The Montclair July 4th celebrations are back, bigger and better than ever. The region’s largest Independence Day parade returns after a two-year hiatus brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The parade will take place on Monday, July 4th, 2022, beginning at 11am. The town picnic will immediately follow the conclusion of the parade and will be held at Edgemont Park at 1pm. “We are absolutely thrilled to bring the July 4th parade and picnic back to Montclair,” said Donato DiGeronimo, Chairman of the Montclair Celebrates July 4th Committee. “Our community has weathered a dark storm and deserves this celebration. We are so happy to revive this beloved tradition and we are proud to honor Toni’s Kitchen, the Human Needs Food Pantry, and our friend Al Pelham.”
The Grand Marshals
The Grand Marshals of the parade – Toni’s Kitchen and the Human Needs Food Pantry – were chosen because of their tireless efforts to address food insecurity and to serve the most vulnerable in our community. Both organizations were established in 1982 and will celebrate 40 years of service to Montclair this year. The volunteers of Toni’s Kitchen and the Human Needs Food Pantry are emblematic of the spirit of empathy and resourcefulness of our community.
Anne Mernin, Director of Toni’s Kitchen, expressed her excitement. “Toni’s Kitchen is delighted to be one of the Grand Marshall’s of this year’s 4th of July parade – our favorite annual event! It will be refreshing to see our community together, celebrating the good will that has kept us strong throughout these last two years!”
Ken Rivlin, President of the Board of Trustees of the Human Needs Food Pantry, echoed the sentiment. “On behalf of our volunteers, our staff, and our Board, we are thrilled to be a Grand Marshall at Montclair’s 2022 4th of July parade. This honor is especially meaningful because it marks the organization’s 40th year of service and 40 years of generosity, compassion, and love from the entire Montclair community. We are extremely lucky and proud to be part of such a loving and diverse community and are excited to celebrate together.”
Al Pelham, who passed away in 2021, was a true friend of Montclair and an enthusiastic supporter of the July 4th parade. This year’s celebrations are dedicated in his honor. His generosity, thoughtfulness and advocacy served as a model for civic engagement and leadership. Al lived the ideals enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and fought for justice, equality and inclusion as head of the Montclair NAACP and the Montclair Neighborhood Development Corporation.
“Al was a great friend of the July 4th parade,” said Donato DiGeronimo. “We remember and honor him as one of Montclair’s greats.”
The Parade and Picnic
Parade participants are the heart and soul of the event. Marching bands, floats, antique cars, senior citizens, soccer kids, PTA parents, local businesses, veterans, bubble dancers and pranksters with squirt guns will all wind their way through the streets of the Township. Their expressions of creativity will meet the enthusiastic cheers of their neighbors and friends. It sums up the exactly what Montclair aspires to be: diverse and inclusive. Everyone’s welcome.
The parade begins at 11:00 a.m. along a 1.6-mile route traveling west on Bloomfield Avenue, north on Midland Avenue, continuing to Watchung Avenue, west to Valley Road and ending at Edgemont Park, the site of the town picnic. The parade is a rain or shine event.
The community Picnic will begin at 1pm. Food trucks, music, games and activities will be on hand at the end of the parade route in Edgemont Park.
The Montclair July 4th parade is funded almost exclusively through the generous donations of our sponsors. Every year, business, organizations and individuals step forward to help make this tradition possible. We are deeply grateful and sincerely thank them on behalf of the Montclair community.
Our Yankee Doodle Dandy sponsors:
Mountainside Medical Center
Clara Maass Medical Center
Rao’s Specialty Foods
Our Uncle Sam sponsors:
The Montclair Book Center
Our Stars and Stripes sponsors:
Silver Family Foundation
Upper Mountain Lawn Service
William H. Connolly Insurance
Our Roman Candle sponsors:
Steve Fox and Vicki Reikes Fox
Montclair Firefighters Foundation
Our Sparkler sponsors:
Montclair Community Pre-K
Schultz Property Management
Park Street Academy
Immaculate Conception High School
Town Auto Body
Piazza Della Sole
Montclair PBA Local #53 CA, Inc.
Ellen and Kenneth Colton