Celebrate South Orange Announces New Location
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 • 4:48pm
Celebrate South Orange 2012 organizers have announced that the sixth annual downtown festival scheduled for Saturday, June 16 will have a new location: the NJ Transit lot adjacent to the South Orange Performing Arts Center. The Transit lot will replace the Sloan Street Lot 9 parking lot as the primary festival locale, while Sloan Street itself will once again serve as a pedestrian thoroughfare and feature vendors, craftspeople, and other attractions.
The move from the Sloan Street parking lot to the Transit lot initially came about as the result of feedback from downtown business owners, said Main Street South Orange executive director and CSO organizer Carole Anzalone Newman. “In the past, closing Lot 9 has been difficult for merchants who rely on the parking that it provides weekend customers,” she explained. “We wanted to explore options that would allow us to return that lot to the downtown businesses and their customers.”
Enter Arts for All, a partnership with SOPAC that would bring a full schedule of live music and dance to the event. “Once SOPAC was onboard as a festival partner, it made sense to think about incorporating the area around the SOPAC building into our site plan,” Newman said. That plan led to the decision to pursue the NJ Transit lot as a festival location.
The NJ Transit lot will feature two stages: a music main stage (also the location for the ever-popular Town Hall Deli Sloppy Joe Eating Contest) and a second stage for additional entertainment. In addition, the lot will be the new home of the KidZone and will feature carnival games, prizes, inflatable rides, and many more surprises. Two new features, CSO Restaurant Row and Pet Fest, will also be located in the lot, along with a number of local retail merchants and vendors.
Sloan Street will also be an integral part of the festival site as the primary location for the CSO juried craft show and for community organization kiosks. Although Sloan Street will be closed to vehicular traffic, parking will be available throughout the day in Sloan Street Lot 9 and can be accessed via the First Street entrance.
More information on Celebrate South Orange 2012, including sponsorship, vendor, and volunteering opportunities, is available at www.celebratesouthorange.org. The site will continue to be updated with information on parking and getting around the festival in the days leading up to CSO2012.