The lazy days of summer will be anything but dull in Secaucus this year as the town gears up for a season chock full of outdoor fun. From next week’s Hometown Street Fair to the Kelly Miller Circus and the upcoming annual summer concert series, residents will have plenty of local entertainment options before Labor Day.
To kick it all off, next weekend the town will hold the Hometown Street Fair, a town-wide outdoor festival featuring live music, booths from local restaurants, craft sales, games, and dozens of family attractions.
The two-day fair, which gets underway the evening of Friday, June 10 and continues Saturday, June 11 in the Plaza, will also include rides and fundraisers for community groups.
“This is probably the biggest festival we’ve ever done like this because it’s two days and probably includes just about every restaurant and community group in town,” said Parade Committee member Mickey Halpin.
“This is probably the biggest festival we’ve ever done like this.” – Mickey Halpin
Send in the clowns
As if that weren’t enough, on Sunday, June 12 the Kelly Miller Circus will perform two shows in town at 2 and 5 p.m. to benefit the Secaucus Animal Shelter.
This popular circus will set up a big tent in Harmon Meadow that can accommodate up to 1,500 audience members.
Residents are invited to see the North Starlets, clowns, trapeze artists, a juggling act, and a “fire manipulator,” in addition to many animals, including camels, tigers, and elephants.
Two free teen concerts will be held on Wednesday, July 15 and Wednesday, Aug. 13.
The Secaucus Animal Shelter will get 20 percent of the proceeds from the first 200 adult ticket sales, and 40 percent of adult ticket sales after that. In addition, the shelter will receive 25 percent of the proceeds from all children’s tickets sold. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children.
Not to be lost in the shuffle, Secaucus will kick off its annual summer concert series on Thursday, July 7 with a performance by the Infernos.
The oldies rock group is among several – including the Cameos, the David Aaron Orchestra, and the Showstoppers – returning to the summer stage this year.
“I think we proved with our line up of shows last year that we can put on a terrific concert series that offers something for everyone, without spending a lot of money,” said Deputy Mayor John Bueckner, who organized the 2010 and 2011 concert lineups. “We got great response last year. Hopefully, residents enjoy what we’ve been able to put together again this year. We see this as a community service that we like to offer to our residents, but without breaking the bank.”
A number of new acts will headline the popular annual music series. For the second year in a row, teen-oriented concerts have been scheduled and – again like last year – the series might even be expanded to include two late-summer concerts at Harmon Meadow and Xchange at Secaucus Junction.
At present, the free concerts are scheduled for each Thursday throughout July and August at Buchmuller Park.
Currently, the town is expected to pay about $12,500 to host the concert series, according to Bueckner.
“We paid about $26,000 in 2009, and about half that last year,” he said. “We used to have an outside vendor that charged us. So, I went out to see what it would cost if I was to book it myself. I established that I could do it for half the price, and with talent that was as good as what we had before.”
To help identify suitable acts for Secaucus audiences, Bueckner reached out to local musician Frank Handlowitch for assistance. Handlowitch, half of the musical act Dara & Frank, has performed at Linden’s summer concert festival for several years and put Bueckner in touch with other bands and Linden’s concert organizer.
“Lawyers know lawyers. Musicians know musicians,” Handlowitch said. “I have musician friends…I just called my friends and asked if they’d be willing to [perform in Secaucus].”
“We’ll experience a big cost savings,” Bueckner said. “But at the same time, in my opinion, there is absolutely no sacrifice in terms of talent.”
E-mail E. Assata Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.