Monday, June 30, 2014
July 4 Parade, Fireworks Are On July 5
Don't haul your lawn chairs down to Front Street Friday for the 91st Central Jersey July 4 Celebration, unless you plan to stay overnight. The parade will step off at 10 a.m. Saturday and the fireworks will start at dusk Saturday in Cedar Brook Park.
Old-timers may remember when the "Central Jersey" part referred to a joint effort by eight or nine municipalities to organize and fund the celebration. A committee worked year-round to make the arrangements. All their terms expired in 1993 and although legislation passed in 2006 to establish an all-Plainfield committee, no members were ever named. I'm told that may change for 2015, ending the practice of ad hoc planning for the event and a bit of mystery about the costs involved.
The city has budgeted $52,400 for the event this year. In 2012, a request for details of the costs did not get a response until January 2013. But as noted in this post, the issue of cost disclosure went back to 2006.
The issue of costs came up also when a contribution from Investors Savings Bank for the event in 2010 was apparently diverted to a controversial "Town Hall" radio show featuring Rev Al Sharpton.
All in all, the celebration is overdue for some rigorous planning with full disclosure of costs and it seems that will be the way it goes next year. The reason given in the past for not holding the event on July 4th was extra pay for employees. Maybe an analysis can pinpoint the difference and adjustments can be made so that the 92nd Central Jersey July 4 Celebration will be on July 4.