57th Annual Newark Days - Country Jamboree!!!
Yee Haw!!!! Country Jamboree - September 20th through the 23rd
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The City of Newark has been celebrating it's birthday, September 22, 1955 - annually since incorporation.
parade was at the heart of it - and old-timers remember when the City's
first Mayor, George Silliman's car broke down and he walked the parade
route down Thornton Avenue.
Members of the Newark Chamber of
Commerce - who later turned the festivities over to the Junior Chamber
of Commerce, planned the early years of what is now called Newark Days.
In the 60's - a group called "Newark Birthday Celebration" was formed.
The weekend events were held on the Newark Pavilion grounds, in the
Newark High School auditorium and of course, the Thornton Avenue parade.
The "Newark Birthday Celebration" dissolved at the end of the
60's and for several years - the only celebration commemorating the
City's birthday was put on in Newark Community Park by the Newark
Recreation Department - a one-day event with games and a birthday cake.
In 1972 Shirley Sisk ran for City Council and in walking
door-to-door during the campaign, the predominant question was - "when
is the Newark birthday celebration coming back?". Shirley and her
husband Frank had volunteered and worked with the old "Newark Birthday
Celebration", so in the Summer of 1972 a meeting was called to see if
there were enough volunteers to plan an event for that September.
Interest was high and "Newark Days Celebration" was formed.
Newark Rotary offered to bring in a carnival and the committee put
together food booths and games at the Pavilion. The weekend was a huge
success. The next step was to form a nonprofit corporation. The
original signers were: William & Bonnie Chivers, Robert Jaeger
(Executive Director of the Newark Chamber of Commerce), Barbara Lane,
Marilyn Rogers, Frank & Shirley Sisk and John Fulgaro.
that small step Newark Days has grown from a weekend event to 4 days
centered in the Newark Community Park & Community Center as well as
the adjacent MacGregor School Grounds. The parade now goes down Newark
Blvd, and ends on Cedar Blvd, a much longer walk if a car breaks
For many years the committee put on a Newark Days Ball - held the weekend prior. Today a core volunteer committee of 30 work
year-round planning a multitude of activities: the big Saturday parade,
the kid's parade, the Newark Mile race, multi-stages of entertainment,
arts & crafts booths, food and game booths, carnival, special theme
areas, contests, children's activities, senior's dance and bingo. These
events and more are enjoyed by over 100,000 people every year and during
the 4 days - over 200 volunteers come together to make this a truly
wonderful celebration of the City's birthday.