Main Street South Orange has announced Saturday, June 16 as the date of Celebrate South Orange 2012. Entering its sixth year, the family-friendly downtown celebration has made a name for itself as South Orange, NJ’s signature annual community event.

This year’s festival, which will run from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., will feature both old favorites and new additions to the lineup of activities and surprises that have delighted the more than 1,500 estimated attendees of each year’s event:

  • Arts for All at Celebrate South Orange, a brand-new partnership between Main Street South Orange, the South Orange Performing Arts Center, and The Baird, will bring a full schedule of live local music and dance to the main stage area throughout the day, and a juried craft show that will feature more than 30 of the best local artisans, jewelers, and craftspeople.
  • Kids Zone will once again thrill kids of all ages, offering carnival games, inflatable rides, face painting, competition, prizes, and many more surprises.
  • Local retail merchants, vendors, and community organizations will be on hand to inform and entertain attendees.
  • This year, CSO will feature a day-long “restaurant row,” where local restaurateurs, caterers, and food vendors will offer a smorgasbord of delicious dishes for sale from festival opening to close of day.
  • The CSO Sloppy Joe Eating contest is back, as a collection of talented (and HUNGRY!) contestants take on the world-famous Town Hall Deli Sloppy Joe sandwich to see how Joe they can go.
  • The day will culminate in another CSO first: a headlining evening dance band and community dance party at the main stage.

“We are thrilled that Celebrate South Orange is returning for what we’re certain will be the best year yet,” said Carole Anzalone-Newman, executive director of Main Street South Orange. Anzalone-Newman noted that CSO 2012’s June 16 date coincides with several other Village events, including opening day of the South Orange community pool and the first day of the South Orange Public Library’s annual book sale—a fact she believes will benefit all organizations. “People can spend a few hours at the pool, then stop by the library book sale before heading to Celebrate South Orange,” she said. “It really becomes a community celebration of everything that’s great about our town.”

Arts for All at Celebrate South Orange is supported by the NJ State Council on the Arts and Discover NJ Arts. More information on Celebrate South Orange 2012, including sponsorship, vendor, and volunteering opportunities, is available at www.celebratesouthorange.org.