Tag Archives: Fair Haven

A Rewind to Oktoberfest

It's become a new tradition to get costumed to the hilt for Oktoberfest in Fair Haven, as these festive festival goers demonstrated in October. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
It’s become a new tradition to get costumed to the hilt for Oktoberfest in Fair Haven, as these festive festival goers demonstrated in October. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

Do you remember this year’s Oktoberfest?

If not, here’s a refresher. This group of costumed Oktoberfest celebrants seems to have gotten bigger by the year.

There’s a lot of authentic lederhosen in the group.

For a full look back, check out the original gallery by clicking here.

An Artful Welcome to Fair Haven


By Elaine Van Develde

You may have noticed by now that there’s a new look for the light pole banners that line Fair Haven’s own Main Street — River Road.

The banners started appearing in August, the result of a long-thought-out debate over how to best welcome visitors in an aesthetically pleasing way with a lot of local heart.

What a committee ended up deciding was to call on a famous Fair Havenite who has a strong love of the borough and a signature artistic talent to match it — Mike Quon.

“We wanted the banners to be different,” Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli said. “Looking around at what other towns have done, we found that most had the classic blue fabric with white print and once iconic image. We also didn’t want to re-do what we had done for the centennial (which was to hold a contest among the kids and choose a winner). Those banners were blue and white and depicted the Albertina (the signature steam ship on Fair Haven’s logo).

“The committee was looking at clip art and all sorts of other things, none of which seemed to be quite the right fit. Then Mike came to mind. We ended up with the perfect solution — a nice aesthetic to celebrate Fair Haven and a local artist.”

Quon’s hallmark style is his “whimsical” view of favorite places through use of bright colors in what has been dubbed a “bold brushstroke.” He is the son and nephew of original Disney animators. His father, now 101, worked on Fantasia and sketched the original drawing of Dumbo the Elephant.

Last year, he gifted Fair Haven a couple of renderings of iconic spots in town, one being the Fair Haven Dock.

“An especially great thing about these very unique banners is that Mike’s colors are so cheerful,” Lucarelli said. “They will be particularly appreciated as a warm kind of greeting in town when it’s cold and all the leaves are off the trees.”

Quon’s time and talent were donated for the project. The borough paid nominal expenses, such as printing and materials costs.

To learn more about Quon, check out his website at quonart.com.

Past Life of the Atlantic Hotel


By Elaine Van Develde

It was called the Atlantic Hotel — the spot on Fair Haven Road in Fair Haven where the old Lock Stock & Barrel and Varsity Club sat. It’s now Navoo Grill Club.

As the Atlantic Hotel, the place had a history rich with visits from famous producers, Vaudevillian actors and millionaires who traveled via steamship to the banks of the Navesink River for respite or to entertain some more.

Last year, Fair Haven was given unearthed registers of the establishment dating back to the early 1900s.

On one page, in particular, the registration of Long Acre Quartette decorated a page, noting that it was the Fourth of July, 1908.

The troupe hailed from “N.Y. City” and its members listed their names followed by “and wife.”

Funny how the women were nameless back in the day. Take a look. Do you recognize any of these names?

Days of the Fair and Sizzler

The Sizzler has been a mainstay at the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair for many years.

How many, we’re not quite certain. But, we do know that it was there, and usually on the front grounds in the 1970s, maybe earlier.

Anyone? This year the ol’ classic was in the back near none other than the Zipper, another standard.

This editor still hasn’t gone on the Zipper. I know, chicken! Oh, well. Once a sissy …

The Sizzler has been on the Fair Haven Firemen's Fair grounds seemingly forever. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
The Sizzler has been on the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair grounds seemingly forever. Photo/Elaine Van Develde


Honoring Vets in Rumson, Fair Haven

By Elaine Van Develde

“Many of those who were drafted into war many years ago were only seniors in high school. They were so young, their faces looked like dough,” Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli said, explaining the significance of what is dubbed the Doughboy Statue that stands at Memorial Park.

It’s where the Veterans Day ceremony in the borough took place on Tuesday. It’s also where some of those once dough-faced soldiers, now wearing the passage of time and life experience on their faces and in their eyes, gathered to pay tribute to fellow vets, those who have passed, those killed in the line of duty and those still in service.

They gathered in both Fair Haven and Rumson.

In Fair Haven, World War II vet Warner White, recipient of the Purple Heart award and Combat Infantry Badge, made his way up to the mic to speak of his time on the Atlantic French Coast at Utah Beach (D plus 94) and the Battle of the Bulge.

A native of Ohio, White has made Fair Haven his home since 1962.

Modest, as many World War II vets are, White quipped, “Ya see this picture of me here (pointing to the program). They make it look like I’m saluting. I really wasn’t. I was just combing my hair.”

He spoke of his experiences and all listened intently, including the very young, doughy-faced students in attendance.

Also recognized were a couple of the oldest living World War II vets in the audience: Ray Taylor, who served in Korea as well, and Oscar Hille, of the U.S. Army Air Corps. Also still living in Fair Haven, Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect has learned, is 97-year-old World War II vet, Ken Curchin.

In Rumson, special recognition was paid to Jack Donovan Fowler, who was a First Lieutenant in the 7th Armored Division of the Battle of the Bulge.

Captain Daniel J. Edwards was the “presiding officer of the day” for the ceremony and Captain Mike Lilley, of the U.S. Marine Corps, spoke. Lilley, a Rumson resident, is executive director of Better Education for Kids, Inc.

All are the faces of service to the country. There were many thank-you’s and handshakes Tuesday morning. And Mayor Lucarelli called for that and more consideration to be a constant.

“In war there are and (have been) so many casualties and lives lost … Many who served and return have wounds that cannot be seen, such as post traumatic stress disorder and brain trauma …

“If you see a vet, thank a vet. If you see a vet and it seems like he’s having a hard time, understand. Go up to him and comfort him if you can.”

The casualties of the wars … 

• World War I, 115,000 lives lost;

• World War II, 405,000 lives lost;

• Korean War, 36,000 lives lost;

• Vietnam, 50,000;

• Persian Gulf conflicts, 7,000.

Knollwood Students Experience Municipal Government at Work

By Elaine Van Develde

Fair Haven students had a lesson in civics on Monday.

As part of a now annual tradition, the Fair Haven Borough Council conducted one of its meetings at Knollwood School. And the kids learned some things about local government policy that they did not necessarily understand.

For one, members of the governing body told the group that if you want to be heard, you need to speak up and go to meetings.

And, said Council President Jonathan Peters, “It’s always best to approach us first … ask us your question. Don’t yell at us right away. Just ask us what you need an answer to and if you don’t get the answer, then you can yell at us.”

Councilman Rowland Wilhelm called attention to the fact that two women who have lived in the borough for decades, Ruth Blaser and Susan O’Brien, are at every meeting “holding us accountable.”

Like it or not, he said, the two exemplify what residents’ rights are all about. They are usually at every single meeting, “keeping us in check,” he said. Blaser asked council, among other things, if they’d consider having an open public meeting, agenda-free, to get people in town together when more are available, perhaps on a Saturday.

Mayor Ben Lucarelli explained something that he acknowledged many people don’t understand — what type of government their town is working under.

In Fair Haven, for example, the form of government, he said, is that of Borough Council. “It’s a form of municipal government that has a strong council and weak mayor,” he said. “What that means is that the council members are the ones who vote on all the local laws.”

The mayor, if necessary, breaks ties only. He does not customarily vote. He, on the other hand, sets agendas and has veto power.

Council took questions from the student body, many of whom took the opportunity to ask questions.

Some questions included those about pot holes around town, the pending lights at Fair Haven Fields, recycling and open space acquisitions.

Council also recognized its newly-elected member, Aimee Humphreys, and invited her to join them for a first time in executive session.

Check out our photos from the meeting.

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Stay tuned for more council action at the meeting and our interview with Aimee Humphreys.

Veterans Day in Rumson, Fair Haven

By Elaine Van Develde

Both the boroughs of Rumson and Fair Haven will commemorate Veterans Day on the same day, same time — Nov. 11 at 11 a.m..

“The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli said.

In Rumson, the ceremony will take place in the usual spot by the war memorial in Victory Park. It will feature members of the armed forces and veterans of various wars as highlighted speakers and participants.

In Fair Haven, the service will take place at Memorial Park. Remaining World War II vets from the borough will be in attendance, the town’s oldest living World War II and Korean War vet, Ray Taylor, 93, will be a featured speaker.

“He’s (Taylor) is a very special man,” Lucarelli said. “It’s always an honor to hear him speak.”

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect will feature photo galleries of both events.


A Little Toilet Paper Mischief


Mischief Night results on Fair Haven Road. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Mischief Night results on Fair Haven Road. Photo/Elaine Van Develde


Maypole? Well, it’s either block-long try at one or a prime example of good ol’ Mischief Night toilet papering.

The guess is the latter. Fair Haven Road really looked like a giant maypole on Halloween day.

The police had issued a warning against using such “materials” to wreak a little traditional, yet, illegal havoc. But, in this case, the culprits eluded them.

Take a look at the close-up portion of the TP in the photo. One ply or two?

Girl Scout Project Earmarks Sandy, Storm Surge Education


An informational sign/map of Sandy and other storm surges' history and protection guidelines was conceived and crafted as a Gold Star Girl Scout project by Fair Haven's Caroline Peters. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
An informational sign/map of Sandy and other storm surges’ history and protection guidelines was conceived and crafted as a Gold Star Girl Scout project by Fair Haven’s Caroline Peters. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

By Elaine Van Develde

Fair Haven Girl Scout Caroline Peters made it through Hurricane Sandy unscathed.

But the teen, daughter of Councilman Jonathan Peters, saw what the storm did to the property of people she knew well and cared about. She watched as it ripped up the iconic Fair Haven Dock, a traditional spot for all those who grow up Fair Haven style.

Continue reading Girl Scout Project Earmarks Sandy, Storm Surge Education

Flash Mob a Halloween Treat at Sickles School


Those at the Halloween Parade at Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven this year got a spooky musical treat when the kids launched into a flash mob of Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Zombie Style.

The concept, a first in the school district, was conceived by parent Bennett Coleman and choreographed by Vanessa Berry, owner/director of Kick Dance Studios in Fair Haven and Rumson, a release from the school district said. The performance involved students in first through third grades dancing up a diabolical storm.

“We had just three rehearsals, and all of the students worked really hard,” said Berry in the release. “This was a great opportunity for the children currently taking dance lessons to show off their moves, as well as for all of the students to enjoy demonstrating what they learned.”

“I thought all of the students were utterly charming,” said parent Susan Culbert in the release. “I was impressed by them.”

The Sickles Halloween parade has been a longstanding tradition. Officials welcomed the new addition.

“I am so grateful to Vanessa Berry for the donation of her time, and to Monmouth Stereo for the donated use of their equipment,” Sickles School Principal Cheryl Cuddihy, costumed as candy Dots, said. “I also want to express my thanks to Bennett Coleman, who was instrumental in organizing this wonderful activity.”

Be sure to check out the video on the Fair Haven PTA Facebook page. Click here.

Alabama Power: Haven of Heroes

Back Camera

By Elaine Van Develde

When the storm’s rage subsided, the Rumson-Fair Haven area was left literally powerless for nearly two weeks. Then the guys from Alabama Power rolled in to the rescue, quickly being dubbed Hurricane Sandy heroes.

In what seemed like effortless work to them, sorely needed electricity was on and humming away within a couple of days.

Area residents flocked to Fair Haven Fields to feed the crew and heap on the accolades. The Alabama guys met them with smiles and a great service that has gone unforgotten.

Remember these warm smiles?