The Springfield Patriot Chamber of Commerce's Annual Fall Festival, took place on Sunday, October 1. The weather was absolutely perfect and it brought out not only spectators but vendors as well. While there were a number of sponsors, this year Lucas Wolf of Wolf Premier Realty took center stage as the primary sponsor. In an exclusive interview with the Patriot Times, Festival Co-Chairperson Gennifer Abraham told us: "Starting the Monday before the Festival, once the weather forecast looked good for the weekend, additional vendors started calling for spaces. We filled up our vendor spots by Thursday morning and had to turn some vendors away!" Bobby Abraham, her husband and co-chair said "I couldn't be more pleased with how the event turned out. This year we added a 20 x 40 foot tent that the Jersey Central N - Trak Model Railroad Group used to set up their modular presentation in partnership with the Model Railroad Club of Union. The display was packed with spectators all day long. On the library lawn we had the NASCAR Rock N’ Rolls Racing that kept the kids and big kids alike amused all day! There were pony rides and a horse and buggy that gave people a ride around the area and if you didn't want a horse ride you could take the train!" Gennifer added, "We had an "Etsy" craft area with 20 vendors, a local resident and book illustrator doing caricatures of people, commercial vendors, political parties, dance studio and martial arts demonstrations (separately!) and did I mention Joel Daniel The Marine Sandpiper from 29 Palms, California who was flown out for the event. Joel Daniel, a veteran himself was pleased to be the feature musician especially with the addition of our 5K run that benefited veterans this year. Food trucks lined Mountain Ave, an old time Good Humor truck served ice cream and Pizza was cooked on site." Bobby then chimed in, "Let's not forgot our Car Show, sponsored by Autoland and run by G-Wiz productions which drew in nearly 100 classic cars. Awards were given out for Chambers Choice, Mayor's Choice and many more categories."
Chamber Co-Chairman Scott Seidel noted that even Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno stopped by to check out the Festival and address the crowd, along with Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, and all of Springfield's Township Committee, many of whom helped out on the 5K run earlier that day. Township Clerk Linda Donnelly and Springfield resident and Union County Freeholder Chairman Bruce Bergen both also ran in the 5K and took trophies for their categories.
Before the Festival even started, while the vendors were setting up, the County of Union and Veterans Association conducted a 5K run through the Festival and over to Meisel Ave and back over to Mountain Ave. Over 300 runners took to the street. There was also a "Fun Run" as well as the 5K. After the 5K, trophies were awarded by race organizers Steve Marcus and Mike Boll. At the conclusion of the race awards, beautiful commemorative display boxes acknowledging one veteran from each town in the County were given to veterans who were in attendance.
Abraham stated in conclusion: "This was our largest Festival undertaking to date, putting a 5K run, Veteran Awards, Car show, craft and commercial vendors, food and rides and games for kids, model railroad exhibit and much more in one package on the same day! This would not have been possible without the help and cooperation of the Township of Springfield, Township Committee, Springfield Police Department, Auxiliary Police, Fire Department and First Aid squad, Springfield Department of Public Works, The County of Union and Union County Freeholders, Sergeant Mike Boll of the Union Police Department and Union County Police & Union County Sheriff, Hillside and Union Auxiliary Police Officers, Wolf Premier Properties and Lucas Wolf, Autoland, Regal Bank Best Buy and of Course the organization that coordinates the whole thing, The Springfield Patriot Chamber of Commerce. Gennifer and I are truly grateful to everyone in Town who helped make "Festival Day" a huge success". They noted that next year, "Festival Day" will be September 30th, 2018 with a rain date of October 14th.
Photos 1 - 3 Crowd builds early and stays all day
Photo 4 & 5 5 K run starst at 910 am and heads onto Mounatin Ave.
Photos 6,7 & 8 Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and Assemblyman Jon Bramnick take a turn at the dunk tank.
Photos 9 & 10 Festival Sponsor Lucas Wolf and Staff
Photos 11-15 5K & Veterans Awards
Photos16 - 26 Car Show and Awards
Photo 27- Joel Daniel, Marie Bagpiper