SPRINGFIELD, NJ — From competitive running races to antique cars on display, Springfield will welcome the turn of the season Sunday, Oct. 1, with its annual Fall Festival and a brand new event.
The Salute To Veterans inaugural 5K and 1-mile fun run will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. in honor of Union County veterans. The 5K and fun run will start at the parking lot of the Jonathan Dayton High School at 9 a.m., with the finish near the corner of Mountain and Wabino avenues.
Working alongside the New Jersey Veterans Network or NJVN in executing the two races are organizers Temple Sha’arey Shalom, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the township of Springfield.
According to the 5K registration page, runsignup.com, proceeds from the race will go toward supporting NJVN, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping veterans and their families live better lives. Following the 5K will be a ceremony honoring Union County veterans.
Steve Marcus, the Temple Sha’arey Shalom board member in charge of fundraising for the event, told LocalSource in a Sept. 25 email that the end of the race has been designated to honor veterans.
“There will be a special ceremony where a veteran from each town in Union County will be honored for his service,” Marcus said. “This will highlight the tie of the race to the veterans and NJVN and showcase some local heroes. Additionally, the majority of the proceeds from the race will go to NJVN and programs designed to help local veterans.”
Marcus told LocalSource that only there are currently only 180 registrants, but the group hopes to have at least 300 total participants for both runs.
“Online registration closes at midnight tomorrow, however, we will still take registration up through the morning of the race,” Marcus said Sept. 25. “If people
want to register after the online registration closes, they can email the firstname.lastname@example.org address, or sign-up on site on the morning of the race.”
For those who like to ride — and in style — instead of walk or run, Springfield’s Fall Festival Car Show will be staged in front of Town Hall from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The rain date is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 15.
Robert Abraham, of the Springfield Patriot Chamber of Commerce, is in charge of the Springfield Fall Festival, told LocalSource in a Sept. 25 email that the collaboration between race organizers and the festival was planned in order to bring family oriented entertainment for the sponsors, runners and spectators to enjoy after the race.
“Our estimate is 20,000 people throughout the day,” Abraham said. “We have expanded our preparations and planning to account for the larger expected attendance.”
Abraham told LocalSource that the festival will include veteran and military themed vendors.
Additionally, Abraham noted the Festival Committee is currently working on plans for a beer garden and additional entertainment for the hundreds of runners and spectators.
Admission to the festival is free and attractions include carnival rides and games, a farmers market and horse-and-buggy rides. A Best Buy entertainment tent will also be in attendance. Additional local food vendors will be joined by festival food vendors to offer a wide variety of foods and treats.