SOUTH ORANGE, NJ -- South Orange held its annual PlayDay event on Sunday, Sept. 25, which featured inflatable rides, games, a rock wall, food, and a plethora of free giveaways. By closing down the section of South Orange Ave. between Valley St. and Church St., the village allowed residents to mingle and enjoy the day as a community. PlayDay is South Orange’s largest public event.
PlayDay was scheduled as part of South Orange's Third annual Stay and Play weekend, but due to a forecast for rain, the PlayDay event on Sunday, Sept. 18, was postponed until Sunday, Sept. 25. The other activities of the originally scheduled PlayDay weekend still happened as planned, which included the family camp-out on Sept. 16, and the Newstead 5K and South Orange Public Library birthday bash on Sept. 17.
PlayDay South Orange was free and open to the public, but some activities required a $10 admission price. A new premier play area at the event, sponsored by Stop and Shop, featured dual zip lines above South Orange Ave. to give a bird’s eye view of PlayDay. Other activities included a challenging miniature golf course, four square, and inflatable zones sponsored by Investors Bank, BCB Bank, and Natalie Farrell.
Spiotta Park came alive with interactive art projects sponsored by the South Orange Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs. Activities included sketching the views of South Orange, chalk art, printmaking, and more. Local artist Russell Christian also returned this year to work with the community on another large-scale sculpture: Big Head. The event main stage featured performances and demos from Studio 509 Dancers, Spa Lady Zumba, and Mark Murphy’s Music Band.
Festivities concluded with the Town Hall Deli Sloppy Joe Eating Contest, and South Orange First Aid Squad volunteer Scott “Eggy” Egelberg took home first prize. Runners-up included Spencer White, Sammy Rojas, and Chris Fabin.
PlayDay South Orange was made possible by the South Orange Village Center Alliance and the generosity of local sponsors.