SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Thousands of South Plainfield residents hung around town for the borough’s annual Labor Day celebration and, thankfully, Tropical Storm Hermine stayed far away!

“It was truly a miracle that the weather did a 360 because as of Sunday afternoon we were questioning the presence of the storm,” said Debbie Boyle, chair of the borough’s Public Celebrations Committee. “In 58 years, the parade had never been canceled and we didn't want to start now.”

The Borough of South Plainfield’s annual Labor Day celebration kicked off at 9 a.m. Monday morning with the 26th Annual 5K Race and 1.5-Mile Family Fun Fitness Walk with 335 residents of all ages taking part,

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At 10 a.m., the 59th Annual Labor Day Parade stepped off from the PAL Recreation Building, led by the SPHS Marching Band and headed up Maple Avenue before turning right onto Plainfield Avenue and concluding at the reviewing stand set up in front of South Plainfield Middle School.

Georgeann Cochrane and Dominic Demico, Sr. served as co-grand marshals and participants included borough police, fire and EMS; school groups; athletic organizations; active and retired military; church groups; civic, fraternal, and community organizations; Girl Scouts; Boy Scouts; and local businesses.

A number of elected officials also participated in this year’s parade, including Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, Middlesex County Sheriff Mildred Scott, Senator Patrick Diegnan, Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin, South Plainfield Mayor Matthew P. Anesh, members of the Borough Council, several Middlesex County Freeholders. Middlesex County Candidate for Sheriff Peter Pisar and Congressional Candidate Brent Sonnek-Schmelz with the Middlesex County Democratic Organization and Middlesex County Republican Organization also took part.

This year marks the borough’s 90th birthday and, to coincide, the theme of the 2016 parade was ‘90 Years of Red Carpet - Movies, Music, Theater.’ As in previous years, trophies were awarded to the groups/individuals whose floats best depicted that theme and more. Congratulations to this year’s trophy winners:

Grand Marshal Trophy (chosen by the Grand Marshal): South Plainfield High School Cheerleaders

Judges Trophy – 1st place: South Plainfield Junior Baseball Club 8U Champs; 2nd place: Cub Scout float/Boy Scouts; and  3rd place: Girl Scout float

Best School Float Trophy: Holy Savior Academy

Best Band Trophy: 9-year-old bass guitar player Lil Asmar 

Best Antique Vehicle Trophy: John Sullivan's red 1949 Ford pickup

George and Marie Page Trophy: JJ Gardner Marine Corps.

Following the parade, residents gathered at the middle school for the borough’s annual community picnic featuring food, vendors and local business displays as well as games and free activities for children, including a giant funhouse and slide.

South Plainfield’s 2016 Labor Day festivities concluded Monday evening at Spring Lake Park. Residents of all ages gathered with family and friends to enjoy live music from AMP’d and refreshments while lounging out on blankets or in chairs waiting for the fireworks display by Pyrotecnico show to start.

"We all worked together as a team, which includes the chief of police, the police department, rescue squad, fire department and CERT to ensure that the parade ran smoothly and that there was first responder coverage continually into the evening of the fireworks,” said Boyle. “The day was amazing the crowd at the middle school festivities were wonderful and the fireworks by Pyrotecnico were amazing.”

Boyle added, “The Public Celebrations Committee truly appreciates the support from the mayor, council and the chief financial officer and all our parade marshals.”

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