South Orange Centennial

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South Orange Centennial Celebration – 1969

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In May of 1969 South Orange began a six-month celebration of its centennial with a reenactment of the fist village board of trustees meeting The Seton Hall Workshop Theater recreated that first meeting at what was then South Orange Junior High School, and it included as orders of business certifying the village charter, establishing boundary lines, forming committees, and hiring a constable. According to a May 1969 article in The Evening News (Newark) the South Orange of 1869 consisted of four country stores, a drug store, two butcher shops, a tin and stove store, and a number of saloons.

The centennial observance culminated on September 28 with a parade, picnic and entertainment. The parade was attended by 10,000 people and according to a brochure included 8 marching bands and drum corps, “miles of marchers from all over the State, ” the Philadelphia Mummers, horses and horse drawn carriages. At the picnic later in Meadowland Park, 4,000 people celebrated, ate 15-cent hot dogs, and drank 35-cent beers.