Category Archives: Garden State Living

Hip New Jersey spotlights the businesses and communities that are making the Garden State fabulous!

HipNJ’s Weekend Recap 6/14-6/16

Father’s day happened this past weekend, and the Garden State was ready to party! Let’s check out our #weekendrecap

First off, the Tri-County Fair offered a ton of fun for the entire family, taking place from June 13 to June 16. The Rockaway-based fair included carnival attractions, rides, games, live music, fireworks, and more, all at Morris County’s Christ Church. Treats such as Coldstone Ice Cream, zeppoles, and fried Oreo’s made the event a satisfying time for those with a sweet tooth and rides like the Sky Hawk excited the daredevils. Local bands displayed their talent and America’s Got Talent illusionist Jay Mattioli showed us what he could do!

The annual JEEP invasion took the beach by storm this weekend! This sandy bash took place just off the Wildwood boardwalk and was a featured all sorts of Jeep activities, such as an obstacle course. There was even an opportunity to show off your Jeep to professional car judges and a raffle to keep things exciting!

Inspired by the Whitechapel District of London, the Long Branch Bazaar brought art to life. Local makers of food, drink, jewelry, music, photography, and much more had the opportunity to sell their product at the two day event. Ideas were shared and laughs were had as homemade items were sold.

The annual Raritan Native American Heritage Pow Wow took place in East Brunswick the later half of this past weekend. This family friendly event celebrated Native Americans with dancers, singers, and artists from across the Americas. Food and drink was had as stereotypes were broken through education.

Last but not least, the New Jersey Beer and Food Festival took place at the Crystal Springs Resort. On Saturday, the huge event included the tasting of over 200 beers, live music from Lima Bean Riot, and activities like axe throwing. Guests also took to the green for an eighteen hole contest and the chance to meet EPSN’s Chris Canty.

HIPNJ’S Weekend Recap 6/7-6/9

This past weekend held a lot of sensational events in the Garden State area!

To start off, #HipNJ had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the NY #DenimDaysFestival, held across the river at the Metropolitan Pavilion! The event took place over two days, with Sunday hosting the 18th Street festival! There was live music, street yoga, fashion shows, discussion panels, and more- all relating to denim attire!

This weekend also presented the 73rd Tony Awards. Though it didn’t take place in New Jersey, there was a Ridgewood native that made headlines at the show. Ali Stroker, known for her Broadway roles and appearance on the Glee Project, became the first person in a wheelchair to ever win the coveted trophy! Beyond inspirational!

June kicked off its 2nd huge Pride event on Sunday, the North Jersey Pride festival, which took place at Maplewood’s Memorial Park. The festival held performances by local talent, offered delicious local cuisines, kid-friendly play zones, and hosted vendors selling rainbow gear and other goodies!

Plenty of LGBTQ events are scheduled this month throughout the state! Click here to check out which one is happening near your hometown!

The College of New Jersey held the Special Olympics 2019 Summer Games, the largest competition of the year! The 3-day event had participants compete in bocce, gymnastics, powerlifting, softball and swimming, just to name a few! There were about 2,500 local athletes participating in the games!

Other honorable mentions that took place include: The Jersey City Jazz festival, AnimeNEXT convention in Atlantic City, Frenchtown’s NJ Kennel Dog show and the Meadowland’s Battle of the Best Burger!

Oprah Surprises Newark High School

Photo: @principal_akbar

When Oprah Winfrey saw Newark principal Akbar Cook on a CBS News Story featuring their “Lights On” program, she knew she wanted to do something to help, so she came to Newark, treated the Newark High School students to a pizza party then donated half a million dollars!

Cook became principal just 10 short months ago, but he has already improved the Newark school system in huge ways by implementing real solutions to big problems that students face. He started by bringing in washer and dryer units for student use after he saw the staggering number of kids who skipped school because they didn’t have clean clothes, resulting in ruthless bullying from other students. After that program was a success, he started Lights On to combat gun violence outside of school- and, it too worked.

During the school year, the Lights On program allows students to come after school from six to 11 and enjoy the use of the gym and other recreational activities instead of being on the streets. During the summer, Lights On allows the school to be open 3 nights a week. Before Lights On, NHS had lost three students in a short time to gun violence, but since the program has been implemented, that number has stayed there. When Oprah heard of this amazing program created by the new principal, she reached out and surprised the students and Principal Cook with a $500,000 donation. “I’m gonna leave here tonight,” she told the crowd of students and faculty “and leave you with half a million dollars!”

Principal Cook plans to use this money to give his students even wider resources from educational programs to work programs, teaching kids how to get a job, and life skills to use in the real world. He understands that education is essential, but that a lot of students just can’t go to college, they have families to support, no financial resources, or aren’t expected too, and he respects that. “If I can give them some educational resources and show them some life skills so they can be more employable to employers,” Cook said. “Anything I can [do] to make them successful.”