PlayDay South Orange — that one day a year when locals are encouraged to run wild in the streets — had anything but a sophomore slump in its second year, as sunny skies and mild temperatures smiled on the streets of South Orange today.
“We couldn’t have asked for better weather or a more enthusiastic crowd to come play in the street,” said Matt Glass, Chair of the South Orange Village Center Alliance. “We weren’t sure if we could top last year’s amazing premiere, but through the generosity of our sponsors and the hard work of our partners and volunteers, the 2nd PlayDay really was bigger and better.”
Glass, who is a professional event producer with Eventage, said that preliminary estimates for the day were 3,500 attendees. That’s up from an estimated 2,500 in Year 1.
And what did those thousands do?
They bounced basketballs, chased down tennis balls, jumped rope, danced, played on inflatables, drove radio-controlled cars and Minions, zoomed around the new Skate Park zone, tickled the ivories, made some art, played checkers, visited the New Jersey Hall of Fame’s Mobile Museum, and much, much more.
In addition, the Rite Aid Main Stage provided non-stop entertainment with everything from music and dancing to the return of the Town Hall Deli Sloppy Joe Eating Contest (featuring Village President Sheena Collum as a contestant), dancers from Maria Priadka, musicians from Mark Murphy’s Music, local music group Parker 4ve, a dance performance from Studio 509 and DJ Zach Primo.
About that Sloppy Joe contest: Sam Rojas, chef for Above Restaurant, was the winner, downing eight wedges (the record is 12). The runner-up was Scott Egelberg of the South Orange Rescue Squad; and Rob Sandow, community activist and volunteer, came in third.
“PlayDay represents the best of what our community is all about, and gives us an amazing platform from which to showcase our dynamic downtown,” said SOVCA Executive Director Bob Zuckerman. “Thanks to the thousands who enjoyed a great day of play in the Village Center.”
Now that Year 2 is in the bag what about Year 3?
“We’re already thinking about next year and hope everyone will come back to play again,” said Glass.
For a complete list of PlayDay South Orange 2015 sponsors, visit the PlayDay website.
Click on any image below to see a slideshow of pictures from PlayDay South Orange 2015.