Updated: Where to Celebrate July 4th

by The Village Green
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Updated: South Orange has moved its July 4 events to July 5 due to the weather forecast. Read more here.

Updated: Maplewood has moved some July 4 morning events indoors to 60 Woodland Road. Read more here.


One of the things we love best about living in our towns is the Fourth of July. It’s a throwback to another era, a time of patriotism and simple pleasures: parades, races, fairs, contests, hotdogs, ice cream and, of course, fireworks.

In Maplewood: Screen Shot 2014-06-15 at 9.35.30 PM
Maplewood’s Annual July 4th is the 112th organized by the July Fourth Committee of the Maplewood Civic Association. It is a full-day of family fun, a hometown community experience, featuring an old-fashioned circus and fireworks. Rain date for the event is Saturday, July 5.

Events begin at 8:00 a.m. with the July 4th 5K starting and finishing on Dunnell Road (registration at 7:00 a.m.) and opening ceremonies at Ricalton Square followed by a bike parade from the Village beginning at 8:15 a.m.

By 9:00 a.m. kids’ dashes and relays are starting in Memorial Park. Registration is required. Forms are available here.

More events follow including ice cream eating contests, tennis contests, a robotics club demonstration, a baking contest, a pet parade, and, of course, the Zerbini Family Circus. Music is offered in Memorial Park from 4-9 p.m. culminating in the fireworks display. See the full list with times and locations here.

A full-day combo tag for the circus and fireworks is $15, available for purchase at the libraries, Town Hall, the Recreation Department at De Hart Park or at participating retailers listed here. $10 tags for the fireworks and $10 tags for the circus are available at the gate only on the day of the event.

In Millburn:   Millburn’s Fourth of July celebration starts with morning and afternoon events in Taylor Park and ends with fireworks in the Millburn High School.  The morning events at Taylor Park include:

  • 9:00 a.m. flag raising and patriots award
  • 9:30 a.m. Bike-Trike-Stroller Parade
  • 10:00 a.m. Girls All-Star Softball Game

Afternoon events at Taylor park run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and include pony rides, amusement rides, duck races, face painting and a Revolutionary War encampment.

For the fireworks, the gates open at Millburn High School at 7 p.m. and fireworks begin no sooner than 9 p.m. but are, according to the literature, “dependent on time of dusk and event readiness.”

Tickets are available in advance for $10, $12 day of event, $5 for fireworks alone. Visit www.mshjuly4th.com. Direct questions to the Millburn Short Hills Fourth of July Committee Inc. at info@mshjuly4th.com.

In South Orange:

From 11:00 am–1:00 pm, there will be Field Events and Races at Cameron Field near the Playground with medals for all who compete and prizes for winners in each age group:

  • 11:00 am-12:00 pm for ages 3-6
  • 12:00-1:00 pm for ages 7-12

Register by sending an email with Subject Line “Races” to recreation@southorange.org including the participant’s name and age.

From noon to 4:00 p.m., the South Orange Parking Authority is sponsoring a Free Sports Themed Slide and Bouncy House in Cameron Field near the pool entrance.

From 10:00 am-3:00 pm, there will be a Model Boat Exhibit at the Duck Pond.

The South Orange Community Pool will be open to all residents (you must show proof of residency) from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will feature these Fourth of July events:

  • Noon-4 p.m. Photo Booth
  • Noon-3 p.m. Sand Art for Kids
  • 2nd Annual PIng Pong Tournament, starting at 12 p.m. Register by sending an email with Subject Line “Ping Pong” to recreation@southorange.org including the participant’s name and age. First come-first serve.
  • 3rd Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest at 3:15 p.m. Register by sending an email with Subject Line: “Hot Dogs” to recreation@southorange.org including participant’s name and age.

Find out more about South Orange Fourth of July events here.

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