Millburn's 1939 July Fourth Celebration Without Fireworks
A 1939 Item letter writer reprimanded the town for Millburn's feeble July Fourth celebration without fireworks.
A 1939 letter to the Item editor commented on a recent Item editorial decrying the fact that Millburn’s July Fourth celebration had no fireworks. The letter writer wrote:
“Your (paper) devoted a column to Millburn’s lack of any kind of patriotic observance of Fourth of July, aside from a baby parade and kindred endeavors.
(Your paper) pointed out that this holiday marks the anniversary of our national life and institutions And so to his mind, calls for something more than (feeble) measures if we are to keep alive in coming generations that spirit that gave us our birthright.
I, with different men and women with whom I have talked, agree with (you) that we are repressing, rather than fostering, patriotism in our boys and girls and that something should be done about it.
Four or five hundred dollars a year is not a great sum to dedicate to perpetuating American ideas and ideals and we do not feel we should lag behind neighboring communities in enthusing our youth.
If some group of patriotic citizens will sponsor a real Fourth of July fireworks display starting with the national salute at sunrise, I believe the needed financing can be met with no effort.
The easiest thing we do today is to let things die through lack of any initiative. I hope the Item…will keep this discussion alive so that 1940 sees Millburn step into the forefront in a patriotic observance of Independence Day. CHARLES J. WINKLER”
The Millburn-Short Hills July Fourth committee is proud to be that “group of patriotic citizens” that works hard to bring to Millburn the fabulous fireworks, to foster that patriotism, to start the events of the day with that national salute (but at 9:00 a.m., not sunrise), and to perpetuate “American ideas and ideals.” The committee would be grateful if that could all be accomplished with “four or five hundred dollars a year,” but it takes a great deal more than that today to bring in it takes a great deal more than that today for the fun-packed day and evening to Milburn residents. Please join us in celebrating our unique role in the Revolutionary War on July Fourth.
The July Fourth celebration will begin with the flag-raising at Taylor Park at 9:00 a.m., followed immediately by the Patriot Award presentation, which will be conferred upon the Millburn-Short Hills Girl Scouts in honor of their many years of patriotism and service to the community and the 100thanniversary of the founding of the Girl Scouts in the USA. The Patriot Award ceremony will be followed by the ever-popular bike/trike/stroller parade at 9:30 (start decorating those bikes, trikes, and strollers!) and the girls’ All Star softball game at 10:00. From 11:00-3:00, all of Taylor Park will be transformed into a festival for the whole family.
There will be children’s rides, games, ponies, and a Revolutionary War encampment reenacted by the Morgan Rifles. At night the activities move to Millburn High School, with patriotic music provided by Krazy Kat, starting at 7:00. Also back by popular demand is an expanded schedule of Family Field Games. The day’s events will culminate with a fabulous fireworks display at dusk.
Tickets for the festivities can be purchased for a reduced price of $10 before the Fourth, or $12 on the day of the event; tickets for the fireworks only are $5. They are available through local merchants, including the Millburn Deli, Futter's Shoes, Anthony Laurence Jewelers, Buncher's Hardware, Michael's Barber Shop, La Strada, and Splurge Bakery, at town hall, or at the gate. Please note that the rain date is July 5, 2012.
The members of the Millburn-Short Hills July Fourth Committee depend heavily on private contributions and donations to offset expenses for the celebration. Checks can be made payable to Millburn-Short Hills Fourth of July Committee, Inc. and sent to PO Box 4, Short Hills NJ 07078. Donations can also be made online at www.mshjuly4th.com