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news releases

May 4, 2011

Contact: Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Abbie Tang-Smith (609) 292-2994


(11/P63) TRENTON - Get ready to take a step back in time with the return this Saturday of the New Jersey State History Fair at Allaire State Park in Farmingdale, Monmouth County.

The Spirit of the Jerseys State History Fair, co-sponsored with the Allaire Village Inc. and held in partnership with other nonprofit groups, will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Historic Village at Allaire.

"New Jerseyans are passionate about their history and the role that our state has played in building our nation," Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin said. "We are excited to bring back the Spirit of the Jerseys State History Fair, long a popular venue for thousands to better understand their past and express their pride in their long and fascinating history. I commend all of our partners for working together to bring back the Fair, which is so important to so many residents and visitors."

More than 140 organizations and individuals have registered to participate, allowing visitors to experience five centuries of New Jersey history. Food vendors will be available and visitors can purchase a variety of history-related items from the various exhibitors.

"History is about people, their daily routines, their struggles, and their triumphs. This fair brings all of this to life," said Beverly Weaver, supervisor of the DEP's Office of Historic Sites. "This new venue for the fair, a restored 19th century iron-making town, will serve as a solid platform for groups from across the state to showcase the importance of their community in shaping New Jersey's history."

Fair visitors will able to watch an 1864 baseball game, trace their family roots, meet with authors of books on New Jersey history, learn about the Hindenburg, attend an early 19th century wedding, watch sheep-shearing demonstrations, participate in a scale-model barn-raising, learn about 18th century dentistry, join in Colonial hymns, among many other activities.

In addition to the iron-making town, Allaire Village is noted for its antique trains that run on the Pine Creek Railroad. It is also a haven for lovers of the outdoors. The Manasquan River, which winds through the park, attracts canoeists and fishermen and provides habitat for more than 200 species of wildflowers, trees and plants as well as habitat for birds and other wildlife. Hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders enjoy the many trails that wind through the park.

After many years at Washington Crossing State Park in Mercer County, the fair was not held last year because of logistical issues and limited state resources. The fair's revival is due in large part to a joint sponsorship between the DEP's Office of Historic Sites, DEP's Division of Parks and Forestry and the non-profit Allaire Village Inc. Other partners include the Monmouth County Park System, the Rockingham Association, the North Jersey Highlands Historical Society, the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association and the Trenton Historical Society.

"I am truly proud of our partners," Commissioner Martin said. "They are proving that not only is the spirit of history alive and well in New Jersey, so is the spirit of cooperation."

The fair will be held rain or shine. While admission is free, Allaire Village Inc. will be requesting a $5 fee per-vehicle parking donation to help defray the costs of the fair.

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