Back on Oct. 5, 1990 at around 6:30 p.m., people could look up into the skies above Buchmuller Park and see a slow-moving plane. While this is not a rare occurrence in the year 2000 with the increased activity in and out of nearby Teterboro Airport, the plane in 1990 seemed to hover over Secaucus longer than usual, and the upturned faces of observers on the ground caught a glimpse of dark dots falling out from the side of the plane, dots that after a moment began to take the shape of human beings as they floated slowly in the stratosphere. After a brief display of aerial acrobatics, they pulled the cords to their parachutes and wafted into the midst of the waiting crowd below. That show was put on as part of Secaucus' celebration of the town's 90th birthday. Now, a decade later, the town will do it again as officials continue the yearlong celebration of the town's centennial with a parade, gala and birthday party slated for June 3. Secaucus severed ties with North Bergen in March, 1900, and town officials marked that occasion earlier this year by dressing up in period costumes and reenacting the first Town Council meeting, followed by a prayer vigil and a poetry reading. Officials sought to keep the solemn occasion separate from the party, and arranged that the birthday bash would be held at a time when the weather was likely to cooperate and people could celebrate with a more festive series of events. Organizers said the Centennial Parade will assemble at 10:30 a.m. at Town Hall (near Paterson Plank Road and County Avenue) for an 11 a.m. kickoff. This gathering is expected to include several special guests, numerous floats and several marching bands, led, of course, by the Secaucus High School Patriot Marching Band. If smaller events held in the past are any indication, the parade will gather marches from among the residents as it moves through the people-lined streets towards its final destination at the high school. Marchers are expected to proceed north on Paterson Plank Road through the Plaza section of town, crossing over the Route 3 bridge into the north end of town. Here, the parade will continue north, turning onto Farm Road, then onto Meadow Lane, making its way through the winding narrow streets of that normally quiet community to the Paul Amico Education and Athletic Complex where the festivities are to take place. Organizers say the field will be filled with amusement rides, face painting, pony rides, and a petting zoo, and will include free refreshments: steak sandwiches and hamburgers courtesy of the Outback Steak House, cotton candy, Italian ice and other such sweets. Secaucus' own theater company CAST (Community Arts Scholarship Theater) will perform two free shows, one at 1 p.m., and again at 4:30 p.m., in its attempt to span the last century's range of music. More than 50 local residents will dance and sing. Two shows by the TCB Band - led by local resident Mike Snuffer - will be held at noon and then again at 3:15 p.m. The TCB Band awed Middle School students in March when it took park in the school's Elvis show, and the band promises to provide music for all generations and "keep people on their feet and dancing." At 3 p.m., partiers will again be asked to look to the skies as a plane roars high over their heads, and as in that party a decade ago, residents are expected to see dots floating out of the side of the plane, floating down upon them, adding one more small but spectacular skydiving chapter to the history of the town. Should the weather not cooperate, town officials have scheduled June 4 as the rain date for the bash. Memorial Day Service set for May 29
Although the traditional Memorial Day parade has been canceled for this year, veterans will still gather at town hall to honor those dead in war on May 29, at 10 a.m. The parade was cancelled because the town will be holding a parade on June 3 celebrating the 100th anniversary of the town. The vets will take part in that parade. Veterans groups in town are likely to discontinue the Memorial Day parade next year and create a gathering in Buchmuller Park instead, said VFW Commander Al McClure.