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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Plainfield hosts 94th Central Jersey July 4 Celebration Tuesday

Local artist Bindi Liebowitz is among musicians
featured at Plainfield's 94th Annual July 4 Celebration.

Plainfield will host the 94th Annual Central Jersey July 4 Celebration on Tuesday, with a traditional parade, an afternoon concert and fireworks at dusk. All activities are free and open to the public.

"When we talk about Plainfield Pride, it is intrinsically tied to the diversity in the makeup of our residents, and it's something we like to celebrate every chance we get," say Mayor Adrian O. Mapp. "Plainfield is a microcosm of the United States of America, and what could be more fitting than celebrating our independence with a program showcasing the very thing that makes our country unique around the world. I am very proud to be Mayor of a City that understands that our diversity does not make us different, it makes us special."

The parade steps off at 10:00 AM from the staging area at East Front Street and Johnston Avenue and proceeds west along Front Street to its end point at the reviewing stand at Front and Park Avenue.

The 2017 Parade's Grand Marshal is PAAAS student Alexis Morrast, who recently took First Place at "Showtime At The Apollo".

Promising to be Plainfield's biggest and best parade ever, groups will march under the theme "Plainfield United, Plainfield Strong." In addition to floats, step groups and marching units from Plainfield organizations, elected officials from Union County and nearly local communities join the parade. Kids of all ages are thrilled by the displays of fire equipment from various area fire departments, including Plainfield's own. The parade will also showcase Plainfield High School's Marching Band.

Awards will be given to floats and marching units for creativity and innovation.

The festivities continue with the Annual July 4 Concert in Cedar Brook Park. The concert gets under way at 5:00 and concludes at dusk with the fireworks display.

Local talent featured in the concert include Alexis Morrast (first place at "Showtime At The Apollo") and Bindi Liebowitz (of "The Voice", season 11).
Latin star Sandra Rey, who has performed several times in the Queen City, will also be featured.

Two groups will bring the house down in closing the concert:The Mambo All-Stars and the contemporary band SoGo.

The Mambo All-Stars features native New Yorker Tito Puente, Jr., the youngest of the Puente children, who has become an audience favorite worldwide, performing more than 2000 shows over the past 10 years.  Tito has performed as musical guest in "Dancing with the Stars" on ABC.

Teaming up with Puente is Melina Almodóvar, also known La Chica Del Bling, she is a Puerto Rican salsa singer, songwriter, dancer, and entertainer. Known for her high-energy performances and salsa dancing skills, she combines old-school salsa moves with contemporary styles of dancing and singing.

Melina and Tito will join a group of talented Latin musicians on July 4th for a one-time salsa performance in the Queen City.

SoGo is a contemporary band covering over 5 genres of music including Jazz, Funk, Rock, R&B, Soul and many rhythms from over the globe. The band was formed in 2001 and the musicians have since worked around the world with artists and producers such as Wyclef Jean, Shea Taylor (Beyonce, Rihanna, Frank Ocean), gospel sensation Tye Tribett, and many more. SoGo has received over 100,000 views on YouTube and continues to be a force in their unique approach to multiple genres of music. They will be joined by Mikaelle for the July 4th concert in Plainfield.

The concert concludes at dusk (about 9:15 PM), when the traditional fireworks display will close the day's festivities. The display takes place in the area near the soccer and ballfields. Parking is at a premium so come early. Bring chairs or blankets for sitting on the ground. Food vendors will be offering treats throughout the afternoon into the evening.

"We've worked hard to put together an all-inclusive parade and program," said Superintendent of Recreation, Veronica Taylor. "We recognize the fantastic blend of cultures we have here, and it's a pleasure seeing how well they complement and work in tandem with each other. The parade and concert present just another opportunity to let our Plainfield unity shine!"

  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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