Rain doesn’t dampen Byram’s Town Spirit

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  • Patrolman John Dinofrio fingerprints a 3-year-old for a Child ID kit.

  • Students of the An Clar School of Irish Dancing performed.

  • PHOTOS BY MANDY CORISTON Tents helped keep off the rain at Byram Day.

  • Kids dig into a pie eating contest.


Businesses, community groups, and representatives of the township’s offices, emergency services, and schools put the best of Byram on display for Byram Day, held Saturday, Sept. 8, at Neil Gylling Park. Though the chilly, rainy afternoon was a stark contrast from the weather earlier in the week, it didn’t stop Byram residents from coming out to celebrate their town.

Pop-up tents dotted the field at the park, bright inflatables invited kids to bounce and slide while their parents chatted with friends and neighbors, and artwork from the students at the Byram Lakes Elementary School brought a splash of color to the dreary day.

Roxanne Sabatini, a volunteer on the town’s Board of Health committee was manning the Byram Township booth. “The weather’s been a bit of a factor,” Sabatini said, “but a lot of people came out early before the rain really started.” Sabatini was at the event to talk to residents about the Radon Box program, a do-it-yourself radon testing kit available free of charge to Byram residents. Kits can also be picked up at the municipal building during regular business hours.

The festivities included a performance by students from the An Clar School of Irish Dance and pie-eating contests for all ages. The Byram Township Fire Department brought an engine to the event, and the Lakeland Emergency Squad was there with one of their ambulances. The Byram Police Department was offering Child ID kits, which include a photo and fingerprinting. While getting their hands inked was a bit of messy fun for the kids, the kit provides an invaluable document for parents.

RoNetCo Supermarkets was on hand with a ShopRite tent offering information on nutrition, and local groups such as Stop the Chop and Save Our Bridge came out to promote their causes. The League of Women Voters had a booth promoting voter registration, and Lenape Valley Soccer and the Boy kit had tents and tables set up to talk to attendees about their programs. A variety of vendors offered clothing and jewelry, and with concessions ranging from Rock Hard Pickles to Cones by Design, there was a food offering for every taste.

Mayor Alex Rubenstein credited the success of the day to the Recreation Department. “Without Jen Kerr and the recreation volunteers, Byram Day wouldn’t exist,” he said, “The committee handles a lot of moving parts, from the vendors and businesses to coordinating with the emergency services.” The mayor also said they are considering a new format and a new date, to avoid scheduling conflicts with back-to-school and fall sports activities.

“This is great,” Rubenstein said, “But we think we can vastly improve for next year.”

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