Cranbury Day: 2011 or 1955?
What the day has to offer.
For those of us who can recall a young Michael J. Fox in his Back to The Future movies, there are scenes that recall a simpler time in our country when neighbors saw each other on Main Street and said “Good Morning, how ya' doin?” Longtime residents sat on porches watching their kids playing street games - hopscotch, hide and seek and tag. As the sun turned red-orange after a steamy summer day, these same children chased fireflies and collected them in a jar before setting them free.
If you’re looking for a chance to relive those days that seemed to bring out the best in a town, then set aside a few hours Sept. 10 and stroll down Main Street in Cranbury.
Sure, most towns have their annual Fall street fair, but if you drive into Main Street Cranbury from the north or south end, there is a large sign welcoming you to the Village of Cranbury.
For the past 20 years that I have walked this street fair, I could be blindfolded yet still know almost all of the vendors, crafts people, local civic organizations and hobby clubs that set up their booths or displays every year.
First there are the serious antique car collector guys who sit proudly behind their polished Packards, Pylmouths or '70s Muscle Cars. These cars may have some senior citizens recalling their first date at the local drive-in theater.
You may see one of Cranbury’s oldest ambulances restored and maintained by our Volunteer Emergency Medical Team. There will always be a few men from the Lions Club selling hot dogs or ice cream. And you surely will be asked by swirling groups of Cranbury School 8th graders to support their events by purchasing a few homemade brownies or cookies.
Want to get your grandchild’s face painted by a clown? No problem. Need some advice on getting a car service? Christine Thompson’s Limo can help you.
A DJ from a local FM station will entertain as scores of kids dance in front of the bandstand as they also cover Main Street with sidewalk chalk.
Want books or CD’s. The folks at the Bookworm usually will have what you want.
Our local bank will have an information booth as well as t-shirts. Last year they had a spin the wheel game that gave you the chance to win a prize.
Want to get some health information from our rescue squad, volunteer firefighters or the police department? They usually are at the end of Main Street.
This is a great photo-op when the little ones get to sit inside the big red fire trucks.
Teddy’s Restaurant will probably tempt you with their Greek specialties and other hot foods. The Friends of the Cranbury Library may also have plenty of books for you to browse through and don’t be surprised if our local Scout and Brownie groups are there, too.
In brief, the Cranbury Day Street Fair is greater than all of its individual parts.
But what makes Cranbury Day unique is the old-time wholesome feeling one gets when neighbors stop, chat and catch up on the kids, school and the grandkids. We live in a time when it seems we all relate in an electronic manner. We e-mail our brother and e-vite friends to a birthday party. We send texts, tweets and have “live chats.” Some of us may have scores of “friends” on Facebook.
Cranbury Day makes it possible to see our real friends face-to-face even if for a brief 10 minute real, live chat. We can see our friends' gestures and facial expressions that are not visible with an e-mail.
If you’re looking for a good way to end the summer, mark Sept. 10 on the calendar as "Attend Cranbury Day." Let's turn off our computers and Smartphones and take a walk down Main Street. Buy a brownie, look inside the window of a 1957 Dodge Coronet, get your child’s face painted and enjoy a spinach pie at Teddy’s.
Hey, you might run into one of your real friends you didn’t see all summer.
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 10