alcoholic "mocktails" demonstrated by the 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, " said Mueller.

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In New Brunswick, thousands of visitors occupied the streets and by-ways of the Cook and Douglass campuses 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 lots, and lots, and lots of food, with trucks everywhere selling everything from vegan burgers to university-grown meats to lobster mac and cheese.

The event lasted from 10:00 to 4:00 and featured performances on 3 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.  (I must confess to waving at them from Route 1 South occasionally.)  The farm store, which serves both the farmers' markets in New Brunswick and at Rutgers Gardens Farmers market, was open, selling packages of local non-GMO meats.

And there were plants.  Varietal tomatoes, especially.  Visitors were carting around plants and seedlings to usher in the spring on the 80-degree day that graced the festival after a night of apocalyptic lightning and thunder in Middlesex County.

East Brunswick's Dave and Jeannine Lonski were, there, too, after having celebrated their daughter Kathleen's recent choral performance at Rutgers Voorhees Chapel on the Douglass Campus.

Rutgers Day was a both a promotion and a celebration of Central New Jersey's university.  Older than America, but offering something new every year.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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