SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Under sunny skies, thousands of residents lined Maple and Plainfield avenues on Monday for the 58th annual South Plainfield Labor Day Parade. The theme of this year’s parade was "Celebrating Our Heritage" and the grand marshals were Debbie Boyle and Charles Haus.
The day kicked off at 9:30 a.m. with the annual 5K race and 1.5-mile family fun fitness walk which attracted over 250 participants. The parade kicked off at the Police Athletic League (PAL) building on Maple Avenue at 10 a.m. with parade announcers William Cochrane and South Plainfield High School Athletic Director Al Czech stationed in front of Borough Hall
Marchers included members of South Plainfield sports teams, cheerleaders, the South Plainfield High School Marching Band, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, military personnel, church groups, civic, fraternal and community organizations, local businesses and Disney princesses and other characters along with the South Plainfield Police Department, Fire Department and Rescue Squad, among others.
A number of dignitaries also participated in this year’s parade, including Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, Assemblyman Patrick J. Diegnan, Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin, Middlesex County Sheriff Mildred Scott, South Plainfield Mayor Matthew P. Anesh, members of the Borough Council, Middlesex County Freeholders and candidates and members of both the Middlesex County Democratic Organization and Middlesex County Republican Organization.
As in previous years, the parade ended at South Plainfield Middle School where judges Calvin Gross, James Gustafson, Shannon Jefferys, Tom Lanza, Robert Longo, Tony Massaro and Rick McCriskin were on hand to present trophies to this year’s winners:
Honorary Grand Marshal (chosen by the Grand Marshal): Boy Scout Troop #207/#224/#324
Judges Trophy (best overall entry): Moretti Team
George W.L. Page Trophy (awarded to Best Civic Entry): South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298
Most Outstanding Float: South Plainfield Soccer Association
Best Youth Entry: Holy Savior Academy
Best Theme Float: Girl Scouts
Most Patriotic Entry: Military Order of the Purple Heart
Most Outstanding Visiting Entry: Central Jersey Military Motor Pool, Inc.
Best Antique Vehicle: Car Nutz Car Club
Marie D. Page Trophy (best overall march entry): First Baptist Church
“It was so nice to see so many organizations participating in this year’s theme,” said Mayor Matt Anesh at the Sept. 8 Borough Council meeting, adding, “I would like to congratulate the co-Grand Marshals, Debbie Boyle and Charles Haus; these are two individuals who give a tremendous amount of themselves and don't ask for anything in return.”
Following the parade, residents gathered at the middle school for the borough’s annual community picnic featuring live musical entertainment by ‘9 South,’ food, vendors and local business displays as well as games and free activities for children, including a giant funhouse and slide.
South Plainfield’s 2015 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.
“Few people probably know exactly what and all that goes into Labor Day and the Public Celebrations Committee does a fantastic job each year. They are probably already busy working on 2016’s events,” said Anesh, adding, “There’s nothing like Labor Day in South Plainfield.”