From the Bob Zuckerman via the South Orange Village Center Alliance Village Vibe newsletter:
It’s our largest and greatest event of the year for the entire family, and it’s happening this Sunday, September 16th! Of course, I’m talking about the fifth annual PlayDay: Come Play in the Street! It’s hard to believe that it’s been four years since we began this incredible event but it has. Back in September of 2013, shortly before I began my position here at SOVCA, the Village held a street fair on South Orange Avenue that was largely panned by those who attended. Apparently it was like your typical Manhattan street fair with lots of tchotchkes for sale, funnel cakes and the rest. Not very inspiring, right? However, the producer was able to get South Orange Avenue closed to vehicular traffic for this boring affair. We thought, what if we closed South Orange Avenue and did something really fun and cool that both kids and adults would love, and voila, PlayDay was born in 2014! And now four years later, it’s back, and bigger and better than ever!
It all starts on Sunday [September 16] at 1:00 PM when we officially open for business. PlayDay, which is a free event, has so many different activities that there’s literally something for everyone of every age! As you can see by the enclosed map, we’ve got tons of free events including the ever popular Sport Court, street games such as jump ropes and hula hoops, art projects, table games like giant jenga, gaga and blue blocks in the Y Zone, a ninja warrior course from Jeff Lake Camp, a community area for our local nonprofits and our Main Stage! The Main Stage, located on West South Orange Avenue this year past Reservoir Restaurant, will be filled with live music, dance and exercise and, of course, the Town Hall Deli Sloppy Joe Eating Contest at 5:30 (BTW we’re still looking for a few more contestants for that so email me if you’re interested). Oh, and speaking of Reservoir, from 1:30 to 2:30 during PlayDay they are offering free pizza slices to celebrate being voted as having the Best Pizza in NJ by New Jersey Monthly magazine! All of these amazing activities are completely free!
But that’s not all! For the low, low price of $10 each, you can purchase PlayDay Wristbands which will give your kids (or you if you’re a kid at heart) unlimited access to all the inflatables, the carnival games where you can win great prizes from Sparkhouse, and miniature golf. Now, if you purchase an Extreme PlayDay Wristband for $20, which is still a bargain in my book, you’ll receive access to all of the above PLUS unlimited access to the ever-popular rock wall and Euro Bungee, and, new this year, the Giant Slide, and I do mean Giant! There’s also music at the gazebo courtesy of Mark Murphy’s Music, the Nick Moran Circus Arts and free demos. Plus, there will be food for sale for some of our great restaurants including Bunny’s, BGR and Giorgio’s.
All of this fun takes place on South Orange Avenue (from Church St. to Scotland Road) and on Sloan Street this Sunday from 1:00 – 6:00 PM. All of the parking lots except for the Riverside Parking Lot next to the former Ridge Tire are open on Sunday, but please remember that South Orange Avenue will be closed between Scotland Road and Ridgewood Road for the entire day, so there will be detours. You can see the parking and detour map along with a sneak peek of the event guide here.
Obviously, PlayDay is an enormous undertaking, and a very expensive event to pull off, and we couldn’t possible do it without the extraordinary generosity of our Extreme Play Area Sponsor Stop & Shop, our Play Area Sponsors Natalie Farrell of Weichert Realtors, South Orange Country Day School, Atlantic Health and TAPintoSOMA, our Supporting Sponsors The South Mountain Y, Robert Northfield of Keller Williams, Investors Bank, Meridia Living, BCB South Orange, Seton Hall University, St. Barnabas Medical Center and Sym Heller Development, and all of our many Friend Sponsors who are listed here.
PlayDay really is the greatest thing to ever happen between two curbs, and it truly is fun for the whole family. So, make sure you come downtown on Sunday for the greatest day of play ever: PlayDay!