Friends, families will gather at Lake Topanemus for Olde Freehold Day activities


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Four decades after it was held for the first time, a local event continues to bring community members and guests together when old and new friends gather for a day of entertainment, activities, food and fun.

Olde Freehold Day will return for its 2018 edition on Aug. 18 from noon to 5 p.m. at Lake Topanemus Park, Pond Road, Freehold Township. The lake is owned by Freehold Borough, but located in Freehold Township.

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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 enjoy the activities.

Olde Freehold Day debuted during the nation’s bicentennial year of 1976. The event was was founded by Roger Kane, who was serving as Freehold Borough’s mayor at the time, and his brother, Rich Kane, who was directing local recreation activities.

Prior to the start of this year’s event at noon, a dedication will be made at 11 a.m. of a new bandshell at the park that was constructed by volunteers. The dedication will feature music from the Joyful Noise and Bethel AME Church choirs. All materials for the bandshell were donated by Millhurst Mills, Manalapan, and Tibbett Construction, Freehold Township, built the stage, according to event organizers.

Olde Freehold Day will feature vendors, refreshments, food trucks, a beer garden and food booths. There will be a fundraiser for the Freehold First Aid and Emergency Squad, which is a volunteer organization that provides emergency medical services in Freehold Borough and Freehold Township.

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

Guests will be able to take paddle boat rides on Lake Topanemus, and participate in a car smash and fast pitch events. L.L. Bean will hold a kayak raffle.

Entertainment will be provided by Lee and Sheri and Friends at noon, featuring Lee Deedmeyer and Sheri Gilmore of Mission Dance, Lee Howard of the British Invasion Years, vocalist Lori Davis and fiddler Clarence Ferrari.

The band Step Aside will perform at 1 p.m., the acoustic duo Half Brothers will take the stage at 2 p.m., the band Boys Round Here will perform at 3 p.m., and the Eddie Testa Band will be in the spotlight at 4 p.m.

“We have more games for the kids, we have our usual boating on the lake, we have low prices, food and vendors, and we are looking forward to a great day,” Roger Kane said. “It’s a great day for people to get together and see people they haven’t seen in awhile. It’s also a reunion for college students home on break and it will be a great day for people who are unfamiliar with the area.”

Freehold Borough Councilman Kevin Kane, who is Roger Kane’s son, encouraged everyone to experience Olde Freehold Day.

“It is going to be another great event and I encourage everyone to come and bring 20 or 30 people with them for a fun day,” the councilman said. “The first aid squad has a fundraiser, there are paddle boats for rent, there is going to be boating on the lake, music, food and all kinds of activities. Great day.”

Saker ShopRite is a major sponsor of the event and the organizers of Olde Freehold Day thanked the Saker family for their support.

There is no admission for Olde Freehold Day. A shuttle bus will run from the Monmouth County Courthouse, Court Street, Freehold Borough, to and from Lake Topanemus during the event. Parking will be available on the Robertsville Road side of the park. Goodwill donations for parking may be made to the Freehold Fire Department Junior Firefighters.

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