Randolph’s Bicentennial Year in Review
Posted: December 31, 2005
Residents rang in the bicentennial year with a fireworks display at the County College of Morris. The next day at the township council’s annual reorganization meeting, Hartshorne Fitz-Randolph, for whom the township was named (played by actor Peter Lubrecht), made a special appearance and read the township charter. In the weeks which followed, the film “Randolph Township: Past, Present and Future” made its debut on Cablevision, showcasing our town’s rich history and promising future. It may be borrowed from the public library in DVD or VHS format.
In May, the Randolph Township Public Library commissioned a quilt with the theme “What I Like About Randolph.” Residents of all ages were invited to create a square for the quilt using pastel fabric crayons. The Black River Piecemakers, who designed and prepared the materials, assembled the fifty-six squares into what is now known as Randolph’s “Bicentennial Quilt.” It is currently on display in the lobby of the library.
The Fourth of July Freedom Festival—always well-attended and fun-filled—was extra special this year as the community came out en masse to celebrate Randolph’s 200th birthday. The bicentennial parade was the largest in the town’s history and we were honored to have young Alex Detore serve as Junior Grand Marshall.
By the end of the summer, the Historical Society of Old Randolph completed its move of the Randolph Museum to the historic Brundage House in Freedom Park. This circa 1867 building is a wonderful setting in which to preserve Randolph’s past for future generations to enjoy. A ribbon cutting and key transfer ceremony to mark the grand reopening of the museum was held on September 10th.
In mid-October, the community turned out once again for an overwhelmingly successful old-fashioned country fair which featured everything from music and antique cars to a chili cook-off and dog parade. Held on property north of town hall, it was a day of outdoor fun with lots of civic groups and organization participating.
The last big event of the year was the Bicentennial Dinner Dance, which took place the first weekend in November at the Skylands of Randolph. Attendees included past and present mayors, Senator Anthony Bucco, Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen and Assemblymen Michael Carroll and Richard Merkt. Entertainment included dancing to music from DJ the Golden Gup and his Rhythmhancers, a tribute to the military by world-renowned jazz pianist Rio Clemente, a performance by the high school’s Arietta Ensemble, and two very special dances by a troupe from the Nash Dance Center in Randolph. It was a night of music and dance enjoyed by all.
Rounding out the year’s bicentennial events were a one-day postal pictorial cancellation of envelopes mailed in November, the announcement of the “Randolph Through Time” photo contest winners and, finally, the dedication of the time capsule.
Bicentennial Committee co-chairmen Mayor Al Napoliello and past Mayor Ed Tamm extend a hearty “thank you” to the folks behind the scenes for their tireless efforts, hard work and the hundreds of hours they invested in planning Randolph’s two-hundredth anniversary celebration and special events. It is this type of involvement, enthusiasm and support that makes Randolph a place where life is worth living.