Feast of Mount Carmel Readies for Fireworks and Family Fun
A Friday night fireworks show for families is planned for 9:3opm; the fireworks extravaganza show will be held on Saturday night at 11:00pm.
On the 102nd anniversary of the Feast of Mount Carmel the only thing that matters more than outdoing last year's show is that families have more fun than ever.
The town's biggest party has made a big effort to be more family friendly by offering more rides and live music. A special kids night fireworks spectacular called BaDaBoom! will be held on Friday, July 15th at 9:30pm. There are also two new additions this year: beer and wine gardens.
There is free admission to the feast Wednesday through Friday; Saturday entrance is by paid admission.
"We hope that families who come out to the feast walk away with something that they could not have experienced anywhere else." said chairman of the Feast of Mount Carmel Organizing Committee Chairman Paul Ippolito.
Ippolito got his wish answered on Thursday night by nine-year-old Blake Ortiz.: "I think this festival is pretty neat," he said. "I really liked the rollup ride."
The feast has all the hallmarks of a family-oriented community festival - a plethora of rides, games and festival foods from cotton candy to barbecue to zeppoles - but the true gem of the four-day feast is the Fireworks Extravaganza, held on Saturday July 16 at the Mount Carmel Society Hall on River Road.
"This isn't a fireworks show like Macy's but it's a big fireworks display that you will never get closer to," Ippolito said." People are right under the show and they experience the true power of the explosion."
The Fireworks Extravaganza on the 16th, which is produced by the famed Garden State Fireworks, "are second to none for New Jersey," Ippolito said. According to Ippolito, 10,000 people are expected to attend the feast on that night.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Festival was founded in Berkeley Heights in 1909 by the Mount Carmel Society. The feast day is held in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
The Feast will also include a procession by Mount Carmel Society at the Little Flower Church in Berkeley Heights at 8:30am on Saturday. Club members will conduct a procession down Plainfield Avenue with a statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and will return to the Little Flower Church for a mass at 11:00am.
The Mount Carmel Society, 150-members strong, is one of Berkeley Heights' leading community organizations. President Louis DiPasquale said that the society has raised money to donate to scholarship funds, toy fund raisers, families in need, the fire rescue squad and senior awareness since 1923. He said it's important that the Mount Carmel Society "continue to be a service to the community."
All of the proceeds from the feast go toward keeping the Mount Carmel Hall in operation and more recently repaying $220,000 in loans created to renovate the Little Flower Church on Plainfield Ave., a Berkeley Heights hallmark.