Special Event Calendar

Union County Parks follow NJ COVID-19 guidelines: Social distancing required/Masks strongly recommended

Union County Parks follow NJ COVID-19 guidelines:  Social distancing required/Masks strongly recommended

In accordance with State executive orders, Union County parks have reopened and are operating in accordance with current COVID-19 guidelines.

“Masks and social distance are the only effective tools we have for stopping the spread of COVID-19, so we strongly urge visitors to continue to observe precautions against infection while enjoying outdoor activities in County parks,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

Social distancing, wearing face masks, washing hands frequently, and keeping hands away from one’s face are among the basic and most effective precautions for preventing the transmission of COVID-19 and other infections. Persons who feel sick should stay away from others.

The following rules apply to Parks activities:

  • Trail biking:Trail biking is prohibited in all Union County parks. Trail biking was prohibited before the COVID-19 outbreak, and the prohibitions continue. Bicycles are permitted on paved paths and roadways.
  • Closed: The Warinanco Sports Center and the Trailside Nature and Science Center remain closed.
  • Recreation Facilities reopened with restrictionsGalloping Hill and Ashbrook Golf Courses, Oak Ridge Archery Range, tennis courts, Echo Lake and Warinanco dog parks, Watchung Stable (Details on Parks website)
  • Picnic areas: The maximum number of people allowed in a picnic area varies. Check with Parks Reservation Desk for capacity before reserving a picnic area, 908-527-4900.
  • Athletic fields: As per executive order, prior restrictions are lifted
  • Playgrounds: Parks playgrounds are open at Cedar Brook, Conant, Echo Lake, Esposito, Green Brook, John Russell, Wheeler, Lighting Brook, Loop Playground, Madison Avenue, Mattano, Mohawk, Mohawk, Nomahegan, Phil Rizzuto, Ponderosa, Rahway, Rutgers Ave, Snyder, Unami, Warinanco, Wheeler
  • Walking/Cycling/Fishing: Individual activities such as walking, jogging, biking and fishing are allowed. Bicycles are allowed on paved pathways only. No bicycles are allowed on unpaved paths and trails in Union County parks.
  • Use of walking path: Give way to others to maintain six-foot distance when passing.
  • Masks: Strongly recommended.
  • Parking and hours of use: Parking hours vary in Union County Parks and are posted in all lots.
  • Reporting abuse of social distance guidelines: Call Union County Police908-654-9800.

For maps, directions, and more information about activities in Union County parks, visit online at ucnj.org/parks, email parksinfo@ucnj.org, or call 908-527-4900.

Park visitors please note: Stay on marked trails to preserve fragile native habitat. The taking of plants and other wildlife is prohibited. Share paved paths by keeping to the right unless passing. Dogs must be kept on leash. All trash must be carried out where receptacles are full or unavailable. 

For more information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including guidance for the Test Center, visit ucnj.org/coronavirus-update.

For general information about COVID-19 and phone contacts for 24/7 assistance with questions, visit the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.

100th Anniversary Suffragist Victory – Empowering Modern Women

Union County 2020 Senior Citizens’ Virtual Art Exhibit

“Afternoon in Amsterdam,” an oil painting by professional artist Eileen Bonacci, was awarded Best of Show by a Professional Artist.

Each year the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders presents the Senior Citizens Art Exhibit, showcasing original work created by county residents aged 60 and above. View the 2020 exhibit online at www.ucnj.org/senior-art.

“The Freeholder Board is proud to showcase the artwork created by our senior citizens each year, and this year we are very pleased to present this exhibit virtually, enabling these talented artists to share their work with everyone in the community,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

Awards in each media category were designated by a panel of professional artist-jurors. All entries awarded First Place have advanced to the state level, representing Union County in the 2020 New Jersey Senior Citizens Art Show, on view at www.NJSeniorArts.com  

The annual Senior Citizens Art Exhibit is coordinated and administered by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, and made possible by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Union County Announces Great Pumpkin Sail Tickets Go On Sale Starting October 6

The Union County Freeholder Board is happy to announce that tickets for this year’s Great Pumpkin Sail at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside will go on sale at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 6. Tickets will be available online at www.ucnj.org/ticket.

“The Great Pumpkin Sail is a signature Union County event,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “We look forward to bringing families together to celebrate this annual tradition.”

The Great Pumpkin Sail will take place on November 1 and 2 with four sessions scheduled for each night. The first session will run from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.; the second session will run from 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.; the third session will run from 7:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.; and session four will run from 8:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.

Attendees are advised to register early since space is limited. All participants must be wearing a mask and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Each ticket admits up to six (6) people. There is a limit of 2 tickets per person. There will be no refunds, exchanges or group sales. The cost is $12 per family, and families are limited to six people for in-county residents. Out-of-county residents pay $16 per family and are also limited to six people per family.

Each family ticket includes the right to float one pre-carved Jack-o-Lantern, weighing no more than eight (8) pounds after carving. A family ticket must be purchased in advance in order to float a Jack-o-Lantern.

Help with Senior Services

Find upcoming local events to learn about senior services. Click here.

Upcoming events from the Office of LGBTQ Affairs

Pre Registration is required for each session. Click on the session title to register online.

OUT in Union County: Queer Empowerment Hour with host Micayla Mirabella

Tune in for an hour-long conversations with some of New Jersey’s dedicated LGBTQ+ advocates, community leaders, and allies. QUEER EMPOWERMENT HOUR will explore LGBTQ+ specific topics and offer stories and discussions involving queer folks from different backgrounds and experiences. Come with an open mind, leave with a new understanding.

Wednesday, September 30 Video on our Facebook page
Being a Supportive Parent to a Queer Person

Wednesday, October 14 at 7:00 pm
Queer Pioneers and Activists

Wednesday, October 28 at 7:00 pm
Transgender Identity and Inclusion

Wednesday, November 11 at 7:00 pm
Being Queer in the Military

Wednesday, November 25 at 7:00 pm
Ally Talk – Hear from Straight Friends and Advocates

Wednesday, December 9 at 7:00 pm
Faith and LGBTQueer+ Panel

Cultural Events Calendar


Enjoy now or any time

Historic Sites in Union County

Take a virtual tour of some of the “Four Centuries” historic sites in Union County. You may be surprised at the rich history in our midst.


Now thru Mar 12

Mon–Fri, 1 pm–4 pm (or by appointment*)


THE BRIDGE: 3rd Annual Celebration of African American Artists

The Gallery Space presents THE BRIDGE, featuring artworks by Malloy Marcial, Kirk Maynard, Anthony Gartmond, Troy Jones, Philip Robinson Jr. Yoland Skeete, Sunday Rebel (Jesse Wright) and Theda Sandiford. Art provides insights into the experiences of others. In a world with many divisions, it is imperative for people to come to a greater understanding of others. Exhibit presented by the City of Rahway, Dept. of Recreation & Senior Services.


*Also open by appointment. Call 732-827-2210.

The Gallery Space

1670 Irving St., Rahway


Feb 27

7:30 – 8:30 pm (Virtual live event)


Join Broadway’s groundbreaking Tony Award-winning performer Ali Stroker for an intimate livestreamed concert from the stage of Kean University’s Enlow Recital Hall. The evening will feature songs from the Great American Songbook from composers such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Stephen Sondheim, Carole King, Stephen Schwartz, Rodgers and Hammerstein and more.



Enlow Recital Hall, 908-737-7469

Closed Captioning, ASL interpreters

Feb 28

4–5:30 pm

FREE – Virtual Event

The Soundtrack of Black Culture – African-American Heritage Celebration

This live virtual event features vocal sensation Valarie Adams and The Dimensions Band; classical pianist Richard Austin; saxophonist and vocalist Lance Bryant with his daughter Caylen on bass; soprano Sheila Harris Jackson; and more. Presented by Ivy Visions, charitable arm of Theta Phi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

FREE but registration is required by Sat., Feb. 27 at Eventbrite.


Mar 13

10:30 am

FREE (Live Virtual Event)


Female Spies in World War II

Hear thrilling tales from spymaster Vera Atkins, who delivers up secrets about women who were spies during World War II. Performed by re-enactor Alisa Dupuy. Cohosted by the Historical Society of Plainfield/Drake House Museum and the Plainfield Public Library.

FREE but Registration is required at:


2021 CHORAL CONCERT (on video)

Watch/listen now or anytime

Oratorio Singers – Works by Mozart, Handel & Vaughan Williams

Featuring a chamber choir performing works by Mozart and Vaughan Williams, and renowned soprano Maureen Francis singing works by Mozart and Handel, the Oratorio Singers present a virtual concert — followed by a video narrated by Music Director Trent Johnson about the 40-year history of the Oratorio Singers, based in Westfield.



Watch now or any time

Plainfield Symphony presents “Chat with Charles” – Beethoven’s 5th & Mahler’s 9th

This ambitious series of on-demand video-lectures from Plainfield Symphony features Conductor and Music Director Charles Prince discussing Beethoven’s iconic Symphony No. 5 and Mahler’s Ninth, broken down by movement. Each video-lecture is an intimate talk elucidating the themes and history of the music, and includes excerpts played by orchestra members, plus footage from full-orchestra performances. Understand and enjoy these masterworks at The Plainfield Symphony Channel.


Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities and Community Events

The Office of Community Engagement & Diversity of the County of Union is located within the Department of Economic Development. If you have any questions regarding requesting volunteer services or partnering up with our Office for events, please contact Nathalie Hernandez at 908-527-4880 nahernandez@ucnj.org

The safety and well-being of our residents has always been & will remain our top priority. Due to the recommendations from our State Governor, all events have been postponed until further notice.  Thank you for your continued support