Borough Briefs: September 20 through October 14, 2015

Arts in the Park wrap-up reflects a joyful package

Arts in the Park, Highland Park New Jersey’s annual arts street festival, celebrated its 11th birthday on Sept, 20, 2015 with a party being labeled as the best party in its history.  With a total of 200 vendors (85 of which were artists), it showcased fine arts and crafts from all over the region with a juried art show, plus first-rate music and dance performances, and wide variety of food offerings. Among the gratifying comments heard on the street, said Rebecca Hersh, executive director of Main Street Highland Park, were those that came from outsiders who never had been to Highland Park. The essence of what they said was that they were pleasantly surprised to find such diversity and vibrancy within the Highland Park community. Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler helped kick off the party at 11:30 a.m. by dancing in the street with a group of other women who joined in the fun. Mark your calendars for next year: Sunday, September 25, 2016.

The winners of the Juried Art Show were as follows:

Painting:  1st Dane Tilghman

2nd Jon Horowitz

3rd Kristin DeBlocker


Photography – 1st Elisabeth Bard

2nd Jennifer Evans

3rd Bill Bonner


Sculpture: 1st John Potts

2nd Ellen Rebarber

3rd Matan Pollak


Mixed Media:  1st Sharon Maralit

2nd Fred Cole

3rd UmaMaheswari Manoraj


Graphics:  1st Jacqueline Baker

2nd Natalia Denissova

3rd Sigal Ostrin


Fine Crafts: 1st Josh Siegel

2nd Brian Weitz

3rd Terry Ross


Town/Police forum – a first for the town – is Oct. 14, 7 p.m.

The Highland Park Human Relations Commission(HPHRC) will be hosting an open town forum, Oct. 14, 2015, 7 p.m., to facilitate communication between the Highland Park Police Department, the Highland Park Administration, and the residents of Highland Park. Residents are invited to come to the Senior/Youth Center (220 S. 6th Ave.) and ask questions, get answers, and just listen to what everyone is saying.

“This is the first time Highland Park has held this type of discussion among the members of the Highland Park Police Department, town officials and residents, said HP Human Relations Commission Chairperson Ashton Burrell. “It has taken a year to arrange, and I have no idea how the evening will go, but I think it is a big deal that the police actually agreed to sit down and talk,” said Ashton.

The Forum is the culmination of a year of several HP Police Department and HP Human Relations Commission collaborative initiatives. For example, the HPHRC now has a police liaison, Lt. Gary Panichella, who attends all the commission meetings. He gets the police department and the community to work together on community service programs.

Panel members for the Forum include: Highland Park Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler, Highland Park Police Chief Stephen Rizco and Highland Park Borough Council Members. If possible, questions should be submitted in advance to the Highland Park Human Relations Commission Chairperson Ashton Burrell at Questions and comments should focus on the local scene and local issues.


Annual ‘Sell Your Stuff’ HP Garage Sale Oct. 10 – Oct. 11

Don’t miss Highland Park’s annual town-wide garage sale, featuring Highland Park residents and businesses selling a wide-variety of fun, funky and functional items on the sidewalks and stoops throughout the community. And those not selling are scooping up all the great bargains! Whether you’re looking to downsize and unclutter or you’re looking for great deals, Highland Park is the place to be during this two-day extravaganza.

Eleven years ago, Ballard Hutkin, real estate professional with Century 21 JJ Laufer in Highland Park, rescued this renowned town event, after the local chamber of commerce announced it no longer would be the organizing sponsor. Ballard decided that it would be a “perfect fit” for her office to step in and partner with the town and more recently also with Main Street Highland Park.

“It is a terrific event….Everyone has a great time. I get a lot of positive feedback unless the weather is bad! Weather not withstanding, the event brings people out of their houses and gets everyone mingling with their neighbors. On some streets, like Felton Avenue, it turns into a giant block party,” said Ballard whose Century 21 office donates signs, maps and organizes the merchant discount coupons.

Rebecca Hersh, executive director of Main Street Highland Park, noted that thousands of people come to Highland Park to shop for bargains every year during this weekend and advised the merchants “to purge older merchandise while participating in a fun and festive town-wide event.” If a business is interested in signing up to have a sidewalk sale this weekend, please email (or call the Garage Sale hotline at 732-249-1654) and include business name, a contact name, address, email address, and phone number.

Residents who want to sell items on a stoop, sidewalk, or driveway, should register by emailing: (or call the Garage Sale hotline at 732-249-1654) and include name, address, email address, and phone number.

The Highland Park Annual Town-Wide Garage Sale is a joint project of:


* Century 21 JJ Laufer (

* Highland Park Department of Community Services (

* Main Street Highland Park (


Investors Bank Foundation donates $1,500 to Food Pantry

The Borough of Highland Park, on Tuesday, Sept. 30, held a grant presentation ceremony honoring Investors Bank Foundation for its $1,500 grant to the Highland Park Community Food Pantry (HPCFP). The funds will be used to purchase freezers and refrigerators for the food pantry, thus enabling the food pantry to provide a greater variety of perishables and frozen foods to community patrons. Dennis Wilckens, assistant vice president and Edison branch manager for The Investors Foundation presented a check to Highland Park Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler. Highland Park Community Food Bank Development Lead Andrea Greenberg submitted the grant to increase the pantry’s capacity to provide frozen or refrigerated food. She worked with Mark Berkowitz from Derby Appliances in Edison to purchase the appliances for the best price.

The HPCFP is a volunteer-run organization that provides food to Highland Park residents in need. In 2014, the program distributed nearly 10,000 bags of food to more than 300 families. It is located at the Highland Park Senior/Youth Center, 220 South Sixth Avenue. Food distribution is the on second and fourth Thursdays of each month and on the Saturdays following the Thursday distribution days. For information about the Highland Park Community Food Pantry call 732-819-0052 or visit





Comments are closed.