Scenes from an American Street Fair

A recent tradition, the June Street Fair features vendors,
a wide variety of food, live music, and displays from
local township volunteers.
New Jersey moves fast.  When someone asks you to get back to them with results, whether it's for work, volunteering, or the snack schedule for your kid's soccer team, they mean "tomorrow" not "sometime next week."  This is especially true in the Northeast, near the city, where traffic is congested and everyone seems to be on their way to their next appointment, even if they're only 8.  Get out of New Jersey and you'll find this changes pretty quickly.  Just across the border in Pennsylvania, people actually begin to understand that things like torrential rain or snow can cause traffic delays.  Down in the Southern states or out towards the Midwest, this sort of preference to the slow and methodical over the frenetic is even more pronounced.  North Jersey does have its slower spots though and those in turn even have a few slower days per year.  As a bedroom community with more schools than many of its neighbors, Pequannock would never be mistaken for some sleepy mountain village during most weekday mornings or evening commutes.  Still though, residents do know how to enjoy life and how to take a break.

Fresh lemonade was almost a necessity at 2015's
Street Fair on the newly paved asphalt of the
Newark Pompton Turnpike.
The annual Pequannock Street Fair, though a recent tradition, is an example of this suburban slowdown.  Up to perhaps the 1960's, in addition to the usual selection of high school sports each weekend, the community had annual events at the gravel pit, out by the old Shaw's Silver Factory, which too was the site where RMI would develop the rocket engine that would go on to break the sound barrier.  Of course there was also a broad array of church socials and picnics throughout time, though evidence of those is mostly lost to the annals of history.  Swimming holes were a popular pass-time in the hotter months and Pequannock was once home to both the municipal beach at PV Park and the private McDonald's Beach across Alexander Ave.

Despite cuts to the High School music program
music education remains a strong interest
for the Pequannock community
seen here at the Shamrock  School of
Music mainstage.
Today, Pequannock boasts a number of public parks, many with cool shady areas perfect for the Summer months.  PV Park is still a major attraction and for those who'd rather get on the water than it it, Woodland Lake offers a rustic charm for boaters and fishermen.  Other pass-times have passed by, with McDonald's beach closing decades ago and the old gravel pit now a medical center.  It doesn't matter though because though the locations have changed and the faces have certainly changed, the traditions remain the same: good people getting together with their families and community to enjoy the Summer weather and a day without work.  

The firehouses still do wet-downs and the Hoe Down each Fall is a decades old tradition, as are July 4th Fireworks.  New activities like the Street Fair each June, and Farmer's Markets in town or nearby attract residents of all ages.  Even natural resources are getting an upgrade, like the kayak and paddle boat rentals at Woodland Lake, the restored pond and dock at Greenview Park, or the kiosk and trail upgrades in Mountainside Park.  For those with a green thumb, the recently added Community Garden has seen enough interest to expand since its opening several years ago.

Volunteers from the Pequannock Historic Commission
were out in force providing information about the
Township's many historical preservation efforts.
Soon, residents can expect to enjoy a scenic walk along the river as the Pequannock Riverwalk Project approaches its unveiling.  A  planned expansion to the Pequannock Library will provide even more room for kids looking to enjoy some AC and a good book while participating in the Summer Reading Program.

If you've enjoyed this lengthy, but not exhaustive look back at Pequannock's Summer recreation over the decades, there's one more activity you should consider: Visit the Pequannock History Museum on Evans Place between Noon and 3pm the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month.  It is air conditioned and admission is free.  There you'll learn about a wide variety of Pequannock's history from its status as a stop along the Morris Canal to its place in history as home of Medal of Honor Recipient James R. Evans.

Got a Summer recreation story?  Leave a comment!

A display about the past offers a glimpse into the
future: Many Pequannock residents have sought
to purchase and preserve the historic Martin
Berry House as township historic site.

In honor of the 275th anniversary of the founding of
Pequannock, many talented local students took the
time to produce wonderful historic projects about
the town.

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