Are you ready to celebrate Newark's 350th Anniversary next year? You better start preparing because there are already more than 100 events planned for 2016 and more are on the way, members of the Newark Celebration 350 committee announced today.
Everyone, it seems, it getting in on the act, from members of the community who gave their ideas at a series of community meetings in every ward to the city's stalwarts, such as Essex County, Newark Public Library, Newark Museum, Rutgers University-Newark, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO), the New Jersey Devils and New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC).
John Schreiber (at the podium), CEO of NJPAC and chair of the programming committee, announces the first programming schedule for the celebration of Newark's 350th Anniversary. From left to right, John Johnson Jr, executive director of NC350, Council President Mildred Crump, Junius Williams, chair of NC350 and Mayor Ras Baraka. Volunteers from NJPAC are to the right of the podium.
It all begins this Saturday, Oct. 17, with a free Family Fun Festival that kicks off with the Creation Nation™ Art and Peace Parade at 11 a.m. in the newly renovated Military Park. The festival, which runs all afternoon, includes live concerts and performances, arts and crafts, and various demonstrations and activities. NewarkInc.com has the full timeline.
But wait! There's more. Much more. There's so much we don't even know where to begin. So here's a sampling:
- New Jersey Devils tickets, distributed free to 35,000 Newark residents
- Tickets priced at $3.50 for select performances at NJPAC
- Outdoor fairs that reflect the cultures of Newark’s diverse populations
- A holiday tour of Newark’s most remarkable churches, decorated for the season
- A series of public conversations, ranging from Colonial-era Newark to the civil unrest of 1967
- A multimedia oral history project coordinated by WBGO Jazz 88.3FM
- Jams with NJSO artists and local musicians throughout the city’s wards
- Programs and activities promoting stewardship of the urban environment
"We are very excited with our first slate of NC350 programs for 2016," said Junius Williams, the Chair of NC350. "The community’s response, interest and desire to be involved has been overwhelming. We have received many great ideas for programming and are thrilled with the direction of the year-long event."
Mayor Ras Baraka and Council President Mildred Crump joined members of the NC350 committee at a City Hall press conference announcing the programming.
John Schreiber, the CEO of NJPAC and chair of NC350 programming committee, said events will be added throughout the year that will be fun and informative, historical and forward-looking, for both young and old alike.
"NC350 will have something for everyone and we encourage residents of Newark and beyond to take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about their city and enjoy all that it offers,” Schreiber said.
Additional proposals for NC350 programming events may be submitted online at bit.ly/NC350event. Visit the website at nc350.org for schedule highlights and special announcements.