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Residents will gather to celebrate Jackson Day at Johnson Park

JACKSON – From step-off to wrap-up, opening parade to closing fireworks, Jackson
Day 2022 on Oct. 2 is shaping up to be an old-fashioned get-together and
celebration of community.

“Jackson Day celebrates all the local organizations and nonprofits … it’s just an all-
day event in our town that marks the end of summer and people getting back
together,” said JoeyLynn Anderson, recreation/special events coordinator for the
township.

According to Anderson, the Jackson Day celebration draws between 8,000 and 10,000 attendees and has been a fixture for well over three decades.

Jackson Day will begin with a parade open to all, which will step off at 1:30 p.m.
from Lucy N. Holman Elementary School on Manhattan Street and make its way to
Johnson Park on Kierych Memorial Drive, where an opening ceremony will be held at 2
p.m.

Leading the parade as Grand Marshal will be Jake Kulesa, who will ride the parade
route in a Humvee. Jake said he is definitely looking forward to the event.

“I feel good about it. I’m excited for it. I’m bringing my brothers. I think it’s going to be a fun day and I want to help some other kids,” said Jake, whose family established the #Jake’s Got This foundation to support children who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and their families.

“Jake is pretty much the highlight of the parade,” Jackson Police Officer Michael Basso said.

According to Basso, the parade will line up at the Holman school at 1:30 p.m. and travel
along Manhattan Street to Johnson Park, arriving at about 2 p.m.

Marching in the parade will be members of each of Jackson’s first responder units, members of the Chaverim volunteer emergency services, representatives of township government, veterans groups, local business groups, church groups, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Police Explorers. The Kickin’ Wings country band will perform aboard a float in the parade.

All are welcome to join in.

“We want to try and get people to come out and put the town on display,” Basso
said. “We start the party off with the parade.”

Groups that want to join in the parade can email mbasso@jacksontwpnj.net

Anderson said some 65 vendors – from crafters to flea marketers to food – will be at
Johnson Park. Food vendors will offer seafood, hot dogs, hamburgers, empanadas,
pulled pork brisket, ice cream, juices, zeppole, funnel cakes and more.

Jackson Day will feature games, craft vendors, flea market vendors, fireworks, entertainment, a petting zoo, pony rides, a classic car show, a speed pitch booth, a game truck with video games, and rides.

Organizations offering information and resources will include the Jackson Veterans
Commission, Jackson Office of Emergency Management, Armed Forces Heritage Museum, Jackson Pathfinders, Rotary Club of Jackson, Ocean County National Organization for Women, Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore, Jackson Cub Scout Pack 204, Chabad of Jackson and St. Monica Knights of Columbus.

There will be free giveaways at the Clean Communities and recycling booths. The Fossils Car Club will display classic autos at the park. There will be cornhole and three-on-
three basketball tournaments with cash prizes. Sign up at
portersscholars@gmail.com

PBA Local 168 will host a beer garden in a separate area near the food tent. The entertainment lineup includes Nine Deez Nite, The Shaykz and a disc jockey.

A fireworks display will take place at 8 p.m. after which the event will conclude.

There will be ample parking available at Johnson Park and overflow parking, if needed, will be available at the Holman School, Basso said. There is no rain date for Jackson Day. For information, call 732-928-1260.

Earlier on Oct. 2, the third annual Eagle First Responders 5K Run/Walk will step off at Johnson Park at 7:30 a.m., with check-in at 6:45 a.m. The course is USATF certified.

Proceeds will benefit race sponsors: BSA Troops 204 and 402, Jackson Mills
Volunteer Fire Co. Station 54 and Jackson PBA 168.

Sign up or sponsor at https://runsignup.com/Race/NJ/Jackson/EagleFirstResponders5K
For questions, email JacksonEagle5K@yahoo.com

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