The needler in the haystack.

Friday, June 3, 2016

VWB House Tour, R&B By The Brook, Shakespeare Garden this weekend

Sister Sledge will be featured at Saturday's free concert in
Cedar Brook Park.

Artists sketch and paint plein air at the Shakespeare In Bloom event.

Six homes in various architectural styles will be featured in
Sunday's Van Wyck Brooks HD House Tour.
With summer-like weather predicted, Plainfield has a full slate of activities this weekend.
Saturday's concert and Cedar Brook Park will draw huge crowds.

Sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, this year's concert features Sister Sledge ("We are family"), the high-energy dance music of C&C Music Factory ("Gonna make you sweat") and the Grammy-award winning Blackstreet ("No Diggity"), as well as L'il Ed and The Blues Imperials.

There will be an area for youngsters featuring inflatable rides, a petting zoo and pony rides. Children's activities are free. Food vendors will be on site and  limited number of picnic tables are available. Picnic food is Ok, but note that County rules prohibit alcoholic beverages in its parks.

In addition to the music, George Withers returns his G-Wiz Classic and Exotic Auto Show this year (near the basketball courts). This is always a popular show, with loads of classic muscle cars and vintage autos.

The concert, which runs from Noon to 6:00 PM is free and open to all. Mind not to block neighbors' driveways when parking!

Members of the Plainfield Garden Club will show off Plainfield's Shakespeare Garden on Sunday, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

They have been tending the Shakespeare Garden on behalf of the public since 1927, and each year on the first Sunday in June show it off to visitors when its collection is in peak display.

With only about 25 Shakespeare Gardens throughout the world, Plainfield's is unique because it is tended to by volunteers, with support from the Union County Parks Department.

Each of the plants in the garden is mentioned in Shakespeare's play, and it is fascinating to see them and learn of their uses (many medicinal) and customs. (Did you know that the phrase "rue the day" comes from the custom of holding sprigs of rue over the head of a judge who was pronouncing a death sentence?)

This is a rain-or-shine event. There will be a plant sale, guided tours and refreshments for sale. Artists from duCret Art School will be seen painting and sketching plein air.

Parking available along the drive in Cedar Brook Park. For more information, visit the Plainfield Garden Club website here.

Also on Sunday, from Noon to 6:00 PM is the Van Wyck Brooks Historic District 2016 House Tour. (Note: Tickets must be purchased by 4:00 PM, allowing two hours for the tour.)

The VWB, as it is known to Plainfielders, is Plainfield's largest historic district, with the most diverse range of architecture, spanning everything period from High Victorian to Spanish Revival.

This year's tour features six homes in a variety of styles, with several of them displaying antique wedding gowns and accoutrements, illustrating the them "Brides of the Decades: Love Wins".

Tickets are $25/person in advance (available at Swain Galleries or online here) and $30/person the day of the tour, and may be purchased from the kiosk in front of the duCret School of Art, 1030 Central Avenue. You will get a brochure with map of the locations; the brochure provides entry to the homes on the tour.

The VWB has been active in the community for more than three decades and uses the proceeds of the house tours to help fund scholarships for Plainfield High School graduates. For more information, visit the VWB website here.
There is truly something for everyone in Plainfield this weekend. Come on out!

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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