ROXBURY, NJ - Something unusual happened Saturday at Hopatcong State Park: The sky was clear for the annual Lake Hopatcong Block Party.
Repeatedly dampened by rain over the years, the annual party got a break this time around as Mother Nature bestowed a beautiful day. People responded by showing up in big numbers to stroll the event, meet vendors and chat with friends.
"We really haven’t had a day with clear blue skies," said Lake Hopatcong Foundation Chairman Marty Kane, shortly after the Block Party gates opened. "It's not even 10:30 and it's starting to really fill up."
Kane said potential vendors seemed to shrug off the Block Party's knack at drawing precipitation. He said this year's event attracted more vendors than ever.
"There are lots of new vendors," Kane noted. "We sold out in record time this year; eight weeks before the event. Over 200 vendors are here and they run the course from everything from crafts to food to community organizations to every type of business in the area."
A 'Huge Advocate' for Lake Hopatcong
Also in attendance were political leaders from the four municipalities to which the Block Party is heavily dedicated: Jefferson, Mount Arlington, Roxbury and Hopatcong.
Roxbury Mayor Robert DeFillippo's reaction, when asked for a comment as the Block Party got underway:
"First of all, we’re all delighted it’s not raining."
The mayor made a point of acknowledging the work of the Block Party's organizers. "The Lake Hopatcong Foundation is a huge advocate for the lake and they do an incredible job making certain that the lake is available and beautiful like this for our residents and for all four towns that surround it," he said. "So anything we can do to support the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, we’re happy to do that. This is a great community event for families and kids."