When it comes to welcoming new neighbors, Cranbury Township does it with style.
Cranbury Township puts out the welcome mat by holding a reception to meet and introduce those new residents to other residents in town.
On April 12, the reception will take place at the Cranbury Public Library. The event will begin at 7 p.m. Officials believe that about 50 new neighbor households will be in attendance.
“For several years Cranbury has held this event. We started this as a library foundation event,” Cranbury Township Committeeman Mike Ferrante said. “It was designed to help welcome new neighbors to town. This has been so successful we just have been doing it ever since.”
He said it allows new neighbors the ability to plug into the community.
“My wife and I have lived in town for 20 years and our first event in town was an event at the library on a Friday night. It was just a neat way to get introduced to the community,” Ferrante said. “You are surrounded by new neighbors and old neighbors. I think the neighbors have enjoyed meeting each other at this event and officially getting welcomed in as the new class of neighbors.”
He said in Cranbury there are about 50 new neighbor households each year.
“Of course in Cranbury there is always what we call the Cranbury shuffle, where people move to either downsize or upsize in town,” Ferrante said. “Some of the new households look like new neighbors but are actually old residents. We usually get about 20 or so families to come to the reception event.”
The event is an intergenerational mix of residents and invites some civic organizations to the reception.
“We have had a member of the Cranbury Township Committee speak every year to welcome the group, we have had people from the Woman’s Club, and Boy Scout Troop 52 comes to the event as well. Right now we are still in the mode of inviting all the families,” he said.
Ferante said having the civic organizations attend is less about giving a speech but more about getting a better mix of the community at the reception.
The invitations for the new neighbor households to attend the reception are hand delivered and handed to a person at the household.
“The invitations are never dropped off, even if it means we are going back two or three times. We want to make certain people are personally invited to the event,” he said.
Ferrante said he feels it is important to have an event like this in Cranbury.
“One thing that is great about Cranbury is that it is generationally diverse and diverse on a lot of dimensions. This is a town where we know our neighbors. The new neighbors event really sets that tone right from the beginning.”