Arts & Entertainment

Press Releases

Once-in-a-Lifetime Chance to Witness History as Battle of Short Hills Unfolds at Oak Ridge Park in Clark

74494fd3f4db4c20c9ae_BSH_publicity_soldiers.jpg
74494fd3f4db4c20c9ae_BSH_publicity_soldiers.jpg

Union County residents and visitors can partake in a once-in-a-lifetime experience this Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25 at Oak Ridge Park in Clark, when hundreds of uniformed men, women and children stage a re-enactment to commemorate the 240th anniversary of the 1777 Battle of Short Hills.

The two-day event covers everything from dramatic clashes with British regulars to the everyday challenges – and occasional pleasures -- of camp life for a war weary army on the move.

Members of the public are invited to view the battle scenes, visit the camps and participate in multi-age activities. The event is free, and free parking is available.

Sign Up for E-News

A free outdoor concert by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra at Oak Ridge Park this Friday, June 23 will jump start the action packed weekend.

“The Battle of Short Hills was a crucial moment early in the Revolutionary War. It revealed the relentless courage, tenacity and ingenuity of ordinary citizens who fought the battles and supported the solders in camp,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “This commemorative re-enactment will be an enriching experience that is unlike any other the Freeholder Board has ever staged in our County parks, and we are proud to partner with the Brigade of the American Revolution to present it for all to enjoy, free of charge.”

The re-enactment is a project of the Brigade of the American Revolution and is sponsored by the Freeholder Board. BAR is the premier international living history organization dedicated to portraying the challenges facing the men and women who won freedom for the former British colonies in America.

“When you see the Battle of Short Hills unfold before your eyes, you gain a deep respect for the citizens who rose above their day to day concerns and joined together for a greater cause,” said BAR President Tom Delucco. “We hope that this weekend’s event inspires all who witness it with a renewed appreciation for the freedom we enjoy today, and for which our forebears sacrificed their comfort, their livelihoods, and their very lives.

The Battle of Short Hills was a running battle that crossed half a dozen towns in the general area of Scotch Plains in Union County and nearby in Middlesex County on June 26 in 1777, when General William Alexander (aka Lord Stirling) and his division of the Continental Army teamed up with local militia to engage General Howe’s superior British force.

Historians credit the outgunned and outnumbered Colonials with preventing the British from pursuing other Continental Army troops lead by General George Washington.

The result was a strategic victory that played a pivotal role in the many long years of war to come.

The Battle of Short Hills 240th Anniversary Commemoration is open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25.

All ages are invited to participate in public activities in the camp before the battles begin, and watch from a safe distance as the action unfolds.

Public activities include musket and cannon demonstrations, an up close look at cooking and other routines of the camp, a step by step follow-along with a soldier’s life and more.

A complete schedule is available online at ucnj.org/parks-recreation.

Educational displays and programs sponsored by the Union County Department of Cultural and Heritage Affairs and local historical societies will be featured on site.

In association with the Freeholder Board, the FreeWalkers fitness and history organization is also sponsoring a “Battle of the Short Hills” march to coordinate with the Oak Ridge Park event on Saturday, June 24.

The Battle of Short Hills Commemoration is free of charge and free parking is available. Visitors are advised to bring water, sun protection and a portable chair or blanket, as the event is staged in open fields.

Food trucks will be on site and visitors are also welcome to pack their own food.

Access is via the main entrance of Oak Ridge Park, on Oak Ridge Road in Clark.

Visitors can start the weekend early by coming to Oak Ridge Park on Friday, June 23. The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra will present a musical “Road Trip Across the USA” featuring John Williams’s moving score for the film Lincoln among other history-themed works.

The concert kicks off Union County’s Summer Arts popular series of free outdoor concerts and yoga programs. The yoga session begins at 6:30 (participants should bring their own mat), and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra will take the stage at 7:30.

For the full Summer Arts schedule and other activities in Union County parks this summer visit the Special Events Calendar online at ucnj.org/parks-activities.

For more details on the Battle of Short Hills 240th Anniversary commemoration visit on Facebook, facebook.com/BoSH2017.

More information about BAR is available online at brigade.org.

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

Connect with Union County on social media.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Verona/Cedar Grove

James Caldwell High School Locks Down Following Threatening Message

February 24, 2018

WEST CALDWELL, NJ — Police confirmed that James Caldwell High School was under lockdown on Saturday afternoon during an all-day “Music Marathon” event after concern was raised about a threatening post. The West Caldwell Police Department is currently handling the investigation.

"West Caldwell Police was notified of a potential threat at the high school," said ...

Cedar Grove Police Blotter

February 23, 2018

February 12, 2018 – February 18, 2018

On February 14, 2018 at 12:51 a.m., Ptl. Joseph Ligas stopped a vehicle for failing to keep right. A subsequent investigation led to the arrest of the 21 year old male operator from Lincoln Park for possession of marijuana. He was processed and released with a summons to appear in municipal court.

On February 14, 2014 at 9:00 p.m., Ptl. Anthony ...

Verona Superintendent Responds to Safety Concerns After Florida School Shooting

February 16, 2018

It saddens me to write to you in the days following the senseless act that occurred in Parkland, Florida. A tragedy that takes innocent lives from their loving families in a place that is suppose to be a safe haven can have an emotional effect on so many people, and it is natural for children and their parents to be concerned for their own safety.

The Verona Public Schools are the foundation ...

Update - Noon - Bayonne High School Placed on Lockdown Following False Snapchat Threat

February 23, 2018

Update 12 p.m. - In a letter addressed to Bayonne High School parents and guardians, Interim Superintendent Dr. Michael Wanko said the school received a threat through social media at approximately 8:24 a.m. 

Wanko said the school district immediately contacted the Bayonne Police Department and locked down Bayonne High School. 

"Students at Bayonne High School ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, February 26, 7:00 PM

Hospital Auditorium, Glen Ridge

Tour of the Birthing Center

Health & Wellness

Tue, February 27, 7:00 PM

Clifton Library, Allwood Branch, Clifton

Bariatric Seminar-Weight Loss That Works

Health & Wellness

Wed, February 28, 7:00 PM

Hospital Conference Room 2 (Ground Floor), Glen Ridge

Becoming a Parent

Health & Wellness

Meet Cedar Grove High School's Sport Management Class

February 23, 2018

CEDAR GROVE, NJ- The Cedar Grove Sport Management Class challenges themselves to produce the 2nd Annual Syracuse Orange Invitational Volleyball Tournament held on March 22 at 7pm.

This class is run by Syracuse University Project Advance, where the students are able to earn three college credits. The class applies general  business concepts to the sport industry.

To start the year ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...