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Department of State

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Secretary of State

New Jersey State Museum Joins in New Jersey’s 350th Birthday Festivities

TRENTON, N.J. – The Trenton Downtown Association is having a festival to celebrate New Jersey’s 350th birthday and the State Museum is joining in the birthday fun. NJ350: A Capital Celebration, a free, family-friendly festival is being held on June 22nd from 11:00am-5:00pm, rain or shine, at the Capitol Complex on West State Street, Trenton. The event will feature live music, performances, and an array of activities for people of all ages, plus food vendors and festivities will span the length of the Capital Complex, from the State Museum to the Old Barracks, including the State House.

As part of the celebration, the New Jersey State Museum will be hosting a number of special events and programs, including:

  • Curator-led guided tours of New Jersey on Display, an exciting new exhibition chronicling New Jersey’s involvement in seven world’s fairs held between 1876 and 1964. The exhibition was sponsored by the New Jersey Historical Commission and developed as part of this year’s celebration of New Jersey’s 350th birthday. The state is celebrating with the themes of Innovation, Diversity and Liberty. “After its founding in 1895, the Museum became a repository for a number of objects exhibited at these events.” said Anthony Gardener, NJSM Executive Director. “Telling the story of how New Jersey was represented at world’s fairs over time is a natural extension of our collections and highlights New Jersey’s long history of innovation, diversity and liberty.”
  • A mini retrospective, "NJ in the Movies," featuring filmmakers from Thomas Edison to Zach Braff, presented by the New Jersey Film Commission in the Museum’s Auditorium.
  • In celebration of New Jersey's rich film history, David Bianculli, founder and editor of the online magazine TV Worth Watching and TV critic for NPR's Fresh Air, will share his list of memorable New Jersey Films and TV shows.
  • A hands-on bridge building workshop for children in the new Innovation Lab and Learning Center. Other hands-on NJ350 themed activities include a Colonial activity cart and story time for children. The Museum is also offering special discounted $3 Planetarium shows.

The festival will also include live, outdoor theater and music performances in front of the Museum, interactive programming at the State House, a gallery walk through the Civil War flag collection at the State Archives, and programing at Petty’s Run and the Old Barracks Museum. On-site for the day will also be the acclaimed New Jersey Hall of Fame Mobile Museum. One of the highlights of the day is a must-see State House Rotunda exhibition of the original 1664 land grant – or New Jersey’s birth certificate - that created our state as we now know it.

According to Christian Martin of the Trenton Downtown Association (TDA), the lead event organizers, “The arts and history are so tightly interwoven in the fabric of Trenton that a family festival here on the Capitol Complex should be both a fun and fitting celebration of New Jersey’s 350th birthday.” The TDA is assisting in the planning and implementation of the festival, which includes vendors from their regular Farmers’ Markets in addition to specially invited food trucks such as Polkadot Cupcake Truck.

For a detailed list of the day’s programs and performances visit For more information or to volunteer, please contact festival coordinator Colleen Finnegan at

NJ350: A Capital Celebration is made possible by several supporters and partners and led by the Trenton Downtown Association and Passage Theatre Company. Support for the festival is provided by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the New Jersey Historical Commission. Partner organizations include the New Jersey State Museum, New Jersey State Archives, New Jersey State Library, New Jersey Office of Legislative Services, and the Old Barracks Museum. The event is part of a year-long celebration of New Jersey’s 350 years of Innovation, Diversity, and Liberty. For more information about New Jersey’s 350th anniversary, to read the official blog, and to find celebratory events near you, visit


About the New Jersey State Museum

Established in 1895, the New Jersey State Museums serves the life-long educational needs of residents and visitors through its collections, exhibitions, programs, publications and scholarships in science, history and the arts. Within a broad context, the Museum explores the natural and cultural diversity of New Jersey, past and present. The New Jersey State Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

The New Jersey State Museum, located at 205 West State Street in Trenton, is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 am to 4:45 pm. The Museum is closed Mondays and all state holidays. For more information, please visit the Museum’s website at or call the recorded information line at (609) 292-6464. On weekends, free parking is available in lots adjacent to and behind the Museum. Please visit for a number of options for parking in downtown Trenton during the week.


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