Special Event Calendar

Click here for all cancellations and postponements relating to the Coronavirus COVID-19

Updated 06/19/2020

Union County parks follow statewide guidelines for preventing COVID-19; social distance is required and masks are strongly recommended.

Beginning on June 22, Union County will lift certain restrictions on the use of County parks during the COVID-19 outbreak. The updated rules of use are in accordance with statewide guidelines issued by the New Jersey Department of Health.

“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 face are among the basic precautions for preventing COVID-19 and other infections. Persons who feel sick should stay away from others.

The following rules apply to activities in Union County parks during the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Trail biking: Trail biking is prohibited in all Union County parks. Trail biking was prohibited before the COVID-19 outbreak, and it continues to be prohibited. Bicycles are permitted only on paved paths in Union County parks.
  • Closed: Shared recreation equipment, certain playgrounds (see list below for playgrounds that have reopened), workout stations, and fitness equipment. The Warinanco Sports Center and the Trailside Nature and Science Center also remain closed. The Walter E. Ulrich swimming pool is under construction and remains closed. Watchung Stable remains closed to the general public and is currently assessing plans for the summer. Basketball courts are available only for non-contact drills as of June 22, consistent with rules for similar sports.
  • Reopened with adjustments:Golf courses, archery range, tennis courts, dog parks.
  • Picnic areas: Reservations begin July 1. As of July 1 the maximum number of people allowed per reservation will be 250 if the COVID-19 outbreak in New Jersey continues to trend down. The limit will rise to 500 on July 3.
  • Limited use of athletic fields: As of June 22, use of County athletic fields for team sporting events, including inter-team games, scrimmages, and tournaments, is permitted only for low risk, non-contact sports.
  • Parks that have playground(s) that are now reopened:
    • 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

Low risk sports include archery, golf, and other events based exclusively on individual effort such as individual cycling swimming, rowing, diving, equestrian jumping or dressage, sailing, weightlifting, tennis, dance, pole vault, high jump, long jump, marathon, triathlon, cross country, track and field, disc golf, and badminton.

For medium and high risk contact sports, fields will open on June 22 but use will be limited to no-contact drills, practices, and simulations of game situations. No games, scrimmages or tournaments will be permitted for contact sports.

Medium risk contact sports include Lacrosse, hockey, multi-person rowing, multi-person kayaking, multi-person canoeing, water polo, swimming relays, fencing, cycling in a group, running in a close group, group sailing, volleyball, soccer, basketball, baseball/softball, short track.

High risk contact sports include rugby, boxing, judo, karate, taekwondo, wrestling, pair figure skating, football, group dance, group cheer.

Note: additional permissions for sports are anticipated in the coming weeks. Please be patient and help protect the Union County community as we re-open our parks under the guidance of public health professionals.

  • Currently Allowed: 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 paths:Follow arrows to move counter-clockwise only. Slow users keep right; fast users pass on left. Give way to others to maintain six-foot distance when passing.
  • Masks: Strongly recommended.
  • Parking and hours of use: Union County Parks are open dawn to dusk only; no off-hours use permitted. Drivers must observe parking rules.
  • Report abuse of social distance guidelines to Union County Police: 908-654-9800.

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 in order to preserve fragile native habitat in County parks. The taking of plants and other wildlife is prohibited. Share paved paths by keeping to the right unless passing others. Bicycles are permitted only on paved paths. 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.

Union County Hosts 4th Annual PRIDE in the Park Inclusive Community Festival

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce the fourth annual PRIDE in the Park festival, scheduled for Saturday, June 20, 2020 starting at 3:00 p.m. and ending with a family-friendly movie at dusk. The free community event will be held at Rahway River Park in Rahway. Learn more

Shakespeare in the Park

May 3 – cancelled
May 17 – cancelled

Paint by the Pond

May 23 – Cancelled

Your Voting Questions Answered: Union County Board of Election Holds Public Outreach Sessions

To provide in-person help for voters with questions about the upcoming June 2nd Presidential Primary, the Union County Board of Elections is holding a series of public outreach sessions at convenient locations throughout the county in March Cancelled, April, and May. Learn more.

Wild Earth Fest

This event is cancelled

Please be informed that due to COVID 19 protocols, Independence Day fireworks scheduled to take place in Union County Parks will be cancelled for this year.

This includes the following sites:

  • Plainfield fireworks scheduled to take place in Cedar Brook Park on July 4
  • Cranford fireworks scheduled to take place in Nomahegan Park on July 2 (with firecracker fun run on July 4)
  • Rahway fireworks which are shot off in an adjacent location. Rahway Park is used as a viewing area on July 3
  • Springfield fireworks which take place in Meisel Park on July 4

National Night Out

Tuesday, August 4 6:00 pm
Meisel Park, Springfield
Weather Permitting

Free event

Explore emergency vehicles & check out games, activities, demonstrations, and much more! National Night Out is followed by a movie starting at dusk. Please contact the Parks & Recreation Reservation Desk for more information. 908-527-4900 (Elizabeth) or 908-654-9805 (Westfield)

Summer Arts Festival

Free events. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy free concerts in our parks! Concerts begin at 7:30 pm after UC Get FIT Community Yoga. All festivals are weather permitting. Please contact the Parks & Recreation Reservation Desk for more information 908-527-4900 (Elizabeth) or 908-654-9805 (Westfield)

Wednesday, July 1
The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra This event is cancelled
Echo Lake Park  7:30 pm. In the event of rain, the event will take place indoors at Scotch Plains/Fanwood High School

Wednesday, July 8
Artist To Be Decided This event is cancelled
Echo Lake Park, Mountainside

Wednesday, July 15
Artist To Be Decided This event is cancelled
Echo Lake Park, Mountainside

Wednesday, July 22
Artist To Be Decided This event is cancelled
Echo Lake Park, Mountainside

Wednesday, July 29
Artist To Be Decided This event is cancelled
Echo Lake Park, Mountainside

Wednesday, August 5
Artist To Be Decided This event is cancelled
Oak Ridge Park, Clark

Wednesday, August 12
Artist To Be Decided This event is cancelled
Oak Ridge Park, Clark

Wednesday, August 19
Artist To Be Decided This event is cancelled
Oak Ridge Park, Clark

Wednesday, August 26
Artist To Be Decided This event is cancelled
Oak Ridge Park, Clark

Please contact the Parks & Recreation Reservation Desk for more information. 908-527-4900 (Elizabeth) or 908-654-9805 (Westfield)

Rhythm & Blues by the Brook

Cedar Brook Park, Plainfield
Saturday, May 30 Cancelled

Family Fun & Flix

All are weather permitting. Free events. Family Fun & Flix is a free summer entertainment and film series presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. The fun begins at 7:30 p.m. Movie to begin immediately after at dusk.

Tuesday, July 14
Movie selection coming soon
Warinanco Park, Elizabeth

Tuesday, July 21
Movie selection coming soon
Warinanco Park, Elizabeth

Tuesday, July 28
Movie selection coming soon
Warinanco Park, Elizabeth

Tuesday, August 4 National Night Out
Movie selection coming soon
Meisel Park, Springfield

Tuesday, August 11
Movie selection coming soon
Warinanco Park, Elizabeth

Please contact the Parks & Recreation Reservation Desk for more information. 908-527-4900 (Elizabeth) or 908-654-9805 (Westfield)

Help with Senior Services

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

Upcoming events from the Office of LGBTQ Affairs

Lunch & Learn

Join us from 12 Noon until 1 PM for a town-hall style discussion to include a short  presentation of the topic for each day with an opportunity for viewers to ask questions. 

Monday, June 22 NJ Inclusive Curriculum discussion with Garden State Equality

Wednesday, June 24 Know Your Rights discussion with the NJ State Division of Civil Rights

Cancelled Friday, June 26 Creating Welcoming and Inclusive Safe Spaces (for students and colleagues) discussion with New Jersey Safe Schools Coalition

Registration Required

Drag Queen Story Hour with Harmonica Sunbeam

Monday, June 22 at 10:00 am

Families and children are invited to tune in for an hour will be packed with children’s stories, sing-along songs, and a rainbow craft. All participants are invited to dress up in your own fabulous costume.

LGBTQ Trivia Night (PG)

Tuesday, June 23 at 7:00 pm

Bring your best LGBTQ history and pop culture knowledge to the Zoom and kick off the night with a strong mix of LGBTQ themed and pop culture factoids. Picture rounds, music rounds, plenty of random facts and interesting tidbits – show off what you know or just be the one to whip out the perfect winning answer.

Beauty Queen Demo with Bella Rococo at Emilia’s – Sponsored by WellCare Health Plans

Wednesday, June 24 at 7:00 pm

Zoom in for an inclusive Beauty Queen Makeup Demo with makeup artists who will explore products, shades and techniques with step-by-step guidance from lips to lashes for different skin tones and textures.

Violence and Justice in the LGBTQ Community Panel Discussion

Thursday, June 25 at 7:00 pm

Union County’s first openly gay Freeholder Rebecca Williams will moderate a panel discussion with guest panelists that offer a perspective from law enforcement, to NJ civil rights and the work of LGBTQ equality from an advocacy organization’s perspective. Participants will have an opportunity engage in the conversation and ask questions of the panelists during the live stream.

Pasta Party Cooking Demo with Pasta Queen Cissy Walken

Friday, June 26 at 6:00 pm

Learn how to make delicious, fresh pasta and enjoy a drag show from the ultimate Pasta Queen no matter where you are! Cook along with Cissy at home, or simply tune in for a festive night of entertainment.

Pride Month Activities

Union County LGBTQ Activity Book Print at home version

Chalk the Sidewalks with PRIDE in your community. Sidewalk chalk techniques and ideas.

13 Rainbow Craft Ideas To Help Kids Celebrate Pride From the Huffington Post

Learn about Pride Month

You might want to begin by simply learning more about the history of Pride Month and the different ways it is celebrated.

The Library of Congress has information about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) as well as links to executive and legislative documents, including presidential proclamations and public laws.

Books with LGBTQ Characters or by LGBTQ Authors

LGBTQ Books (from Common Sense Media): “From books with main characters who are LGBTQ or still figuring out their gender or sexual orientations, to stories of straight kids or teens with gay friends or parents, these books portray many aspects of the LGBTQ experience.”

LGBTQ+ Collection – LGBTQCOLL (Lee & Low): “The following books capture the celebration of the gender spectrum, family structures, sexuality, identity, and more through engaging storylines featuring relatable children and young people. Promote awareness and advocacy with these children’s books featuring LGBTQ+ voices and perspectives while also addressing universal themes in any relevant setting.”

Poems & More for LGBTQ Pride Month (poets.org): “Explore the rich tradition of LGBTQ poets and poetry through a showcase of audio, video, poetry, and prose.”

Cultural Events Calendar

July 6- 11
7 pm

Banding Together Facebook Live Benefit Concert for Community Access Unlimited

Six musicians will perform in a virtual concert series to benefit CAU over six nights. Explore different genres of music each night while supporting programs for people with disabilities and youth at risk in New Jersey.


July 26
3 pm

Classical Hollywood – Michael Avagliano and member of the August Symphony Online

An August Symphony live online video event where conductor Michael Avagliano discusses classic music used in famous Hollywood films. It will feature members of The August Symphony Orchestra.

Register at www.tasonj.org

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