This is the third of 12 posts in our A Laker’s Dozen: 12 “Sweet” LHF Achievements from 2016 series – reflecting on and celebrating 2016 and the Lake Hopatcong Community.
With over 235 booth spaces, the 3rd Annual Block Party was the largest one to date. Our annual event is a day that celebrates New Jersey’s largest lake: from recreation and leisure to business and everyday living. On May 7th, 2016, we brought together local organizations and businesses, bands, demonstrations, craft vendors, food trucks, restaurants, a children’s area, and opportunities to have a short boat ride provided by Bridge Marina and Lake Hopatcong Cruises at the Hopatcong State Park. Some Miss Lotta riders were also treated to a special guest appearance from Miss Lotta and her mother. Quite a few visitors showed up with their dogs and we even had a pretty, pink pig attend!
The train ride returned to provide adults and children a unique view of the park. Kids ages 12 and under also participated in a park wide scavenger hunt and received an ice cream coupon from Jefferson Dairy upon completion. Adults were able to purchase tickets for a 50/50 raffle.
Everyone enjoyed the series of demonstrations that took place including a trophy fish presentation by the Knee Deep Club, a water spray by the Jefferson Township Fire Department’s fire boat, and a remote control airplane demo from the Roxbury Area Model Airplane Club.
Guests also danced to live music ranging from soul to jazz to country rock with the following bands: Soul Groove, Uncle Brothers, Mickey Freeman and Glenn Roberts Band.
A few new elements added to this year’s event included the LHF Twitter Trivia Contest, FitBit Challenge and social media boards. Those that knew the most about our initiatives won prizes. For those that were counting their steps with activity trackers, there was a challenge to get in at least 10,000 steps by walking the entire Block party. Individuals checked in at the information booth at the start of their Block Party day and again at the end and posted their photos to social media. A random winner was selected from all the entries and Barb Kraus won a new FitBit Alta. We had funny props for folks to take selfies with in specially designed social media frames for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the official hashtag for the event #LHFBP2016.
To spread the word about a few of the LHF initiatives, staff members Jessica Murphy, Donna Macalle-Holly and Jennifer DeWitt read poems about membership, the floating classroom and the train station. These unique forms of expression were written by Ned DeWitt.
Those 15 years of age and older had an opportunity to interview the day of the Block Party for seasonal, part-time Lake Steward positions. Lake Stewards are hired by the foundation and stationed at Lee’s County Park & Marina and Hopatcong State Park, educating boaters about invasive species and how to prevent their spread.
At the LHF booth, visitors learned more about the foundation and our initiatives including a new dock numbering safety program, signed-up for volunteer opportunities, purchased LHF merchandise, received an update on what was going on with the Lake Hopatcong Train Statin restoration, renewed their LHF membership or became a new member.
So many amazing volunteers helped to keep the day running from parking to helping vendors unpack their cars, assisting with boat rides and children’s activities and selling 50/50 raffle tickets to name just a few.
We are thankful for the support of this year’s Block Party Sponsors which include: Lake Hopatcong Golf Club, Bridge Marina, DeFeo’s Marina, Marine Max, Berkley College, Lake Hopatcong Racing Association, Lake Hopatcong Marine/San Bar Marina, Culligan, Power Home Remodeling, Crawford Home Selling Team Keller Williams Realty, Dunkin’ Donuts, FirstEnergy Foundation, Fulton Bank of New Jersey, QuickChek, Starfish Aquatic Club, Inc.
We will be announcing our 2017 Block Party date soon. If you are interested in a booth space or a sponsorship, get your paperwork in sooner than later. In 2016, we sold out the event on March 17. We will also be looking for many volunteer hands to make things run smoothly. Not an LHF volunteer? Register on our website.
Look for the fourth post in our A Laker’s Dozen: 12 “Sweet” LHF Achievements from 2016 series on recreational trails next week!