Independence Day Plans Ready
Even though a new all-Plainfield Independence Day Committee will not be finalized until after the holiday, an ad-hoc committee of city staff and volunteers has been working on arrangements for the July 4th parade, Wynn said.
“Hopefully, this will be the best parade in a long time,” he said.
The theme, “Declaration of Unity,” will echo the motto of the new administration, “Growth Through Unity.” And Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs, the city’s first African-American female mayor, will be the grand marshal, Wynn said.
The city will hold its observance on July 4, even though this year it falls on a Tuesday.
The crowd-pleasing parade will step off at Johnston Avenue and proceed to a reviewing stand at Park Avenue and Front Street. It will include bands, floats, balloons, community groups and a special tribute to the Negro League baseball players, Wynn said.
The committee is still signing up volunteers for many aspects of the parade. Anyone interested can call (908) 753-3097 to sign up.
All volunteers will receive commemorative parade T-shirts, Wynn said.
The parade formerly included as many as nine Central Jersey towns, but over the years participation and financial support dwindled. Several years ago, North Plainfield announced its own parade plans, calling a halt to the route that had included a turn north on Somerset Street to a reviewing stand at Somerset School in the borough.
The city then began holding its own parade, with evening fireworks in Cedarbrook Park in Plainfield instead of Green Brook Park, which is at the North Plainfield border.
“The fireworks will be fabulous,” Wynn promised.
They will start at 9:30 p.m., he said.
The committee is still working on putting together a concert to round out the day’s festivities.
In the week before the parade, there will be a carnival at the Plainfield High School soccer field, Wynn said. It will be run by a combination of church and non-profit groups, not by the city, he said. The proposed dates are June 27 through July 2, he said.
Wynn said the city’s events will cost about $25,000 to $30,000 and will stress patriotism.
Past parades were criticized for lack of American flags, poor pacing that left viewers waiting a long time for the next float or band to come in view, inappropriate displays by dancers and general disarray. All that is over with, Wynn said.
Viewers should plan to bring chairs, sunshades and water, as the parade is usually from three to four hours long.
-- Bernice Paglia