Woodland Park Kicks Off Centennial Celebration

Erin Pedrini
Web Production Assistant

Centennial Celebration poster in Woodland Park. Photo by Erin Pedrini.

The borough of Woodland Park and the West Paterson Fire Department are celebrating their 100th anniversaries with several community events. The borough separated from Little Falls in 1914 to become West Paterson. Then in 2008, voters changed the borough’s name from West Paterson to Woodland Park, explained Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark. The fire company, which still keeps the West Paterson name, also started in 1914.

“I grew up here since I was 5. I remember the 75th anniversary of West Paterson at the time. It’s really heartwarming for me, being nearly a life-long resident, to be able serve as mayor during our centennial year. We describe this here in Woodland Park as a once in a lifetime event and it truly is. You only get to celebrate your 100th year once,” said Kazmark.

To celebrate the centennial of the borough and fire department, the Woodland Park Centennial Committee and the fire department are planning events throughout the year. Kicking off the celebration is a parade and picnic event on Saturday, May 17.

“I have been a member of the fire department since 2007. When I joined, the department really made you feel like you are part of the family and the borough,” said West Paterson Fire Co. 2 firefighter and Public Information Officer Joe DeSomma. “Not only the fire department is your family, but the borough is your family. I have been in the department for seven years and I wanted to help out and be as involved as I could in this because Woodland Park has become my second home and my second family. The fire department has really become my second family so I wanted to help with this.”

DeSomma said that the celebration kick-off on Saturday will have activities and events for people of all ages to enjoy. He said that the day will include the parade, pony rides, characters, a BMX show, carnival rides, live bands, a DJ, food and drinks that will be provided by the event’s main sponsor Fairway Market and a fireworks show around 9 p.m.

Karzmark said that the parade will start at 1 p.m. with a ribbon cutting by Sen. Cory Booker. The parade will go down McBride Avenue and will end at the Beatrice Gilmore School, where the rest of the events will be held starting at 3 p.m. DeSomma said that there are 2,300 to 2,400 participants in the parade, including fire departments, police officers, government officials, town organizations, EMS organizations and 22 bands all from throughout the state of New Jersey. Sixty-one trophies will also be awarded to parade participants.

Kazmark said that the planning of the centennial events, which will continue after the parade and picnic event, started almost two and a half years ago. Wednesdays in the summer, there will be a concert series in the park. On Sunday, Sept. 23, there will be trolley rides around Woodland Park that will take participants to all of the historic sites throughout the borough. There will also be a gala at the Westmount Country Club on Sunday, Nov. 9.

The borough is raising money for the centennial events. “I’m really proud of our town, our business community and our residents. We have raised a lot of money through their efforts. I have no doubt that by the end of the year we will reach our fundraising goal to cover most, if not all, of the centennial expenses,” said Kazmark.

“For me it’s a great personal and professional honor to serve during this period of time and to be part of this great team with our centennial committee that was able to put this all together. We have been planning this since Jan. 1, 2012. I have no doubt that on Saturday the hard work of this committee and the fire department is really going to shine and show off our town to all of the visitors that are going to descend on Woodland Park that day,” said Kazmark.

A full list of centennial events and details can be found here.