MIDDLETOWN More than 1,000 people participated in the Middletown 350 Parade on Saturday, June 21, 2014. Sunny skies and cool breezes kissed the procession as they proudly marched from High School North on Tindall Road, across Road 35 to historic Kings Highway to Church Street. The parade ended at the Middletown Arts Center where the Middletown 350 Time Capsule was buried. It’s slated to be opened in 2064 for the township’s 400th anniversary in 2064.
“Where we congregate today is one of the oldest continuously inhabited areas in all of New Jersey, and one of the seats of colonial America, said Mayor Stephanie Murray at the Middletown Arts Center, where the time capsule was buried. “Hundreds of years later, here we stand, celebrating our rich heritage and prosperous town - sending our message of community pride and hope into the future. “
“There is something very special about this particular location where we are now gathered. For the Lenape, where our train station stands, there was the pow-wow field - a place where the tribe went to work out problems and settle issues. In the 1800’s, just up the street, on King’s Highway, the community held something called “training day.” Among other things, this was the day that all arguments were settled, debts paid, and the hungry were fed, “ explained Mayor Murray. “And now, today, in 2014, we bury our time capsule, to be opened at our 400th anniversary in 2064. This area has been a hub for generations of Middletowners, a place where this town has come together time and time again, to affirm its commitment to the community and each other. And they did it right here - like we are – right now. “
Some of the items included in the time capsule are: Letters to the Future from 2014 township officials to their 2064 counterparts, artwork and essays from our students, an iPhone, a windows phone, periodicals and magazines, the most circulated book of 2014 from our Library, a Ziploc bag full of contents from each school in town, an iPod, a DPW uniform, materials from our Police, Fire Dept, EMS, and OEM, a rainbow loom, a dvd player, a gas receipt, a k cup, a grocery bill, the township budget and of course, tons of pictures.
The parade included marching bands, floats, horses, dancers, civic, fraternal and youth groups, and Middletown schools. Participants included the current Township Committee, former Middletown Mayors, County Freeholders, Congressman Pallone, Senator Joseph Kyrillos, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, Red Bank Mayor Pat Menna, Naval Weapons Station Earle, Middletown Police, Fire, First Aid and Emergency Management, Patrick Torphy Pipe Band form the Ancient Order of Hiberians, American Legion Post 338, American Legion Post 515, Knights of Columbus Council 6552, Township of Middletown Sewerage Authority, Chapel Hill Hoof Beats 4H Club, Middletown Helps Its Own, Monmouth County Antique Motoring Club, Middletown Historic Preservation Commission, North Orange Wave Marching Band, Girl Scout Troop 991, Lincroft Elementary School and Girl Scout Troop 854, Middletown Village Elementary School, Thorne Middle School, Mater Dei Prep, St. Mary’s, Middletown South Band, and the Monmouth United Soccer Club.
At the close of the day, Thorne Middle School received the award for Best in Show and Perna Dance received the award for Best Theme Spirited Business.