SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The South Plainfield Public Celebrations Committee (SPPCC) last week announced plans for a ‘Celebrate Our Community’ event. Set to take place on Saturday, Nov. 9, the event – planned in the wake of this year’s canceled Labor Day festivities – will kick off with a salute to the veterans followed by a community celebration for residents of all ages. 

“We just felt that, after the events that occurred on Labor Day, we should do something to celebrate who we are and come together as a community,” said SPPCC Chair Amy Johnson. 

On the morning of Sept. 2, the borough canceled all Labor Day festivities, including the 5K run, parade, festival, and fireworks, out of an abundance of caution in the wake of an overnight security issue that resulted in the arrest of a South Plainfield resident. While rescheduling all the day's festivities was not feasible, members of SPPCC, over the weeks that followed, worked to develop a ‘positive community event’ that also ties into the borough’s commitment to its veterans. 

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“People were been reaching out, asking what can they do, how they can help and as a committee we wanted to do something – some sort of celebration,” said Johnson. “Our goal was to do something positive that brings us all together and celebrates the pride we all have in our community while also celebrating our commitment to being veteran-friendly."

The 'Celebrate Our Community' event, which will be held two days prior to Veterans Day, will begin at 11:30 a.m. at Monument Park (located directly across from Spring Lake Park) with a special ceremony to salute and honor veterans. There will be guest speakers, an invocation, wreath laying, and flag raising. Immediately following, the South Plainfield High School Marching Band and cheerleaders will lead the way to Veterans Park (located behind the senior center) for an afternoon of free, family-friendly fun. From noon until 3 p.m. there will be bounce houses, characters and giant butterflies, stilt walkers and jugglers, airbrush tattoos and a bubble cart. Additionally, the 82nd Airborne Division will be on hand with antique military vehicles, the band Amp'd will play throughout the day, and Elliot the Magician will perform. Food from local vendors will also be available for purchase throughout the day. 

 “We are so grateful and really lucky that so many of those who planned to participate in the Labor Day festivities were so understanding of the situation and willing to come back and accommodate us,” said Johnson.

Local food vendors wishing to participate in the Nov. 9 ‘Celebrate Our Community’ event, along with those seeking additional information, should contact the South Plainfield Public Celebrations Committee at sppubliccelebrations@gmail.com.

Note: the five South Plainfield veterans who were to serve as honorary grand marshals this year –   Joseph T. Ball, Jr., John DeAndrea, Robert Bengivenga, Sr., Michael J. Keith, and Joseph Vella – will do so when the parade steps off in 2020. 

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