The Township of Bloomfield, N.J. will hold a kickoff event on March 23 to commemorate the bicentennial of its founding. "General Joseph Bloomfield” will deliver the Original Charter as part of a preview of dozens of activities celebrating Bloomfield's 200th Year.
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Exactly two hundred years to the day after its incorporation, the Township of Bloomfield, N.J., will celebrate with its official Bicentennial Opening Ceremony at Bloomfield High School on Friday, March 23, beginning at 7 p.m. “General Joseph Bloomfield,” the Revolutionary War hero for whom the town was named, will read the original charter as it was delivered on March 23, 1812.
The Opening Ceremony is the first of dozens of bicentennial events planned in Bloomfield throughout the year, including a parade, concert series, discussions, historical tours and more. A list of event dates and details, information on sponsorship, merchandise, donation and volunteer opportunities are available at www.bloomfieldbicentennial.com or by request via email at infobloomfieldbicentennial.com.
“The Bicentennial Opening Ceremony is a great way to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the official incorporation of our town, as well as to preview the many other bicentennial-themed events planned during the year,” said Janice Litterio, chairperson of the Bloomfield Bicentennial Committee. “We encourage all current and past residents of Bloomfield to participate in as many activities as possible as we respect our storied past and continue to build our future.”
At the kickoff event, at which Mayor Raymond McCarthy and members of the Town Council will be in attendance in colonial period attire, the Bloomfield Girl Scouts will perform a full flag ceremony and the Bloomfield High School Madrigals will perform the national anthem. Bloomfield resident John Cataldo, portraying Gen. Bloomfield, will then read the charter, followed by a “Happy Birthday Bloomfield” video presentation in which citizens extend their good wishes. Local product Richard Ruffalo, motivator, author, educator, and internationally recognized athlete, will also speak during the ceremony.
All attendees are invited to stay for refreshments to be provided by Town Pub of Bloomfield and held in the Bloomfield High School cafeteria.
Among the 2012 Bloomfield Bicentennial events are:
-- Planting of the Bicentennial Tree, April 27, 6 p.m., site TBD
-- Bicentennial Concert performed by The Bloomfield Civic Band, April 29, 3 p.m., Bloomfield Middle School
-- Bloomfield Memorial Day Parade with a bicentennial theme, May 28, 9 a.m., Broad & Warren Streets to Town Green, followed by Opening of the Sesquicentennial (150 year) time capsule by members of the BHS Class of 1962, and Old Fashioned Bloomfield Bicentennial Picnic.
-- The Role of New Jersey in the Civil War: Speaker: William Gillette, Ph.D., Professor of History at Rutgers University, Sponsored by the Bloomfield Cultural Commission – Provided by Horizons Speaker Bureau of NJ Council for the Humanities, June 13, 7:30 p.m., Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center, 240 Belleville Ave.
-- Bicentennial Summer Concert Series, Bloomfield Federation of Music, American Salute – Honoring Our Men & Women in Uniform, June 25, 7 p.m., Bloomfield High School Auditorium
-- Bloomfield Educational Foundation’s Sunset Classic Road Race, June 28, 6 p.m., starts at Broad & James Streets
-- Fourth of July Bicentennial Fireworks Spectacular, July 4, 5:30 (open), 7:30 (band), 9:15 (fireworks), Foley Field/Memorial Park
-- Bicentennial Summer Concert Series, July 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 31, 7 p.m., Bloomfield High School Auditorium, Town Green, Brookside Park
Bloomfield, located in northern New Jersey, was originally part of Newark in 1666 when that town was settled. In 1796, the congregation of the Old First Church (now the Presbyterian Church on the Green) was formed, which honored Revolutionary War General Joseph Bloomfield by naming the newly formed parish after him, The Presbyterian Society of Bloomfield. In 1812, the town separated from Newark, and incorporated as the Township of Bloomfield, taking its name from the aforementioned Presbyterian parish. Bloomfield originally covered 20.52 sq. miles (now 5.4 sq. miles) and included Belleville, Montclair, Woodside, Nutley and Glen Ridge, each separating from Bloomfield in 1839, 1868, 1871, 1874 and 1895, respectively.
The Bloomfield Bicentennial logo was created by Susanne Abitbol, president of Bloomfield Graphics after consultation with the original bicentennial steering committee in mid-2011. Ms. Abitbol's historic design uniquely conveys the town's beginnings with a profile of General Joseph Bloomfield looking toward the Bloomfield Presbyterian Church on the Green which was named in his honor in 1796. Subsequently, the town adopted the name Bloomfield when it was incorporated in 1812.
About the Bloomfield Bicentennial Committee
The Bloomfield Bicentennial Committee was formed in 2011 to plan and facilitate the 200 year birthday of Bloomfield, New Jersey, which will be celebrated with a series of events starting March 23, 2012, and continuing throughout the rest of 2012. The theme “Respecting Our Past – Building Our Future” captures the fact that Bloomfield has a vast history while at the same time looks ahead to a better future.
Bloomfield Bicentennial sponsors to date include ShopRite of Brookdale, Town Pub, Candy Candice Straight, AM VETS AMVETS Post #70, Annin Flags Flagmakers, Mountainside Hospital, Bloomfield Democratic County Committee, TD Bank, The Sign Post, XCEL Federal Credit Union, VFW Post 711, the Nutley Historical Society, The Sceurman Family and The Nesto Family.