Proposals are due on March 23, in sharp contrast to past years when plans were still up in the air two weeks before July 4th.
Back in the day when there were eight or nine municipalities contributing funds and volunteer effort to organizing what was known as the Central Jersey Independence Day Celebration, it was the main event of the summer. Thousands of spectators lined the parade route, and the evening concert and fireworks were well-attended.
Over the years neighboring towns dropped both financial support and participation. At some point, the committee that met year-round to plan the event disbanded. When North Plainfield decided to hold its own parade, the city had to change the route, which formerly proceeded from Johnston Avenue and East Front Street to Front and Somerset streets, where it turned north to end at a reviewing stand in front of Somerset School. The new Plainfield route ends on Front Street between Park and Madison avenues, with a reviewing stand on the sidewalk.
After Plainfield had to go it alone, planning details became hard to get, both before and after the holiday. In 2006, the City Council rejected two concert proposals - one at a cost of $100,000 and another for $55,000, in part because they couldn't get information on the plans. Recreation Director Dave Wynn later came up with an alternative plan and there was a concert after all.
An attempt to revive the Independence Day planning committee with all Plainfield residents fell by the wayside. There is still a budget line for the event and the Mapp administration has taken a new approach to managing Recreation for the past two years.
Many people, both Plainfielders and others, still look forward to the parade, concert and fireworks. Early planning should make it a great one in 2016. Maybe this year I will plan ahead also, and finally order the Battenberg lace parasol I have long wanted to carry for parade-watching in the July sun. .
Here is the public notice for the RFP:
CITY OF PLAINFIELD PUBLIC NOTICE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
Notice is hereby given that the City of Plainfield will receive proposals on March 23, 2016, at 11:00 A.M in the Plainfield City Hall Building, 515 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield, NJ for the provision of: 2016 City of Plainfield Independence Day Concert
Proposals are being solicited through a fair and open process in accordance with N.J.S.A.19:44A-20.4. Requests for Proposals may be obtained by requesting a hard copy that may be picked up at the Office the City Purchasing, City of Plainfield Administration Building, Basement, 515 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield, NJ 07060 during the hours of 9:30a.m. to 4:30p.m. beginning on February 16, 2016. Proposals may be mailed upon request by emailing the Office of the City Purchasing at email@example.com. All questions regarding the RFP must be made in writing directed to CindyLea Weber Purchasing Dept. Questions may be faxed to (908) 753-3500. All information requested in the Request for Proposals must be provided or the proposal may be disqualified. Proposals MUST BE SEALED and labeled "PROPOSALS 2016 City of Plainfield Independence Day Concert", on the outside of the envelope. Proposals must be made in the form required by the specifications with one (1) original paper copy and one (1) PDF electronic copy on Jump Drive or CD to be delivered to Cindy Lea K. Weber, Purchasing Agent, QPA, Office of the City Purchasing, City of Plainfield 515 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield, NJ 07060. Attention: "PROPOSALS- 2016 City of Plainfield Independence Day Concert" prior to the stated time of 11 AM on March 23, 2016 proposals. The City reserves the right to reject any and all proposals, to waive any informality in the RFP process, and to accept any proposals which, in their judgment, are most advantageous, price and other factors considered, and will best serve the interest of City of Plainfield. Proposers are required to comply with the requirements of N.J.S.A. 10:5-31 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 17:27. City of Plainfield CindyLea K. Weber