SPARTA, NJ – The township is about to turn 175.  A group of people have been working to put together a year of celebrations. 

Mayor Molly Whilesmith is heading up a committee of 14 residents representing all facets of the community. 

“I’m sure there are others who have ideas and resources to contribute and we would love to hear from them,” Whilesmith said.  She said it was tough to limit the members of the committee but welcomes input from residents, township organizations and members of the business community.

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The committee has had three meetings so far.  They have chosen a logo and are honing the list of events.

Some of the ideas they are working on include something for each season. 

In the winter, the discussion has been to coordinate with the annual Winter Festival held by the Recreation Committee.  In addition to the annual event the committee is discussing bringing in an artificial ice surface for a weekend of skating activities, a possible bonfire, the Library’s annual wine and cheese event and food trucks.

In the spring the Historical Society is holding their annual Gala at Skyview in April.

For the summer the committee is focusing on the Fourth of July celebrations.  The committee anticipates encouraging local organizations and individuals to participate in the parade with period costume and other reflections of the anniversary.  The committee is also discussing having food trucks after the parade. As has been a long tradition, the Ski Hawks will have their show and the Lake Mohawk Country Club will cap off the night with fireworks.

For the fall the committee is once again looking to partner with the Historical Society. The township organization is looking to hold cemetery tours of the grounds behind the First Presbyterian Church. The committee has discussed possibly tying it in with the Historical Society’s annual car show as well as discussing with the White Deer Plaza merchants having another Plaza Day. 

The thought has been to try to coordinate activities into a weekend of celebration for each season.  With each set of events, the committee has discussed having food trucks to augment the weekends.

With the logo selected there is talk of how to use it.  Some thoughts have been to create patches and pins that can be used for local sports teams and organizations.

A poster may also be created to have a keepsake of the anniversary, in similar fashion to what was done for the 150 anniversary.  A time capsule was also discussed.

Residents can look forward to a weekly column with Sparta facts, history and profiles on TAPinto Sparta.

Anyone with thoughts to share either for events, activities or column items please contact jdericks@tapinto.net.

The committee members are:

  • Mayor Molly Whilesmith,
  • Deputy Mayor Christine Quinn,
  • Kylen Anderson,
  • William Askin,
  • Kelly Bonventre,
  • William Curcio,
  • Jenny Dericks,
  • Renee Ferguson,
  • Eileen Francis,
  • Gil Gibbs,
  • Josh Hertzberg,
  • Peter Litchfield
  • Tina Rowan,
  • Marjorie Strohsahl
  • Sparta Police Chief Neil Spidaletto, Sparta Recreation Department Director Jeanne Montemarano and Township Manager William Close also attend the meetings.