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Summer makes a ‘splash’ in Monroe

Family day offers free events at the community center

The Department of Community Affairs hosts a 4th of July puppy parade along with a senior luncheon to help cater to all walks of life in the community.

The community affairs department in Monroe Township will host a Summer Splash Family Fun Day Saturday.

“For so many years we didn’t do anything,” said Director of Community Affairs Brandee Derieux. “Parks and rec does a heck of a job with their events, like the parades, the music festival and their other events … but there are not enough events.”

To help bring more activities to the township, the community affairs department created a whole day of fun for families and people of all ages. The event is free and patrons can enjoy rides, a petting zoo filled with everything from rabbits to goats and face painting. There will also be water slides, a dunk tank and a bounce house.

“There are a lot of people out there that can’t afford to do things with their kids,” said Derieux. “Especially with the way the economy is today, there are a lot of things out there that they really can’t afford. They are barely making ends meet because inflation and everything else is so high. They need things to do. 

“You have to give the people something to keep them going, you have to do something for them,” she added. “So to me, this is like giving back to the town so they can see it is worthwhile to live here.”

While the event does offer free entertainment, there will be sales by vendors, crafters, and six food trucks, and charges for carnival games and other activities. 

According to Derieux, parks and rec expects attendance to be 2,000 to 3,000 people throughout the day. To help keep things clean and organized, the department has enlisted the help of young volunteers looking for service hours and opportunities. 

“We started the program where we are looking to help kids get extra service hours,” Derieux explained. “We have kids ages 12 through 24 for those types of credits. It looks good on college applications and resumes, it looks good for kids trying to get into private schools … 

“Our youngest volunteer was 9 last year when he helped pick up trash and things, and he will be 10 volunteering this year,” she added. “He was a big help.” 

The department is looking ahead to the fall for its other annual events, including an arts and crafts festival on Sept. 24, Trunk-or-Treat and the Halloween and Puppy parades. 

The community center also offers free yoga and other exercise classes for seniors and hosts Candy Bar Bingo and the Little Mr. and Miss Monroe Township Pageant.

“You have to do things for everyone in the community,” said Derieux. “We are a community center and community-based, for the young and old … You have to be able to do it in a setting where we can all come together.” 

Hours for the family event are 1 to 6 p.m. at the community center. For more information about other events, visit the community affairs department’s  Facebook page at Monroe Township Community Affairs.

Those interested in volunteering for any future events, can email Derieux at BDerieux@monroetownshipnj.org.


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