PETERSBURG – The township’s second annual July 4 celebration at Amanda’s Field ended with a bang, courtesy of a fireworks show that lit up the night sky.
Before that, a ceremony to honor veterans and the memory of Amanda Field, for whom the recreation facility is named, was capped with a rendition of the national anthem played on electric guitar by Eric Hasselman, the 11-year-old nephew of Field.
Field was killed in a car accident on Sunset Drive around 15 years ago. The township honored her memory shortly afterwards by naming the area Amanda’s Field.
The Hasselman and Field families traveled from Florida for the event. The Route 557 Band, Josh Wise, and the Kenny Young Band also played.
There was food and games for children, including a free kite-flying area and a petting zoo. Superheroes from Let’s Party Painters posed for pictures and face painters turned kids into their favorite cartoon characters and princesses. Priscilla’s Pony Rides offered pony rides to kids.
Township officials thanked the businesses that donated their time to the July 4 celebration, as well as Cape Regional Medical Center which made a monetary donation to the event. They also thanked Michael and Sharon Lord, American Legion Post 239 in Tuckahoe, Steve Martinelli, Ray Lepps, and members of the Upper Township Public Works Department and public safety organizations.
Local fire companies, the Upper Township Rescue Squad, Cape May County Sheriff’s officers, and New Jersey State Police were on hand to provide traffic control.
Committeeman Hobie Young helped organize the July 4 celebration with members of an events committee that met weekly. He said the committee is already planning for a Fall Fest and a music festival sometime in October at Amanda’s Field.
Young thanked Mandi Constantine for organizing the July 4 celebration and township employees for helping to make it a success. He also thanked Busted Knuckle Towing and Auto Repair for supplying a roll-back tow truck which served as a stage for all the bands.
Mayor Richard Palombo credited Young for his efforts with the celebration, and said the events at Amanda’s Field keep getting better. He said parking and traffic control was excellent at the park July 4, and the public was able to exit fairly quickly and safely after the fireworks were done.