Lakehurst Has Much To Celebrate

Members of various Girl Scout troops gather for a group photo prior to the July 4 Independence Day Parade held along Union Avenue in Lakehurst. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  LAKEHURST – The Borough has enjoyed multiple celebrations in recent weeks, including a fun filled afternoon at Horicon Lake, an Independence Day Parade down Union Avenue and a Vintage Car Show on the grounds of the Lakehurst Elementary School.

  Public officials, local organization members and residents enjoyed each of those activities that noted not only the Fourth of July holiday but the community’s centennial which was postponed last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

  The celebrations did have some obstacles during the weekend of Independence Day. The July 2 parade and car show had to be pushed back due to the threat of rain. The parade, sponsored by Lakehurst Youth and Recreation, was enjoyed instead on July 4. It featured Girl Scouts from several troops and a large number of first responder vehicles like police cars, ambulances and fire trucks.

Photo by Bob Vosseller

  “It’s a great day,” Mayor Harry Robbins remarked wearing the colors of the day which were red, white and blue as he strode in the parade beside Councilman Brian Dimeo and Councilwoman Patricia Hodges. Council President Steven Oglesby donned a red shirt and Uncle Sam top hat as he walked in the parade.

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  A number of unique bicycles were seen along the parade route as well as some classic cars. The local VFW had a pickup truck that ferried the borough’s poppy princess from Memorial Day who waved to the many spectators along the route.

  There were also inflatable children’s attractions at the lake and the food vendors present were mostly made up of local businesses in the borough.

  Along with vendors, musical entertainment and organization booths, the event featured two different types of petting zoos. One by representatives of Barnyard Petz Mobile Petting Zoo Inc who had cows, goats, pigs and other farm animals.

  Another bordered the lake on the property of a borough home owned by Brenda and Kieran Duffy. The couple started a small petting zoo featuring a variety of animals. “Everyone loves them,” Brenda Duffy said.

  “We moved into the house in September of last year. I started out with two goats and a mini-horse in the back yard. We also have ducks and a million different types of chickens and we have rabbits.”

  “Daphne is our perimeter dog who surrounds the outside fence to make sure everyone is okay,” Brenda Duffy added. “She was a rescue who we got from South Carolina. Her mom came up with nine puppies.”

  Kieran Duffy was holding Marshmallow the goat. “She’s a five-week-old Nubian goat,” his wife said. The goat had fallen asleep in his arms and many spectators stopped by to admire her. Another goat was wearing a red, white and blue collar for the occasion.

  “I bottle feed her,” Brenda Duffy added.

  “She follows my wife around like crazy,” Kieran Duffy said.

A parade celebrated America’s independence on a weekend when Lakehurst was celebrating its 100th anniversary. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  “We’ll be setting up for National Night Out which is also held here at the lake,” Brenda Duffy said. That event will take place in August.

  Providing entertainment of a different kind was Brenn Swanson of Brick Township who stood on stilts, wore a patriotic clown outfit and danced with a hula hoop. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years and worked for Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. I’ve performed in 42 countries.

  “It was interesting to travel with the circus and after that I worked for Disney and then worked on a cruise line in the Royal Caribbean with Circus at Sea. It has been quite a fun journey. It was an adventure,” she said.

  Later in life she made time to have a family. “I have two kids and a husband. Yes, I’m someone’s mom, looking like this,” she said laughing.

  “Happy Fourth of July!” she yelled out as two young girls came over asking to have their photo taken with her as she once again swung the hula hoop around her waist.

  Members of the Lakehurst Historical Society came prepared with their historic literature, caps, shirts, pins and other items to promote their organization and to bring awareness to their museum and summer tour schedule.

Brenn Swanson of Brick Township provides some entertainment while walking around on stilts, wearing a patriotic clown outfit and at times, dancing with a hula hoop during a recent celebration held at Lake Horicon in Lakehurst. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  Organization President George Oglesby said that the Society coordinates the annual car show that is always held as part of the Independence Day celebration but was to be part of this year’s Centennial celebration. Councilman Jim Davis and Michelle Dimeo were coordinating that event held the following week and which filled the field with classic cars and some unique automobiles.

  “We’re happy to be celebrating Lakehurst’s 101 anniversary,” Oglesby said. As to the museum tours he added, “we’re getting a lot of people from out of state.” The museum is housed in a historic church on Center Street.

Kieran Duffy holds Marshmallow, a Nubian goat who has fallen asleep during the Lakehurst celebration at Lake Horicon. He and his wife Brenda have started a petting zoo on their nearby property. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  Lakehurst Parent Teacher Association President Amanda Schrieber joined fellow members at the LSPTA table. Like the LHS, they were seeking out new members to bolster their ranks. “Our Facebook page is LSTA. We do a lot of activities throughout the year. We just had an end of the year celebration. We had a Scholastic Book Fair that did very well and was one of their highest attended events.”