Arts & Entertainment

Roxbury Council Likes Circle Bowl Carnival Plan

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ROXBURY, NJ – Alongside Olde Suckasunny Day, Home for the Holidays, the Horseshoe Lake Beach Blast, the St. Therese Carnival and the Lake Hopatcong Block Party, Roxbury residents might soon be able to add something called “Circle Day” to the list of outdoor festivals and activities in the township.

As the name indicates, Circle Day relates to Circle Bowl and Entertainment – the former Circle Lanes on Route 46 near the former Ledgewood Circle. Proposed to take place July 16th in the Circle Bowl and Entertainment parking lot, Circle Day will be a community carnival that company marketing manager Garrett Stahl envisions as an annual event.

Plans include games, entertainment, beer and food trucks.

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“It would be essentially a free admission carnival for anyone who would like to come (we would not be charging any admission or charge for the use of carnival games or events),” Stahl wrote in a Feb. 24 letter to township officials.

Roxbury Township Clerk Amy Rhead told the township council on March 21 that the Circle Day idea was vetted by police, fire and other township entities. “I wanted to let council know that every major department has weighed in and there aren’t any major concerns,” she said.

The council said it had no problem endorsing the idea. “Just my two cents,” said township manager Christopher Raths. “Circle Lanes has been a mainstay in this community for a number of years and I let those folks know that whatever we can do to make this work, within our rules and regulations, we’ll strive to make it work.”

Rhead sent Stahl an email on March 29 reflecting the council’s support, but Circle still needs to obtain several approvals and permits, including an Extension of Licensed Premises permit from the state Alcoholic Beverage Commission. That’s needed because Circle, which operates a pub inside the building, wants to offer beer outside during the carnival.

“We would want our beer vendors to be able to bring a beer truck and be able to serve their beer as well as be able to serve our beer outside (no liquor), wrote Stahl. “We would have a gated area for that and no food would be served outdoors. We are considering bringing in food trucks.”

This week, Circle Bowl and Entertainment General Manager Shawn Aiello said the plan is to allow people attending the carnival to come inside the recently upgraded and expanded business to see the improvements. The 56-year-old facility - owned by the Dougherty family - was enlarged and modernized to include a laser tag arena, a rock climbing area, an arcade and new bowling lanes. 

For Circle Day, the company is envisioning carnival games in the parking lot, including dunk tanks, a bounce house “and all that fun stuff for kids,” Stahl wrote. Also being planned is a sound system and tents for Circle’s vendors, “neighbors” and entertainers, he added.

“We really want this to be a staple for the town and do it every year,” Stahl wrote. “We will gate the parts of the parking lot that we are using for the event … we are very excited to do something big for the town and hope that we can do it.”

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