Soccer Saturday, Music Festivals, Car Show and More

The Caldwells area is hopping with events this weekend.

Northern New Jersey is the place to be this weekend. From music festivals to car shows, there are events for everyone. The 9th Annual Jazz Festival and South Orange International Blues Festival are both happening nearby, and Newsies is opening at the Paper Mill Playhouse.  One final Sept. 11 commemoration will take place at Liberty State Park when the Bagpipe and Drum Exhibition gathers 20 bands from around the state to pay tribute to fallen heroes.

Right here in town, is hosting its traditional Soccer Saturday, newly re-named Col. John McHugh Memorial Soccer Saturday in honor of the . Konner Chevrolet is hosting a car show. Calvary Church (in Essex Fells) is holding a Fall Fair and Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter is having a doggie fun day at Lurker Park.

Read on for the details of these events and others. Please feel free to share any other events of interest in the Comments Section.

Where/When: , 265 Westville Ave., West Caldwell; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Why Go? Celebrate high school soccer and support the Chiefs while all five JCHS soccer teams play throughout the day. This year's events will honor Col. John McHugh, 1982 graduate of James Caldwell High School and captain of the 1981 JCHS soccer team, who was killed in action while serving his country in Afghanistan. Col. McHugh will be honored in a special ceremony to be held between the boys and girls varsity games at 12:30 at Bonnel Field. The first game (Freshman Boys vs Bernards High School) starts at 9 a.m., followed by the JV and Varsity Boys games at 11 a.m. The JV and Varsity Girls games begin at 1 p.m.  The Caldwells Soccer Club u14 Boys and Girls will play at 3 p.m. Chiefs merchandise and refreshments will be available for purchase.

Pricing: FREE

Where/When: Konner Chevrolet, 950 Bloomfield Ave., West Caldwell; Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Why Go? So many really cool cars will be on display! Come see the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine! Classes include Corvettes, Antiques, Muscle Cars, Street Rods, Custom Cars, Special Interest, and more. Presented by the Natural Glass Corvette Association and sponsored by Konner Chevrolet. Even better, proceeds will benefit Children's Specialized Hospital, American Diabetes Association and the Marine Corps League. 

Pricing: $20 show car registration, spectator donations gratefully accepted


Where/When: , 4 Boland Dr., West Orange; Friday 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday 1 to 9 p.m.

Why Go? The 9th Annual Jazz Festival promises to be the best yet with a stellar lineup of international jazz stylists and modern and cultural jazz interpreters, including the Ali Jackson Quartet featuring Hope Boykin of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Houston Person’s Quartet, world-renowned pianist Bill Charlap, The Brazilian All-Stars band with Romero Lubambo, Nilson Matta (Trio da Paz), Claudio Roditi and other special guests, Sheila Jordan, Kate Baker, Nat Adderly Jr. Quartet, Dave Stryker, Oscar Perez, Vic Juris, Bob Devos, Ralph LaLama and more.

Pricing: $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and children. Children under 5 are free. There will be a free shuttle from the South Orange Train Station at 1:50 p.m., 2:50 p.m., 3:50 p.m., and a return shuttle at 4:40 p.m., 5:40 p.m., 6:40 p.m., 7:40 p.m.

Where/When: Essex County Environmental Center, 621A Eagle Rock Ave., Roseland; Saturday at 9 a.m.

Why Go? Take "going green" to another level at the Environmental Center when the Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension teaches the basics of home composting. What would have been garbage can now be the richest of organic fertilizers!

Pricing: Cost is $8 per adult. Advance registration is required.

Where/When: Liberty Science Center, 222 Jersey City Blvd., Jersey City; Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Why Go? More than 20 police, firefighter and civilian bands will perform in tribute to the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, including the Essex County Emerald Society Pipe Band and Pipe and Drum of the Blue and Gold. The afternoon will culminate in an impressive massed band performance which is sure to be a moving tribute to the citizens, first responders, firefighters, police, EMTs and all of those whose lives were tragically cut short 10 years ago.

Pricing: Free, but donations will be accepted for the national Wounded Warriors Project whose mission is to foster the most successful and well-adjusted generation of wounded warriors in our nation’s history.  There is a fee for parking.

Where/When: , 22 Brookside Dr., Millburn; Saturday 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday 1:30 p.m.

Why Go? Based on the Disney film, Newsies is a musical about the true story of a group of scrappy newsboys who take on an unscrupulous newspaper tycoon. The against-all-odds story features a rousing score and lively choreography.

Pricing: $25-$80

Where/When: Lurker Park, Eagle Rock and Ridgedale Avenues, East Hanover; Sunday noon to 4 p.m.

Why Go? Mutts Mania is the annual fundraiser for the Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter, and provides a fun day for dogs and their families. The afternoon will include contests such as “highest jumper”, “best kisser” and “fastest tail wagger”. Mutts Mania welcomes more than 50 vendors plus special guests, including DJ Maria Milito of Q104.3, and the NJSPCA. Past adopters from Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter should plan to stop by the Adopter's Reunion. Interested adopters should visit the Pet Adoption Expo where shelters and rescues will highlight pets seeking new homes.

Pricing: $10 per person; kids and dogs free.

Where/When: Turtle Back Zoo, 560 Northfield Ave., West Orange; Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Why Go? Spend a day at the zoo with the kids, and catch Tycoon Dog playing at the Amphitheater. The New York City based rock band features a playful blend of melodic improvisation and bone-digging grooves that the entire family will enjoy.

Pricing: Free with zoo admission. (Children $7, adults $10, seniors $7, under 2 free.)


Where/When: South Mountain Reservation, Orange Pl & Cherry St, West Orange; Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Why Go? Both world-renowned and local talent will heat up the stage at the South Orange International Blues Festival. Scheduled performers include: Popa Chubby,  Michael Hill’s Blues Mob, Dave Stryker, SaRon Crenshaw,  Colin John , Jonathan Fritz,  Shari Pine, Dean Shot , Suffering Blues Band , The Full Circle Band , and Al Gold & the Suburban Rhythm Kings.

Pricing: Free


Where/When: , 8 Academy Rd, Caldwell; Saturday at 5:00 p.m.

Why Go?  The Ecumenical Christian Community of Taize, France practices a spiritual  tradition of worship, prayer, chanting, scripture and silence.  The Caldwell Methodist Church conducts a Taize Prayer service each month and has invited the public to experience the unique service.

Pricing:  Free


Where/When: 450 Fells Rd, Essex Fells; Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Why Go?  Most importantly, all proceeds will benefit the Red Cross' recovery efforts in Fairfield, so by attending you will be helping neighbors in need.  And what fun you will have doing it!  The Fair will feature inflatables, games, live music, face painting, tasty food, and a rummage sale.  Everyone is welcome.

Pricing: free admission


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