Special Event Calendar

County Park Advisories
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.

The Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that the popular “Wildlife Wednesdays” program is returning next Wednesday, September 23rd with “NJ Natives” a program focusing on wildlife original to the garden state, such as the spotted turtle and garter snake.  New programs will continue to run each Wednesday through the end of October, with a new starting time of 2:00 PM.  

Participation is free and open to all county residents.   Pre-registration is required and capacity is limited to the first 100 families who sign up.  The programs will be held on Zoom so a valid email and Zoom access are necessary to participate.

Residents wishing to pre-register can do so by visiting www.ucnj.org/ww. Once registered, attendees will receive a confirmation and Zoom login information via email.    

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

LGBTQ History Month Event

‘Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen’ Netflix Watch Party 

We will post the unique link on this page at 6:o0 pm on Sunday

Sunday, October 25 at 7PM

Join the Office of LGBTQ Affairs on Netflix using the ‘Netflix Party’ Chrome extension, and to watch Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen, a 2020 American documentary film, directed and produced by Sam Feder. The film follows an in-depth look at Hollywood’s depiction of transgender people and the impact of their stories on transgender lives and American culture. It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 27, 2020. It was released on Netflix on June 19, 2020.

Then, join us on October 28 for the OUT in Union County: Queer Empowerment Hour conversation ‘Transgender Identity and Inclusion’ where we’ll discuss topics from the documentary.

Netflix Party is a new way to watch Netflix as a group together online. Netflix Party synchronized video playback and adds group chat to your favorite Netflix shows.

To download the Chrome extension and join the chat during the watch party visit https://www.netflixparty.com/#intro

RSVP Required:

First Name

Last Name

E-mail Address



Cultural Events Calendar

Thursdays, Sep 10 – Oct 15
2 pm

Beginner Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Learn strong fundamentals, and gain the skills to read music and play songs we all enjoy. Lessons offered by Elizabeth Public Library.

Free Online Workshops

Register with LessonFace, then enroll:

www.elizpl.org/databases.html (Scroll down to Lessonface.)

Thursdays, Sep 10 – Oct 15
4 pm

Beginner Piano For Kids

Piano basics for children under 12. Lessons offered by Elizabeth Public Library.

Free Online Workshops

Register with LessonFace, then enroll:

www.elizpl.org/databases.html (Scroll down to Lessonface.)

Fridays, Sep 11 – Oct 16
6 pm

Beginner Guitar Lessons (Free Online Workshops for Adults)

In this beginner Adult Class, learn 12 basic chords, proper hand technique, strum styles, theory, gear Q&A, play-along songs, and early soloing. Lessons offered by Elizabeth Public Library.

Register with LessonFace, then enroll:

www.elizpl.org/databases.html (Scroll down to Lessonface.)

Sep. 24
7 pm

Learn about French Cinema

Join film educator Gerard Amsellem on Zoom, as he presents an overview of French Cinema, followed by a discussion of the film “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,”


Film Lecture & Discussion (Free Virtual Event)

Meeting ID: 895 1511 3472
Passcode: 747341
Call in: +1-646-558-8656  
Presented by Friends of the Springfield Free Public Library.


Thu. Oct 1
7 – 8 pm

Bluegrass Music:  Silk City with Mary Olive Smith

Summit Public Library and Silk City welcome the North Carolina “roots” sound of Mary Olive Smith’s driving rhythm guitar and beautiful vocals. This quartet rocks with an infectious energy. Come listen to Silk City’s great tunes, hot picking, dynamic singing  – an irresistible mix of bluegrass and rockin’ Honky Tonk, Roots/ County, Western Swing and original music. Bring a blanket or chair, wear a mask, and observe social distancing.


Rain Date: Thurs, Oct. 8 at 7 pm.

The Village Green, Summit



Sat. Oct 10
2 pm

Classical Guitar by Francisco Roldán

Explore guitar music from Cuba, France, Spain, and Haiti! Francisco Roldán shares his extensive knowledge of and passion for classical guitar. This concert is fun for all ages.

Presented online by Elizabeth Public Library, as part of the Fall Virtual Concert Series.



Watch now or any time

Video Chat with Charles – Plainfield Symphony’s Musical Director Discusses Beethoven’s Fifth – presented with Musical Excerpts

The Plainfield Symphony presents a series of intimate lectures given by Music Director Charles Prince, with gorgeous musical excerpts by symphony musicians. In celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, this first “Chat with Charles” features a discussion of Beethoven’s iconic Symphony No. 5. Movement #1 is presented here. This unique lecture will deepen your understanding and enjoyment of Beethoven’s Fifth.


Watch now or any time

Chinese American Music Ensemble

Enjoy this 3-minute choral performance directed by Shuang Guo. “Precious is Tonight,” sung in Chinese, was composed in Hong Kong by Fu Ling Wang in 1961, with lyrics by Da Lin.

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