CALDWELL, NJ  - President Grover Cleveland would have been proud. On a beautiful afternoon, over 500 people turned out on Saturday, Sept. 21, to celebrate his namesake park’s 100th anniversary. Grover Cleveland Park’s Centennial Celebration was hosted by the not-for-profit Grover Cleveland Park Conservancy (GCPC) in conjunction with the Essex County Park System. Attending the celebration were Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr.Essex County Park System Director Dan Salvante, Grover Cleveland Park Conservancy President Claudia Kolster and Trustee Caroline Mescia, West Caldwell Mayor Joseph Tempesta Jr. and Caldwell Mayor Ann Dassing

From left: Essex County Park System Director Dan Salvante, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr., Grover Cleveland Park Conservancy Trustee Caroline Mescia with President Claudia Kolster, and West Caldwell Mayor Joseph Tempesta Jr. and his wife Anne  
Credit: Corrine Feindt-Summerville

Tempesta reflected that he had been coming to the park since 1968 when he was a little boy. He commented, "Happy anniversary to Grover Cleveland Park. It's a great day for the people of West Essex."

Annabelle Kraemer with her mom Sandra Martins Kraemer and her dad
Michael Kraemer of Caldwell  Credit: Corrine Feindt-Summerville 

The Five-O Trio & Friends three-piece acoustic band kept a festive atmosphere with their selection of popular soft rock from decades past and present. Members Al Ardolino, on acoustic guitar, Mike Engle, on electric guitar and Shawn Hendrick, on bass guitar, were supplemented by Eric Hartelius on keyboards and John Roccesano on drums.

From left: The Five-O Trio band members Al Ardolino on acoustic guitar, Shawn
Hendrick on bass guitar, John Roccesano on drums, Eric Hartelius on keyboards
and Mike Engle on electric guitar  Credit: Corrine Feindt-Summerville 

Guests relaxed with refreshments in the audience enjoying the show. 

Caldwell’s Melissa Summerville and Jessica Schulze Stoppiello  
Credit: Corrine Feindt-Summerville

Cloverleaf Tavern and Gelotti sold food while Stop & Shop provided water and snacks to attendees.

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From left: West Caldwell’s Sebastian Sciacca and mom Dina, both of West Caldwell and Lori Christensen-Spitler, of Verona, and her son Evan Spitler
Credit: Corrine Feindt-Summerville  

Corrine Feindt-Summerville from Caldwell stated, "All of our volunteers did a fabulous job putting the 100th Carnival together. We had a great turnout and the Five-O Trio did a wonderful job entertaining all the folk that came out for the day."

Former Caldwell resident Leslie A Chilenski and son Ryan
Credit: Corrine Feindt-Summerville

“It was a wonderful event," described Heather Raskin Brook of West Caldwell, "especially the animals from the zoo and the bubble blowing activity.”

From left: Lisa and Jason Brown and their son Nicholas, all of West Caldwell  
Credit: Corrine Feindt-Summerville

The conservancy displayed its park art and historic postcard collection. Guests were entertained and educated by demonstrations and exhibits from Turtle Back Zoo, Hilltop Honey of North Caldwell, the county's cider press.  

Hilltop Honey’s Joseph Lelinho and Marty Mettille  Credit: Corrine Feindt-Summerville

There were also presentations from Guerrero Brazilian Jiu Jitsu of Caldwell and archery demonstrations from the New Jersey School Of Archery’s South Mountain Archery Club.

Credit: Corrine Feindt-Summerville  

Children enjoyed having their faces transformed by face painter, Becky McDonald and they were also kept amused by a petting zoo, various crafts provided by the conservancy and We Knead the Dough Cookies.

Face painter Becky McDonald and Carly Infantolino of West Caldwell  
Credit: Corrine Feindt-Summerville  

Sally Ann Giltzow Tomaio, originally from Roseland, commented, “This was a great event for families with small children. We loved the petting zoo, face painting and the great food supplied by Cloverleaf and Gelottis!” 

Credit: Corrine Feindt-Summerville

The Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association got the kids moving in sack races while additionally the children tried their hands at making huge soap bubbles and finding obscure information in the GCPC’s Scavenger Hunt.

Credit: Corrine Feindt-Summerville

Gary Summerville and Warren Marchioni, both of Caldwell, held a demonstration showing people what’s at the bottom of the Grover Cleveland pond.

From left: Gary Summerville and Warren Marchioni  Credit: Corrine Feindt-Summerville