CALDWELL, NJ - A little rain didn't stop the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association (GCBMA) from offering an afternoon of historical fun and culinary treats at their annual July 4 Ice Cream Social. Without having to change their plans, and thanks to Saint Aloysius, guests were able to experience all the social had to offer indoors in the church's parish hall and gym.
The ceremony was followed by a reading of the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Paul Maloney of Caldwell.
The Memorial Association hosted a full afternoon of historical activities including individual trunk presentations featuring 1830s toys and games, 1880s and 1890s costumes and continuous tours of the Grover Cleveland Birthplace House Museum. Maloney again presented the crowd with an historical reenactment, this time as Abraham Lincoln who sang songs and told stories of the Civil War.
There was plenty of food for guests to enjoy. The main event's ice cream was donated by Gelotti Ice Cream of Caldwell, while the Cloverleaf Tavern had lunch available for purchase.
In addition, there was free popcorn and lemonade for guests to enjoy while they watched a number of performances throughout the afternoon including George Espanza the Flea Circus Master, Marco Fishman the Magician and his balloon-designing friend who gave out free balloons and Anthony Uccello the singing DJ.
During the afternoon, the winner of the association's Sand Dollar Cookie Bake-Off was announced. All entrants to the competition had to provide two dozen of their "from scratch" cookies for consideration to the judges: Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, Caldwell Mayor Ann Dassing and GCBMA Trustee Matt Rolling.
The judges accessed the recipes on taste, appearance, texture and the use of traditional ingredients. Ultimately, they decided on the recipe of Peggy Scott Fleming, of Montclair.
"It really takes a town wide effort for everybody to have a good time," commented the Memorial Association President Dave Cowell.
During the event, the Women's Club of Caldwell presented a check for $50,000 to the Association to be used in the building of the new Visitor's Center.
Many community groups from all over West Essex saw to it that everyone had an entertaining time. A lot of financial planning, goods and volunteer hours went into hosting the event and generous donations of time and money were given by:
At the end of the day, many of those who attended the Ice Cream Social also attended the Annual Fireworks Display at James Caldwell High School. Below is some live video from the evening:
"Thanks to everyone for coming
Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association
207 Bloomfield Avenue
Caldwell, NJ 07006
Memorial Association Website
Facebook: Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association
Women's Club of Caldwell Presents Generous Gift of $50,000 to Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association