SPRINGFIELD, NJ — Over the weekend, for the first time in since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Springfield residents gathered en masse on the front lawn of Town Hall Saturday afternoon for the inaugural Springfield Community Day, presented by the Springfield Unity Project (SUP).
Over the course of the afternoon, several hundred residents filtered in and out of the area. Food and beverages were available all day long, and residents were also treated to live music, including a headlining set from BID Summer Concert Series Mainstays Tree-Oh.
For Anderson Blair, who took the lead on organizing community day with SUP, the events of the past several months were the impetus for him to plan to hold such an event.
"[It's] the confluence of everything," Blair said. "We have the COVID situation, the social unrest in the Spring and the Summer. Everything got canceled really quick that was usually done, and I thought it would be a good idea to bring the community out, bring us together. Put down our political flags and just be a community and just be Springfield."
"The only person more excited about this day than me was Chief Cook," Blair added. "It was something that was necessary, and once it stopped being a talking point, and movement was being done, the more excited people got [...] it just snowballed into everybody jumping on board and it really was good to see."
Blair hoped that for those who came out to community day, there would be a sense of common bond, and a further understanding that Springfield is united, in spite of what he said can sometimes divide superficially.
Those in attendance had a fun time, and expressed their enjoyment of the festivities. Springfield resident Scott Horowitz was among the residents at community day, and said he enjoyed the celebration.
"Honestly, it's been one of the nicest days we've had in a long time around here," Horowitz said. "We're at the end of September, it's a beautiful day, seeing everybody come out to honor the people that really put their lives on the line for us is amazing. Everyone's happy, we're having a good time [...] I can't say anything bad about it. it was a really good time."