Early forecasts predicted rain, but the sun shone down on this year’s Community Fest. Visitors to the event, co-sponsored by the Township of Ewing and the College, enjoyed live bands, events for kids, carnival food and an opportunity to interact with community businesses and organizations.
“It was a beautiful day for a beautiful event,” Tenesha Morris, Ewing resident, said. “It’s a great event to have a lot of businesses and organizations to see what’s out there.”
The WB Channel 17’s event staff attended, giving out posters, yo-yos, cups and key chains to promote the station and some of its shows.
The College’s campus impressed event staff member Julia MacMullen of Philadelphia. “Is this a private school?” she asked a student.
Habitat for Humanity was the featured non-profit organization this year. Visitors decorated cedar shanks and nailed them to the provided shed or made their own gingerbread houses.
The group also judged fifth graders from Antheil Elementary School’s entries for the “Make Your Dreamhouse” contest and awarded prizes to the winners.
The lawn between Loser Hall and the Brower Student Center was plastered with tents, each hosting a local business or organization promoting their services or merchandise.
“It’s a really large event,” Susan Mottley, Commerce Bank Pennington branch manager, said. “It’s great exposure.”
Jamie Griswold, a representative from The Ewing Observer, greeted passers-by with a smile and free frisbees.
“We’re trying to get out there and meet our readers,” he said.
Representatives from the Ewing Police Department and Little League delivered information about their services, while the Ewing Recreational Department encouraged visitors to shoot some hoops on their basketball net.
The Ewing Township Democratic Club was on site to promote their local candidates and to inform people about the Democratic Club.
“People have to get involved with the political system,” Angela Tolleris, club representative, said.
Melissa McCormack and Amy Secchetti from Moms Offering Moms Support (MOMS) of Ewing provided information about the group, which offers a daytime social outlet to mothers who choose to be at home with their children.
Some students were on hand to represent organizations in the Ewing/Trenton area that they are involved with.
Cara Willis, junior sociology major, was at a table trying to spread the word about Mobile Meals of Trenton. The organization, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, delivers prepared meals to people homebound due to illness or age.
“We’re always looking for volunteers,” Willis said. Those who cannot volunteer are welcome to donate money, she added.
Chris Minerva, junior sociology major, dispensed pamphlets to attract volunteers for Womanspace, which provides services to women who have been subjected to domestic abuse or sexual assault.
Virginia Hundley, a former school nurse in the Ewing school district, gave out rulers and pencils from the Ewing Municipal Alliance that read, “Be smart, don’t start.” She said that the anti-drug message is put onto utensils kids will use so that they’ll always see it.
Children enjoyed the “Fun Zone” which featured inflatable jumps, slides and bounces, laser tag and activities hosted by student organizations. Children made bead bracelets with Women in Learning and Leadership, painted pumpkins with Lambda Theta Alpha and made gumdrop molecules and slime with the Student Chemists Association.
Children also laughed at the Westcraft Pirate Magic Show, sang along with Amy Otey’s interactive acoustic performance and had a chance to do some karate with Firestar Dragon Dojo.
Additionally, kids had the opportunity to meet their favorite TV personalities, such as Sponge Bob Square Pants and Dora the Explorer, who were available for hugs and pictures.
Adults and children alike enjoyed the live bands, including the country-blues-rock-influenced Tone Rangers and the Bruce Springsteen tribute band, BSTREETBAND.
“I liked (the bands),” Lori Sparzo, Ewing resident, said. “I would have listened to them more,” Sparzo added, if she hadn’t taken her daughter, Emily Lawson, to other events.
“My favorite thing was the giant slide,” Lawson said, with a glittery blue dolphin shining on her cheek. She also saw the College’s orchestra perform in the Music Building, before the Wind Ensemble and Chorale went on, so she could collect extra credit points from her teacher, a member of the ensemble.
Both have come to Community Fest in the past. “This was the best one,” they agreed.