NUTLEY, NJ — Nutley continues to lead the way as a model town in the Garden State, especially when it comes to community events. The thousands of visitors to the Franklin Fall Festival in Nutley on Oct. 23, from 6 to 10 p.m., were surely impressed. A large swath of Franklin Avenue between Vreeland Avenue and High Street was transformed for a social event that included an al fresco dining area and a dream playland for kids.
The Franklin Fall Festival was the brainchild of Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci, Mayor Alphonse Petracco and the Nutley Board of Commissioners, who collaborated to bring Nutley an event designed to keep the tradition of family time alive and well, right on the local streets.
There were live musical acts — including The Infernos — as well as outdoor dining, bounce houses, foods from talented Nutley chefs and restaurants, and plenty of laughter as residents took the time to enjoy the charms of this leafy, New Jersey town.
At the same time, this packed free event offered a great way for everyone to discover and enjoy some hometown businesses, which can only serve to build popularity — and revenue — for Nutley merchants.
In a public letter from Tucci and Petracco to Nutley residents, visitors and merchants who made this event successful, they noted “The Franklin Fall Festival allowed us to showcase our various restaurants as well as entice different businesses to come into town and be part of the Nutley family. Thousands of families, neighbors and friends of all ages gathered on Franklin Avenue for the first annual Franklin Fall Festival and enjoyed great food, fabulous musical entertainment, countless children’s activities and, most of all, the company of one another.
For generations, Nutley built on the foundation of a strong sense of community involvement, and this event brought residents of all ages together to celebrate the season.”
Especially notable at the event was the presence of every generation, from babies and toddlers to tweens and young adults, parents and grandparents.
“We created a vision for this event to provide a safe, welcoming environment to which our residents can bring their entire family and celebrate not only our community but the fall season,” said the letter. “Watching the groups of teenagers, senior citizens and families come together solidifies the need for these diverse special events.”
Tucci and Petracco enjoyed the festival, and spent time posing for photos with numerous residents and merchants while the younger set went wild on the bouncy rides and their parents marveled at the cool vibe their hometown gave off all evening.
“Live music with The Infernos?” marveled one woman. “All this great food, like the rice balls and the pizzas made in that outdoor pizza oven with a real wood fire? This is what we love about Nutley. This is our town.”
Nutley may have the most robust downtown scene in the Garden State, and if there is an award for this seemingly endless array of free activities for local families, I recommend this town wins it.