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Annual Fair Haven Day Brings Community Together

Saturday's event featured hot dogs, live music, old friends and fireworks.

On Fair Haven Day 2014, Sara Merton and Vanessa Lane, both 10 and from Knollwood School, pose for a photo.
On Fair Haven Day 2014, Sara Merton and Vanessa Lane, both 10 and from Knollwood School, pose for a photo.

The Foundation of Fair Haven held its 3rd annual Fair Haven Day at Fair Haven Fields on Saturday, offering all-ages fun, live music, dance performances, food, games, and fireworks. 

Foundation of Fair Haven President Susan Sorensen said an average of 3,000 people have attended the event since it began in 2012 to celebrate the town's Centennial.

"Each year has been a great success, with the whole community helping out and coming together," said Sorensen, who is also a Councilwoman. "The parent-funded Rumson-Fair Haven Lacrosse Team is manning the concession stands, and we also have four great local bands playing on the stage tonight."

Peter and Carole Tamback, formerly of Fair Haven but now living in Clearwater Beach, Florida got to hear their 19-year old granddaughter, Taylor Tote, sing lead vocals with local band Aardvark Smile at Fair Haven Day. 

"It's our granddaughter's birthday on Father's Day, and we come up every year," said Peter Tamback. "We love seeing the town do this. It's great!"

The Stone Bullets, River Road Band and The Haven also performed at Fair Haven Day, while DJ Dave McCann played "Freeze Dance" games for children and rewarded prizes. In other areas of Fair Haven Fields, children played a soccer game, tackled an inflatable obstacle course, or jumped around in the Bounce House.

McCann also played patriotic music to accompany the fireworks show at the end of the night as the event's closing attraction. Dozens of students, families, and seniors had already spread chairs and blankets all throughout the fields in anticipation of the crowd-pleaser fireworks by 5pm, only an hour and a half after admission had begun for the free festival.

The Kick Dance Team, which has dance studios in Fair Haven and Rumson, also put on performances below the band stage. The dancers were organized into separate choreographed groups based on their age, which included boys and girls from kindergarten to seniors in high school. Dance Instructor Erin Beattie cheered on her students along with excited parents and school mates in the crowd.

"All of these kids are from Rumson and Fair Haven. They love performing in front of all of their friends and families," Beattie said.

Fair Haven Day attendees could purchase food and beverages from their choice of three vendors. The Lusty Lobster was one of the vendors on hand to provide the Raw Bar, which included items such as shrimp and clams. Owner and lifelong Fair Haven resident Doug Douty said he was proud to be a part of Fair Haven Day for all three years.

"It's one of the best things to happen to the town. It brings all of the families together in a fun, safe environment. The fields are semi-fenced in so kids can run around without parents having to worry so much," Douty said.

Also for their third year with the event, Brennan's Delicatessen provided a large variety of wraps, subs, salads, and hot dogs, while Booskerdoo served fresh coffee and other beverages. Town resident Karen McCann, who ran Brennan's stand, explained what makes Fair Haven Day so special.

"It has such a small-town feel. I love looking out at the crowd and seeing people playing Frisbee, or the kids having fun and running around. You don't hear a single foul word. Everybody is in the right spirit, and it's that spirit of Fair Haven that makes this a really great day for everyone."

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