Thursday, June 4, 2015

Spirit of the Jerseys State History Fair

As a local history buff, one of my favorite events each year is the Spirit of the Jerseys State Fair. Most every historic site in New Jersey comes together for this one day event, often held the day before Mother's Day, to educate the public about what makes them special. Looking at past blog posts, I see we went in 2011 when it was held at Allaire Village. That was not the first, nor the last time we attended the event, but the only one recorded in the Pillsbury Press.

The fair has a history (pun intended) of changing locations. For a few years it was held in Washington Crossing State Park (on the New Jersey side). Then it was at Allaire Village. This year it was held at the Monmouth Battlefield State Park. Save the date of May 14, 2016 for when it will return to Monmouth.

When we arrived this year it was drizzling just enough to keep down the crowds, and for the vendors to be a little dampened. Our first stop was visiting Lenape Indians we know through Churchville Nature Center. Come to think of it, that is in Pennsylvania. I never did figure out who they were representing. Later wer saw people from Waterloo Village. They are excited to be open for more hours this year. What hours? Who knows. Their website is out of date, as is their Facebook page and a phone call only elicited a promise to mail me some information when it becomes available. Mail, as is US Postal Service. 

We continued to make our way through the main path, past the old-fashioned bicycles, to the auditorium (we're no dummies). We paused to look at the precursors to our bicycles (see, something for everyone). We had a lovely visit by Martha Washington where she told us about the First Ladies who came after her. George Washington popped by for a visit, too. 

 As you can see, that was under a tent. We then went indoors to learn more about Emily Roebling and Molly Pitcher. We spent about 90 minutes listening to them in a very, very comfortable room. 

By this point the sun was out, and it was more crowded. We bumped into Debbi and her family, and Holly and her boyfriend. We visited the New Jersey Hall of Fame Mobile Museum. The one person we had not seen yet was Amanda, who promised she would be there all day making dinner over an open fire while she represented Rockingham. Well another stroll along the main path (this time towards the car) and we spotted her tucked away from everyone else. I think they wanted to be able to contain her open flame. Dinner smelled delicious.

Ashley was invited to check out a race car. We are in trouble in four years when she gets her license!

As always the event was too short. It is a lot of work for only 5 hours.

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