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Third Annual SouthNEXT Festival in South Orange: October 6 to October 8


SouthNEXT Festival Returns to South Orange October 6-8 Third Annual Collision of Arts, Ideas and Music is “Under the Big Top” in 2017

SouthNEXT, New Jersey’s fast-growing festival that explores our similarities by celebrating our differences returns to South Orange Village Center this October with another spectacular lineup of talent and an exciting new outdoor venue concept. 

The festival begins Friday evening October 6 with KICKoff, the annual three-floor cocktail party and creative extravaganza that fills the iconic South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) inside and out. 

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Over the weekend, SouthNEXT expands to include a new outdoor venue in the heart of the Village Center, where tented pavilions will flank a center midway and beer garden, giving attendees unique and easy access to a specially curated program of music, art and ideas offering dynamic and interesting perspectives.

Festival founder and South Orange Village Trustee Stephen Schnall is excited about the 2017 SouthNEXT theme of Under the Big Top. “This year’s SouthNEXT enters a magical realm where we celebrate the fact that even though Ringling Bros. has staged its final performance, the circus lives on inside all of us,” says Schnall.  Once the circus was a place we went to see THEM: the freaks, the magicians, the clowns and daredevils. But over time, we realized and embraced the fact that THEM were really Us. And that’s what our incredible weekend will bring to life.”

A major new feature of SouthNEXT will be the construction and metamorphosis of a Community Sculpture, starting on Friday night with guests assembling the first pieces at KICKoff.  Keeping with the theme of Under the Big Top, this year’s collaborative effort will be Jumbo the Elephant. Jumbo will be created over the course of the weekend and be revealed to the crowd in its finished form on Sunday and conclude with an exciting transformation.

“The elephant was an icon of the circus, but it symbolizes so much more in many cultures; so SouthNEXT will celebrate this majestic beast all weekend long,” says Danni Michaeli, a member of the festival’s board who proposed the concept.  “From sessions dedicated to the Hindu deity Ganesha to a reading and celebration of the iconic picture book which tells the story of how PT Barnum used elephants to prove the safety of the new Brooklyn Bridge, we’ll look at the mighty elephant from all angles.”

Featured sessions at this year’s SouthNEXT include:

  • Social activist and recent gubernatorial primary runner-up Jim Johnson’s “Think Global, ART Local”
  • The Jazz House Kids
  • “The New American Landscape” featuring discussion by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial and led by Harvard professor Khalil Muhammad
  • Intergenerational Jeopardy!
  • “The Dark Path to Enlightenment”  for local artists
  • SouthNEXT’s take on an Escape Room
  • Family-fun interactive performances and ongoing circus-themed activities

Musical sets from Tomas Doncker, Marry the Sea, Stuff Bros, Sputnik 5, and Ricky Persaud, Jr. serve as Friday’s festival welcome, followed by more Saturday music and Sunday’s feature of the philharmonic for a new age, LUX.

Find the full weekend line-up of music, arts and ideas at

Your ticket to over a dozen musical performances and more than 20 engaging panels and discussions is the SouthNext all-access wristband.  Wristbands are available at an early bird discount $20 for the full three day festival until October 1st at Special discount wristbands for senior citizens and those under 21 years of age are $15 for the weekend. Same day passes during the Festival will also be available for $15 per day. 

RWJ/Saint Barnabas Medical Center is proud to return as the Lead Sponsor supporting SouthNEXT and is joined by Premier Sponsor Seton Hall University, and Local Sponsors South Orange Country Day School, Stop&Shop, Investors Bank, Sam Joseph Luxury Home Specialist, Mark Slade and Benjamin Garrison.  Community Partners include 4Elbows, SOPAC, PWI Media, Eventage, South Orange Village Center Alliance and LiFT Health Sciences Insights.  

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AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!


Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Motor Vehicle Thefts Reported, One Recovered

May 16, 2018

May 7 - Burglary; Sometime during the prior two days, entry was forced to a business on Newark Way.  The keys to a GMC van were then taken from inside the business and the van was stolen.


May 7 - Motor Vehicle Theft; At approximately 9:30 p.m., a Jeep left unattended and running in the parking lot of 7-11 on Irvington Ave was stolen. The vehicle was later recovered in ...

South Orange Police Blotter - More Than 10 Vehicle Burglaries Reported

South Orange Police Blotter as of May 14

Auto Theft - A Roland Ave resident reported that sometime between 10:30 pm, Thursday 5-10-18 & 7:30 am, Friday 5-11-18 actor(s) unknown stole his vehicle (2016 Mitsubishi), which was parked in his driveway of his residence at the time.

Burglary to Auto - A Vose Ave resident reported that sometime between 10:45 pm, Wednesday 5-2-18 & 8:00 ...

South Orange Community Pool Will Not Be Open Memorial Day Weekend; Opening Day Planned for June 2

May 20, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The South Orange Community Pool will have a delayed season opening, and will not be open Memorial Day Weekend, according to an update from the Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs.

According to the Recreation Department, "weather issues, both the early spring snow and the ongoing spring rain, have caused delays in the construction project underway to ...

Annual MayFest Street Fair is this Sunday in Maplewood

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - This Sunday is the annual MayFest Street Fair celebration in Maplewood with live music, performances on two stages, and the chance to meet the artists who created the new Springfield Avenue murals, as well as to experience a "mural painting in progress," according to event organizers.

The festivities take place on Springfield Avenue on Sunday, May 20, from 11 ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, May 23, 12:00 PM

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, South Orange

The Purposes and Rhythms of Jewish Living

Education Religions And Spirituality


Wed, May 23, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink


Fri, May 25, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink


Fri, May 25, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

Uniacke Named Bridges Outreach Executive Director as Bhatt, Tulloch Announce Retirement

May 18, 2018

SUMMIT, NJ - Bridges Outreach, Inc. Executive Director Lois Bhatt and Deputy Executive Director Bethany Tulloch have announced their retirement and, effective May 29, Richard J. Uniacke will begin his tenure as the Summit-based nonprofit's new Executive Director.

Uniacke, who will become just the organization's third executive director in three decades, was ...

Bus Accident in Livingston Kills One Wednesday

LIVINGSTON, NJ - Livingston police are investigating a fatal bus accident in the township Wednesday afternoon.

The police department has confirmed a death in the accident, which occurred shortly before 1:30 p.m. near the intersection of Latham Court and South Orange Avenue.

As of 4:30 p.m., detectives were still on the scene investigating the crash. A full report has not yet been released ...

DAWN of a New Day: New Treatment Insights Shared at Atlantic Health's 18th Annual 'Stroke Symposium'

May 21, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Time is of the essence when it comes to identifying and treating symptoms of stroke and it’s widely accepted that the sooner treatment is provided the better the outcome will be, however new research suggests that all hope isn’t lost for certain types of stroke victims whose symptoms aren’t treated until later in time after last being seen as ...

Former Saks Building Discussed at Special Springfield Planning Board Meeting

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - The regularly held monthly Planning Board meeting included a special discussion on the Saks Fifth Avenue property along Millburn Avenue bordering Millburn.

A nearly two-decade long lawsuit has been dropped on this nine-acre property.  Experts believe this property has the potential to generate sizable revenue for Springfield and increase home ...

Career Change for Working Moms Presentation at Millburn Library

May 21, 2018

The Millburn Free Public Library is pleased to offer a program on changing careers for working moms, presented by local career coach Tracey Gutierrez. This program will be held on Thursday, June 14 at 7:00pm.

Are you looking for a career change that better fits the lifestyle you want? Do you leave your children every day to slog away at a job you don't enjoy? You CAN escape from an unhappy ...

Third Annual South Orange Food Stroll & Pub Crawl is Sunday, May 20

The South Orange Food Stroll & Pub Crawl is back!

On Sunday, May 20, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the South Orange Village Center Alliance hosts its third annual South Orange Food Stroll & Pub Crawl, a tasting event that showcases the diverse restaurants and unique retailers in our Village Center.

With the purchase of a wristband, you'll stroll and sample delectable bites and ...

Weekly Specials at Ashley Marketplace - May 18 to May 24

Shop Ashley Marketplace & Cafe for your everyday needs!

This week's specials are:          

Strawberry Banana Smoothie  $4.25 (Bakery)
Chicken Cutlet $7.99lb (Prep Food)
Turkey Hero $5.99 (Deli)
Juicy Juice 8pk  2/$5*
Friendly’s Ice Cream $3.99
Notre Dame Brie $6.99lb (Cheese)
Monkfish $9.99 ...