Friday, October 5, 2018

Paint by the Pond! Rescheduled for Saturday, October 6!

Paul Cézanne, Lake Annecy, 1896, Oil on canvas, 64 x 79 cm, Courtauld Gallery, London
Join us for "Paint by the Pond," rescheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, October 6!*

This activity for our youth (ages 4-12) to express their creative powers through art--the 3rd annual Paint by the Pond, scheduled for Saturday, October 6th from 12:00 - 4:00 pm at Warinanco Park . For more info, call Parks & Recreation at (908) 529-4900. See the press release below for full details.
*In case of rain, "Paint by the Pond" will be held on Sunday, October 7.


Press Release
For Immediate Release: September 28, 2018



ELIZABETH, NJ—The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Department of Parks and Recreation invite youngsters 4 years old to 12 years old to participate in “Paint in the Pond” on Saturday, October 6 at the pond in Warinanco Park. This interactive art project will run from 12:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.
“The pond at Warinanco Park is a perfect setting for young artists to gather with family members to create beautiful projects while learning the importance of recycling,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados.
This will be the third year “Paint by the Pond” will be presented to allow children to paint cardboard model houses and create art on poster board. There will also be miniature houses made with the cardboard boxes floating in the pond during the event.
In case of rain, “Paint by the Pond” will be held on Sunday, October 7. For more information on this exciting event, please call the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation at (908) 527-4900.

Join Us at the Warinanco Fall Festival This Weekend!

Photo courtesy of Union County
Exciting events are afoot this weekend in Warinanco Park as we celebrate the coming of autumn. This Saturday and Sunday (October 6 and 7),from 11:00 am - 8:00 pm, the Warinanco Fall Festival has great family activities scheduled, including pumpkin carving, pumpkin bowling (!!!), apple bobbing, sack races, carnival games, and live music. Food trucks will be serving sumptuous harvest foods including hot cider, chili, hearty soups, and s'mores. Visitors are invited to the Dipple Woods Picnic area right behind the Warinanco Sports Complex to participate in this wonderful fall event. The cost is just $5 per person or $20 per family (up to 6 members). You can pre-purchase discounted $15 family tickets by clicking on the link below!


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Union County's Fall Fishing Derby for People with Special Needs: A Great Success!


The Fall Fishing Derby for People with Special Needs, held at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside on Saturday, was extremely well-attended. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and a lot of fish were caught! 

The photos below attest to the fun and recreational enjoyment! Co-sponsored by the Newark Bait and Fly Casting Club, fishing poles and bait were provided, free refreshments were served, and fabulous prizes were awarded to contest winners (biggest fish, etc). Special thanks to Bob Jones and the Newark Bait and Fly Casting Club, and to Manny Ramirez, Nicole DeAugustine, and the rest of the team of Union County's Office for People with Special Needs for this wonderful day of recreation!

For more information about services and events by the Office for People with Special Needs,  visit www.ucnj.org/opsn-reg or call 908-527-4781.

From Union County: The Office for People with Special needs partners with community centers, schools, colleges, YMCAs, businesses, support organizations and volunteer groups to present recreation programs at county facilities as well as locations in various municipalities. Programs are for ages five through adult.











Saturday, September 22, 2018

"The Colored Museum" Hits the Stage This Evening and Tomorrow!


"The Last-Mama-on-the-Couch Play" from The Colored Museum. Photo by Danielle Tucker Productions and M.Power Arts.


A fantastic ensemble performance of the classic stage play The Colored Museum continues with performances this evening (Saturday, September 22 at 8:00 PM) and tomorrow (Sunday, September 23 at 5:00 PM). A great evening awaits theatergoers at the Parish Hall Theater of the First Unitarian Society of Plainfield (located at 724 Park Avenue in Plainfield). 

The Colored Museum, George C. Wolfe's amazing and painfully funny comedy, originally premiered back in 1986 at the Crossroads Theater in New Brunswick before moving to Joseph Papp's legendary Public Theater in New York City. Wolfe's play takes no prisoners as it gleefully wounds the sacred cows of African American theater history. The skits, referred to as "Museum Exhibits," hilariously satirize pretentious aspects of African American theatrical culture, at the same time skewering racist assumptions about black life. Lorraine Hansberry's pioneering A Raisin in the Sun is re-imagined as "The-Last-Mama-on-the-Couch Play," which had the audience practically rolling on the floor with laughter. 


Grabbing a selfie as the theater fills up!
The other exhibits include "The Gospel According to Miss Roj," in which a transgender snap queen recounts her life as an "extra-terrestrial" as she "snaps" her way through life, "Git on Board," where the tightly-wound yet disturbingly obsequious flight attendant of "Celebrity Slave Ship" urges passengers to "Fasten Your Shackles," and "Cookin' With Aunt Ethel," portraying a sort of neo-Aunt Jemima television chef who stirs ingredients into a pot to create a "batch of Negroes."

I was bowled over by the incredible performances by this talented and professional ensemble cast, deftly directed by Danielle Tucker,* whose fine-tuned directorial skills were also on display in the recent sold-out performances of August Wilson's Fences, Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues, and Annie, Jr. Danielle Tucker is part of a re-energized performing arts wave that is hitting Plainfield, and she is joined in this production by her frequent collaborator Onyx Keesha of M.Power Arts.

At last night's premiere, which was packed, the audience (including me!) responded with gales of laughter throughout the show. You really shouldn't miss this theatrical treat. The final performances will presented today, Saturday, September 22 at 8:00 pm, and tomorrow, Sunday, September 23 at 5:00 pm. The arts are truly alive--don't miss it!

Tickets for the performance are only $18. To order, call (908) 912-4396 or click on the link: The Colored Museum - Tickets

*Danielle will be staging Langston Hughes's Black Nativity in December. More on that in a future post!


Monday, September 17, 2018

Come and Enjoy a Taste of Fall This Saturday at Warinanco Park!

The Warinanco Park Sports Center, located at 1 Park Drive in Roselle, will host the Warinanco Taste of Fall this Saturday, September 22 from 1:00 - 5:00 pm. With an emphasis on seasonal foods and dishes that we associate with the fall (including hearty soups and stews), local restaurants throughout Union County will contend for "Best Fall Dish." Admission is free, but attendees must pay $10.00 to participate in the tasting and the voting competition.* 

In addition, amateur bakers who enjoy making delectable sweets will face off against one another in the "Fall Dessert Competition" (savory and /or sweet). There will be plenty of free activities for kids, including arts and crafts, games, and cookie decorating. For more information,  call (908) 298-7849 or click on the link: https://warinancopark.com/event/taste-of-fall/ 


Come and welcome the fall season with us! 


*Food will also be available for purchase from 
local restaurants and food trucks--costs will vary.  

Fishing Derby for People with Special Needs This Saturday, Sept. 22

Photo: Courtesy of Union County
On Saturday, September 22,* the Fall Fishing Derby for People with Special Needs will be held at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside. This free event, which is open to participants of all ages, will take place from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. Preregistration is required--click on this link: ucnj.org/opsn-reg or call the Union County Office for People with Special Needs at (908) 527-4781. Co-sponsored by the Newark Bait and Fly Casting Club, free hot dogs will be served, and prizes will be awarded to contest winners. 

I have been to a number of fishing derbies in our county parks, and I can attest to how relaxing and enjoyable they are for children and adults alike. Fishing poles and chairs will be available, but feel free to bring your own. I look forward to seeing you there! 

*Rain date is Sunday, September 23. Please check the Union County website and Facebook page for updated information.

See the full press release below:


Press Release
For Immediate Release: September 6, 2018




The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites residents to participate in the Fall Fishing Derby for People with Special Needs on Saturday, September 22nd, at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside. This event is free of charge and runs from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
“This is a wonderful way to celebrate the last days of warmer weather in our parks,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “We invite residents young and old to come and enjoy the outdoors at this fun event.”
The Newark Bait and Fly Casting Club are co-sponsoring the fishing derby and will be providing a hot dog lunch as well as organizing contests. Prizes will be awarded to participants.
The fishing derby is open to all ages. Chairs and fishing poles will be provided but participants are welcome to bring their own. The rain date for this event is Sunday, September 23rd from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p/m/
Pre-registration is required for this free event. To register or to learn about other events planned by the Office for People with Special Needs, visit www.ucnj.org/opsn-reg or call 908-527-4781.
The Office for People with Special needs partners with community centers, schools, colleges, YMCAs, businesses, support organizations and volunteer groups to present recreation programs at county facilities as well as locations in various municipalities. Programs are for ages five through adult.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Fall 2018 Hayrides & Campfires - Tickets Available Starting Tuesday, September 4!


As we begin the fall season, Union County has a number of great activities for residents coming up. Tickets for this year's Hayrides and Campfires events (priced at $6.00 for Union County residents and $12.00 for non-residents) will go on sale this Tuesday, September 4 starting at 8:30 am. You may order tickets online at ucnj.org/tickets or at one of the three venues listed below. Hot chocolate, marshmallows will be provided! As this is one of the most popular fall events in the county, be sure to purchase your tickets soon. The dates and locations for the hayrides are below. Note: There will be no tickets sold on-site. 

Hayride and Campfire at Warinanco Sports Center (also Military Appreciation Night)
Friday, October 5 (rides from 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm)

Hayrides and Campfires at Trailside Nature & Science Center
Sunday, October 7 (rides from 3:30 pm - 6:30 pm)
Friday, October 12 (rides from 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm)
Sunday, October 14 (rides from 3:30 pm - 6:30 pm)
Friday, October 19 (rides from 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm)

In addition to online, you may purchase tickets in person at the following locations:

Colleen Fraser Building, 300 North Avenue East, Westfield

Monday - Wednesday, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Thursday, 8:30 am - 6:30 pm
Friday, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Union County Administration Building, 10 Elizabethtown Plaza, Elizabeth Office

Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Trailside Nature & Science Center, 452 New Providence Road, Mountainside

Sunday - Saturday, 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Call the Department of Parks and Recreation at (908) 527-4900 or the Trailside Nature & Science Center at (908) 789-3670 or visit the website at ucnj.org. Scroll down to see the full press release with additional details on the events.



Press Release
For Immediate Release: August 31, 2018



Tickets for the 2018 Hayrides and Campfires event presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Union County Department of Parks & Recreation will be available for purchase beginning Tuesday, September 4 at 8:30 a.m.
This year, tickets will again be sold online in addition to three locations throughout the county. All tickets must be purchased in advance, there will be no tickets sold on-site.
All ticket sales will be final, with no refunds or exchanges. The event includes the hayride, entertainment and hot chocolate and marshmallows to toast over a campfire.
The first Hayride and Campfire will take place on Friday, October 5 at the Warinanco Sports Center. That evening has also been designated as Military Appreciation Night. Rides will run from 6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.
Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside will host the remaining events. Hayrides and Campfires will be held on Sunday, October 7 from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Friday, October 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Sunday, October 14 from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; and Friday, October 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
“The Hayrides and Campfires events are always among the most popular events in our parks, so those interested in participating should get their tickets early, either online or in person, and plan for a fun-filled evening to begin the fall,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados.
Tickets are priced at $6.00 for Union County residents and $12.00 for non-residents. Group sales are limited to 15 tickets. To order tickets online, visit ucnj.org/tickets.
Tickets will be on sale at the following locations and times, beginning September 4:
  • The Colleen Fraser Building, 300 North Avenue East in Westfield, Monday through Wednesday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Elizabeth Office, Union County Administration Building, 10 Elizabethtown Plaza, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Trailside Nature and Science Center, 452 New Providence Road, Mountainside, from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday through Saturday.
For further information, call the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation at 908-527-4900, Trailside Nature and Science Center at 908-789-3670 or visit the Union County website at ucnj.org.