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

Parsippany septuagenarian becomes NJIT's oldest engineering grad

May 23, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - It was about five minutes after Robert Dresnack’s Water Resources Engineering class had begun when a septuagenarian poked his head into the room at NJIT. Puzzled, the professor inquired, “May I help you?”

In fact, he could. “I’m a student in this class,” replied Chris Antholis, then 72, who was six years into his quest to earn a Bachelor of ...

Cedar Grove Police Blotter

May 21, 2018

May 14, 2018 – May 20, 2018

On May 14, 2018 at 5:57 p.m., Ptl. Michael Passafiume stopped a vehicle without a front license plate and tinted windows. A subsequent investigation led to the arrest of the 36 year old male driver from Paterson for driving with a suspended license. He was processed and released with a summons to appear in municipal court.

On May 15, 2018 at 8:31 a.m., Ptl.

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

May 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

Music Under the June Moon Outdoor Concert in Anderson Park

May 28, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Enjoy a magical evening of moonlight and music in Anderson Park in Montclair on Saturday, June 9, with the third annual "Music Under the June Moon" chamber music concert.

Bring a picnic and a blanket and enjoy the Chamber Music Society of North Jersey playing under the park's historic Olmsted Oak. This free concert begins at 8 ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...