Press Release

For Immediate Release: August 31, 2011

Union County Fair Celebrates Home Gardeners

Union County, NJ – A Harvest Contest with prizes, children’s activities and much more are in store for home gardening enthusiasts at this year’s Union County Fair featuring MusicFest. Experts from the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County will host gardening, community health and children’s exhibits and activities throughout the fair, which runs from Wednesday, September 14 to Sunday, September 18 at Oak Ridge Park in Clark.

Free MusicFest concerts take place on all five days of the fair.

“The Union County Fair is the perfect place to enjoy great free music, show off your gardening and baking skills, and pick up some useful tips from Extension experts on health and wellness,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Deborah P. Scanlon.

The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County is supported in part by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

The Harvest Contest will award prizes for the biggest tomato and zucchini by weight, the oddest looking vegetable, the best character made from vegetables, and the best quick bread (muffin, biscuit or loaf).

Entries may be dropped off starting on Thursday, September 15. Full details on the Harvest Contest and all Extension activities are available at www.ucmusicfest.org.

Also starting on Thursday, the Extension will host free activities for children including a fun-and-games learning session about trees, a “Build Your Own Spinning Top” science workshop, and leaf-rubbing arts and crafts.

County Fair visitors can also enter a free raffle to win a rain barrel, valued at approximately $100.

Other activities include home-made smoothie demonstrations and cooking demonstrations based on local New Jersey produce and on the new federal ChooseMyPlate.gov nutrition guidelines.

Senior citizens who are eligible to receive Farmer’s Market vouchers can also pick up vouchers at the Extension tent, by bringing a Medicaid card or other proof of income.

Carnival rides, food and craft vendors, displays by local businesses, Kid’s Kingdom children’s activities and crafts, and a “Green Village” for environmental education and art round out the Union County Fair attractions, along with free shows by the Hell on Wheels BMX daredevils.

Highlights of MusicFest this year include Live’s Ed Kowalczyk and Collective Soul performing on Friday night, Blondie, Mike Peters of The Alarm and Neon Trees on Saturday, and The Smithereens and Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes on Sunday.

Also in the lineup are cult favorites Toad the Wet Sprocket, New Jersey’s own Nicole Atkins and the Black Sea, Paul Rodgers (voice of the legendary rock band Bad Company), and rising young local musicians from the School of Rock.

For all County Fair and MusicFest details including instructions for entering the Harvest Contest, visittheucfair.orgucmusicfest.org, or facebook.com/musicfest, or follow ucnjmusicfest on Twitter.

Photo caption (photo attached): Young fairgoers enjoy a nature activity with Union County 4-H Agent James Nichnadowicz of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension at last year’s Union County Fair at Oak Ridge Park in Clark. This year the Extension returns with more activities, contests and exhibits for all ages.

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For more information on any Union County press release, please contact Sebastian D’Elia, Communications Director for the County of Union, or a designee listed at the top of this press release.   Please join the County of Union online at www.ucnj.org, on Facebook at www.ucnj.org/facebook, and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/countyofunionnj.

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