Friends, neighbors will gather at Olde Freehold Day


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By Matthew Sockol
Staff Writer

A local event will reach a milestone when old and new friends gather for a day of entertainment, activities, food and fun.

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Olde Freehold Day — which was held for the first time during the nation’s bicentennial year of 1976 —  will celebrate 40 years when the 2016 edition is held from noon to 6 p.m. July 23 at Lake Topanemus Park, Pond Road, Freehold Township.

The day is a celebration for friends and neighbors from Freehold Borough and Freehold Township, but residents of all communities are welcome to attend and join in the activities.

Parking will be available on the Robertsville Road side of park. Guests may choose to park at the Monmouth County Court House, Court Street, Freehold Borough, and take a shuttle bus to and from Lake Topanemus.

Rich Kane, the former director of recreation in Freehold Borough, described Olde Freehold Day as a Tom Sawyer-style old fashioned town day. Kane and his brother, Roger, founded the event. Roger Kane was serving as Freehold Borough’s mayor in 1976.

Rich Kane and Roger Kane currently serve as members of the Olde Freehold Day Committee. The committee is chaired by Billy Anderson and Judi Guy.

“In 1976, we presented Olde Freehold Day to over 10,000 people at Lake Topanemus as an old fashioned town day, complete with many family activities,” Rich Kane said. “Through the years, we have stayed true to our mission and this year’s Olde Freehold Day is perhaps the best of them all. We are very proud.”

Before Olde Freehold Day begins at noon, a triathlon will be held at 9 a.m. The triathlon will consist of a 1.5-mile run, a 3-mile bicycle ride and a lap around the lake in paddle boats. There is a maximum of eight teams and teams are asked to register before July 23. For more information, call 732-939-6600 or 732-513-7626.

During Olde Freehold Day, a vendor village will feature crafters and vendors. The PBA will sell cheesesteaks and sausage and peppers, the First United Methodist Church will sell baked goods, the American Legion will sell hamburgers and cheeseburgers, the Freehold First Aid and Emergency Squad will sell hot dogs, the VFW will sell chicken on a stick and the Freehold Fire Department will run a beer garden.

Activities in the Kids Zone will include pony rides, a petting zoo, a rock climbing wall and inflatable rides. Lake Topanemus Park has a playground that will be available for children to enjoy.

Guests will be able to take paddle boat rides on the lake. Free long board and kayak lessons will be provided by L.L. Bean. Classic cars and motorcycles will be on display.

Entertainment will be provided by Mission Dance, the Half Brothers, the Eddie Testa Band, Step Aside, Boys Round Here and Last Chance, which is the original band of Mission Dance singer Lee Deedmeyer.

According to Kane, this will be Last Chance’s first performance in 40 years, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Olde Freehold Day.

“Judi Guy and I, along with our committee, believe this is the best one ever,” Anderson said. “With sensational music, boating on the lake, L.L. Bean’s free long board and kayak lessons, many family activities, vendors, food and a beer garden, we know everyone who attends will walk away very happy.”

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