'Butler Day' Could Include Fireworks, Vendors, Rides This Year

Recreation Commission members presented concept for borough's first community pride event.

The Borough of Butler could join neighboring communities in offering a day of town pride should plans for the first ever Butler Day go through.

Two members of the Butler Recreation Commission, Shelli Taggart and Robert Soules, approached the Butler Council Tuesday to talk about their preliminary plans for an event to be held on May 25 (rain date on May 26). Taggart explained that she envisions fireworks over one of the school fields with vendor booths, music, possibly rides and neighborly fun.

"These were just ideas that were thrown out," Taggart said.

Although without fireworks, Bloomingdale hosts its own Pride Day and Kinnelon has hosted K-Fest for the past two years.

Some council members had concerns with the initial plans for Butler's event. Councilman Ray Verdonik said his main issue was with using the fields to host the festivities.

"We worked really hard to get those fields and I'd hate to see one day ruin them," he said.

Taggart said she understood Verdonik's concerns and the commission would work to come up with a solution that keeps the fields, and the track, in mind.

"If it means that we block off the track until people sit for fireworks, then that's what we'll do," she said.

Soules also noted that the day organizers are hoping to host the event is in between the baseball season and when the fields are prepared for the coming year. Councilman Robert Meier suggested putting bleachers near the Richard Butler School so that people could view fireworks from there.

Councilman Robert Fox was initially concerned about the fireworks, themselves, but ultimately said he was in favor of the planning moving forward on the event.

"Basically, a lot of people have been asking for a day like this. Maybe you guys will be the ones that finally do it," he said.

More plans will be discussed at the Butler Council's March 5 meeting at 7 p.m. in the conference room at One Ace Road.

christine February 21, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Butler needs something like this to bring pride back! Be sure to include BHS alum to the event, i would love to bring my family to celebrate. A historical tour would be a nice addition! Can you get the historical society to get local home owners and businesses to give tours of their places? 1 bartholdi did that in the 80s, it was a blast! Vendors and crafters can off set some expenses, keep planning Shelli, sounds great!
Michele Theiler February 21, 2013 at 08:12 PM
My students from On the Move Performing Arts Center in Butler would love to perform at a pride day celebration! I also teach Zumba classes and could do a demo! It would be great!!
Richard Dean February 22, 2013 at 12:40 AM
This is a great idea but they should stay of the recent rebuilt Memorial Field that cost us taxapyers millions. I hate to rain on the fireworks display, which I would like to see, but there may be a hitch with the borough's insurance carrier. Back in the 1980's when the last real public fireworks display took place in Butler, there was a claim of damage to one or more cars parked in the driveway of a neighboring house. I understand that was the reason that the Board of Education could only have a licensed fireworks vendor conduct an abbreviated display at the 100th graduation of Butler HS back in 2006 with sky rockets similar to roman candles shooting only about 100 feet into air.
Shelli Taggart February 22, 2013 at 12:56 AM
Thank you all for your lovely support!! When all our "ducks" are in a row, we will be contacting you all individually. In the meantime, please "like" Butler Recreation Commission on Facebook for the most up to date information as well as right here on the Patch!
Shelli Taggart February 22, 2013 at 12:58 AM
Rich , with every event there is a chance that something might happen. That is why the school board and the town, as well as the police and fire department were involved in initial meetings before we moved on. All of our vendors are fully insured so we plan on focusing on FUN and not "what could be" and not having an event because of what has occurred in the past.
Robert Soules February 22, 2013 at 01:29 AM
Rich, Shelli and I were on BOTH committees to get the field referendum passed.That said ,why would we want to damage it? The thought was not to use it for just football and soccer, but also community events like this. How much damage is a lawn chair or a blanket going to do to the field? We're trying to make memories in this town ,like when I was a kid. Think positive my friend,it will all work out.
Danny Soules February 22, 2013 at 02:15 AM
I cant stress enough the incredible joy this will bring to the community and to know that we live in a town that doesnt focus on the past but has great plans for the future and this firework display doesn't seem that bad ive attended many of the displays at Walter T. Bergen school and it seems to me that the same amount of area will be used at the butler fields as the bloomingdale ones. i cant wait to see what we come up with!
Sara Alfieri February 22, 2013 at 09:33 AM
Great Idea!
Zoo Keeper February 22, 2013 at 02:45 PM
This idea of having a Butler event has been brought up many times by a Butler resident, only to be shot down. I'm surprised that the town would NOW be in favor of an event after turning their thumbs down in the past.. I think an event with vendors should be held DOWNTOWN . That would bring traffic into local businesses (chich they need desperately) and there could also be the"Art in The Park" as was done many years sgo. Main Street could be blocked off from Hamburg Tpk (near Butler Place) down to Short St. There would be plenty of parking on surrounding streets such as Manning and Arch. As far as fireworks goes, that could be held on the former football field (the field way in the back) as it was done years ago. I would agree that the newly built football field and track should not be touched at all. Anothe down side to fireworks would be the cost, probably around $10,000. And, who would be fitting the bill for any event? Coclusi0on Hold the event downtown Have a art festival in the park Hold the fireworks (if funding is avaialble) at the former football field Stay off of the newly renovated High Scholl field. Hopefully, this will generate some "life" into downtown and encourage the public to visit downtown. Instead of in May, why not hold an event to include the newly revnovated Butler Museum, slated to be completed in Oct 2013. That would be a great celebration for Butler for sure.
Albert Syracuse February 23, 2013 at 02:12 PM
I will "like' the FB page and I am willing to help. My first reaction was to think wouldn't downtown be a better spot to do it. Then I saw it mentioned in the comments by Zookeeper. The park is the PERFECT spot. It's the heart of Butler as a community. There is also a lot of parking available at the businesses inside the rubber mill and at Lakeland Bank (assuming we can get permission). I will put my money where my mouth is and come to the meeting mentioned above.
mimi February 23, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Yea Shelli! It's about time. We had that one celebration a few years ago and they were trying to bring in a street flea market for weekends but nothing sticks. This would be so good as other towns like Pompton Lakes has a huge success with theirs. Thanks so much Shelli.
Shelli Taggart February 23, 2013 at 10:56 PM
To answer the above statements: The park is not big enough for the crowd we are anticipating. If we close down streets, THAT is when it is going to cost big bucks. The fireworks are not even CLOSE to that amount of money as we are getting a deal because of the time of year we are having the display. The event will be funded by private donations, sponsorships, t-shirt sales and vendor participation. I am ALL FOR highlighting our businesses and if they choose to participate, spaces are $40.00. We cannot have fireworks downtown. The fire marshal, the fireworks vendor and the rec department along with the town are going to meet to discuss logistics and they WILL be at the field. Many hours of planning will go into handling this event properly and I assure you that we are working hard to make sure it is done right. If you are looking to have a celebration around the reopening of the museum, that's super. I suggest social media and compiling a crackerjack committee. If you would like the recreation commission to get involved, you are welcome to come to any rec commission meeting and present during our public portion.
Shelli Taggart February 23, 2013 at 11:00 PM
This I PROMISE is the LAST TIME I am going to talk about the fields. Bob and I spent MONTHS with a wonderful group of ladies and gentlemen helping to register voters, tying blue ribbons on cars, educating the public and manning phones to help get the referendum passed to allow construction of our FIELD OF DREAMS that my son now has the privilege o playing on... WE WILL NOT do anything to damage the fields. The BOE will NOT ALLOW anything to happen to the fields. We are doing this in May because the EXTENSIVE work that is done on the fields will not have been done yet. I understand that this is a public forum for ANYONE to be able to say ANYTHING ON. From this moment forward, I will not write any more about anything controversial or negative regarding Butler Day. Instead I will choose to focus my efforts on the positive, not the "what ifs". If anyone feels they have better ideas, bring them forward, but PLEASE keep it positive. My private email address is jetershoney@yahoo.com. Feel free to tell me off in private but also please remember to sign your name. Thank you.
Shelli Taggart February 23, 2013 at 11:02 PM
LASTLY... Thank you to the SCORES of people who have rallied around this project. I truly appreciate your verve! Let's DO THIS!!
Zoo Keeper February 24, 2013 at 01:20 PM
As I have pointed out previously. A resident had brought this idea up to the Mayor and Council SEVERAL times only to be shot down ! Now, all of a sudden, its a great idea. I would agree thought that something needs to be done to promote Butler as is done in other towns. I still feel that the event should be held on Main St as I have this pointed out. I still feel that the high scholl field should not be touched. In my opinion, if anything negative would to happen to this costly field, who is going to pay for the restoration, don't think that the tax payers are going to foot the bill for its demise, bacasue that won't happen. The tax payers have forked out enough on that field. I did not suggest that the firework be held downtown, look at my post. I suggested that the fireworks be held on the former football field (way in the back) as it had been done previously., Depending upon the length of a fireworks dispaly, the average, according to statistics is around $10,000 for a show. I atill think that this Butler celebration should be tied to the reopening of the Museum. As far the Park, the Art In The Park event was held without any problems. As I have mentioned previously. If this is going to be a Butler celebration, then it shold be held DOWNTOWN, which is the proper place. The only successful event was the bed race going back to 1987. Butler needs to be promoted, but in a positive way and DOWNTOWN. Stay off the $$$$$ school fields.
Zoo Keeper February 24, 2013 at 01:26 PM
Yes, this is a public forum and anyones opinion can be spoken. We have to look at the IFS, cover all bases. And, you as a group need to be open to SUGGESTIONS, and not be closed to other ideas. We need to generate inteerst in to DOWNTOWN, and your not going to do that by having a even on the shcoll field.
Shelli Taggart February 24, 2013 at 01:35 PM
We are a Recreation Commission. Our group's goal is to create a lovely day for the families and friends of Butler, nothing more. Hope you join us!
Zoo Keeper February 24, 2013 at 02:36 PM
I wish you and the recreation department best wishes in this event.
Richard Dean February 24, 2013 at 09:41 PM
As I started out in my post, I think it is a great idea. There is enough room at the Butler School District Athletic Complex for this event without having anything that could damage the relatively brand new Memorial Field and Track and by that I mean having heavy items on it. That room is where black top that was the playground for decades, the field hockey area, and the Hempsted field. Of course the borough should also showcase the new refreshment stand with the rest rooms. As for the Facebook page, several of the Rec Commission members are my FB friends so please just post the link to all of your friends including me and then like others I will also share it.
Richard Dean February 24, 2013 at 09:44 PM
Something else I will suggest is to investigate obtaining foul weather insurance for the date(s) involved. Back in 1982 when it rained at the conclusion of the Butler FD's 80th anniversary parade, we learned too late that such policies were available for a minimum cost. That is if the commission was going to be selling anything on site to offset expenses.
Richard Dean February 24, 2013 at 09:47 PM
A big problem with an event on Main Street like we had for the centennial in 2001 and those street fairs by that private vendor was the costs involved for the police. And by blocking at Hamburg Turnpike we would need to involve Bloomingdale Borough and its police department because our Main Street only connects to Hamburg Turnpike there via Elizabeth Street of Bloomingdale which begins at the middle of the bridge.
Seau55 February 24, 2013 at 09:48 PM
I say that only blankets are allowed on the game field...anyone wanting to use lawn chairs should use the bleachers or the old field hockey field!
Ken Montanye February 25, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Rich.....As you know, Main St was blocked off for the Michael Vick event. And as you know, the business only paid for two police officers but the whole Butler Police dept was there as well as the Morris county Sherriffs office. I don't see why Hamburg Tpk couldn't be blocked off at River Place, vehicle would just loop aorund to lower Main st to get back into Butler.
Ken Montanye February 25, 2013 at 01:49 PM
I have read all of the posts and I think that its a great idea that butler is looking toward an event to honor Butler and its residents. I would go along with the event being held at the High school fiel as long as the new (fenced in area) is not used at all. Too much tax payer bucks went into that . I would suggest though, that a parade could be scheduled as part of the celebration to bring peolpe into the downtown area and then end up at the field. Downtown certainly needs exposure. As far as the fireworks go, the price depends upon the length, the type of shells and a finale. A very basic show could cost a few thousand dollar going up. I have inquired into costs from the Garden State fireworks Compan just to see what the price range would be. It would be great if the rec dept can get them at an exceptional rate. Permits is another issue. When I had a model rocket club and we used the field, it was required that we put up a million dollar liability policy. Our group was very responsible and we cleaned up the filed after its use to a better place than what we came to. I hope that this event can be achieved and all will enjoy the day.
Ken Montanye February 25, 2013 at 01:51 PM
The new fenced in field SHOULD NOT be utilized. There is plenty of area surrounding it. The former football field is the best place for the fireworks. Its has a "buffer zone" for the firing of fireworks and is away from residents homes.
Richard Dean February 25, 2013 at 11:30 PM
I forgot about the Michael Vick affair and do remember Main Street blocked between Park Place and Manning Avenue. Cops from other area towns plus the MC Sheriff's Department were thee with the cost rumored to be around $25,000 which I don't recall if it was confirmed. I also remember the last parade Butler FD ever had back in 1987 cost the members about $10,000 for traffic control by the Sheriff's Department. That parade was also the five country regional North Jersey parade combined with the 101st convention of the NJ State Exempt Firemen.
Richard Dean February 25, 2013 at 11:32 PM
Good idea to use Hempsted Field for the fireworks since it's been downgraded to practice status.
Kurt Wubbenhorst March 20, 2013 at 05:09 AM
Shelli and Robert, Architekt Music will be glad to be a part of anything you want us to be. We would love to see this happen in any way-shape-form. Contact us anytime at the studio. Lets make this happen!
Meg Gray March 31, 2013 at 01:13 PM
Hi all, As a Rec Commissioner in Bloomingdale, I applaud all the hard work I know goes into events like this. I wish, though, for all our sakes, with the work involved, the money involved, we would all think about sharing more events instead of needing to have our own. Butler/Bloomingdale Firewroks and alternate years. Butler/Bloomingdale Pride Days and alternate fields. We do it with the Memorial Day Parade. We share bball, triboro, b and b soccer...and not least of all Butler High School. We are two small communities and ought to try to do more together not each doing the same things twice. Just my two cents to add to the pile!
Ken Montanye March 31, 2013 at 01:21 PM
Great idea Meg. We should also include Kinnelon as one of our Tri-Boro partners as well.


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