Sparta Day 2018 draws a big crowd

Food, inflatables, rubber duckies and more

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  • Kiwanis Club members release the rubber ducks into the Wallkill River for the Sparta Day race Photos by Amy Shewchuk

  • Here they come in a blaze of yellow

  • A photo finish, or a photo of the finish

  • Kiwanis Club members, from left, Jack Fritzky, Jeff Mullen, Keith Bertelotti and Larry Palmer

  • Children of all ages enjoyed Bounce Houses and Slides in “Kid’s Country”

  • Sparta Boy Scout Troop 150 provided mock fishing and other activities

  • Sparta Fire Department and EMTs demonstrate a car accident extraction using the Jaws of Life

  • From left: Gianna Arcieri, Cheyenne Turre and Zoey Turre enjoyed face painting and making sand art

  • The Sparta Historical Society’s Model-T Ford

  • Morristown Memorial’s Medevac helicopter flew over Sparta Day and landed in the upper field.


— Hundreds of families braved the heat, humidity and a nearby thunderstorm on Saturday to delight in the 43rd Annual Sparta Day, sponsored by the Junior Women’s Club of Sparta.

With over 125 vendors and an expanded food plaza, sponsored by Culligan Water, Station Park was packed with something for everyone. The food plaza featured hot dogs, chicken wings, barbecue rib sandwiches, sausage and pepper cannolis, pizza, hamburgers and ice cream. Other vendors supplied refreshments as well, including a refreshing ‘Maple Lemonade’ and gourmet ice pops.

Kids of all ages delighted in “Kid’s Country,” an area which featured 2 huge inflatable slides and a bounce house as well as a DJ, photo booth and childrens’ train ride.

Free Sparta Day tote bags were sponsored by Eastern Propane and were filled with valuable coupons, information and giveaways from local businesses. Also included was a new game called “Where is Spartan Sam?” where participants had a chance to win a family-fun prize package valued at over $300.

The main stage featured performers from local dance academies, Dance Dimensions and Perfect Pointe, and Elisa Girlando's vocal students.

The Sparta Fire Department and EMT’s staged an exciting demonstration extricating a crash test dummy from a vehicle using the Jaws of Life. Firefighters showed kids and adults alike how they respond from the very first minutes of a motor vehicle accident to how they safely extract a person and how EMTs evaluate and transport victims to the hospital in an ambulance.

Around 1 pm the whir of chopper blades could be heard as the Morristown Medical Center’s Medevac helicopter landed on the upper field just beyond Kid’s Country. People were allowed to see the helicopter up close and even sit at the control panel.

Alpine School teachers Amanda Lyons, Lydia Selitto and Arthur Agnor as well as Sean Thorne of Hilltop Academy, Dr. Chris Canzoniero of Wellness Pediatrics and Councilman Gil Gibbs bravely volunteered to sit in the dunk tank as children threw balls, trying to hit the target to see them fall in.

Soccer enthusiasts got to partake in mini training clinics with the Sparta Soccer Club and the New York Red Bulls, and got a chance to meet a few of the players.

The day would not have been complete without the Kiwanis Club’s Annual Duck Race, which raises money for scholarships for deserving teens. Hundreds of yellow rubber ducks were launched from the bridge into the river on a race to the finish.

“With corporate sponsors and the money from ticket sales we have raised over $17,000 for scholarships over the years,” said Larry Palmer, member of the Kiwanis Club of Sparta.

“It was close, with the threat of a thunderstorm later in the day.” Kelly Lucadamo, co-president of the JWCS, said. “The police and EMTs were there not only for demonstrations but also for public safety. At one point they alerted the masses that there was threat of a storm and to be prepared, but luckily the storm passed us by."

Sparta Day is organized entirely by volunteers from the Junior Women’s Club of Sparta. It could not take place without the support of Sparta Parks & Recreation and JWCS community sponsors including: Culligan Water Conditioning, Eastern Propane, Wellness Pediatrics, The Goddard School, Performance Pediatrics, Stop & Shop, Dunkin’ Donuts, The Highlands Veterinary Hospital, Weichert Realtors, Integrity Dental, Dr. Joseph Lohner, Harte Orthodontics and Kiddie Academy.

JWCS is comprised of women from Sparta and surrounding towns who gather as friends to foster goodwill and provide events and activities that bring the community together. Each year the JWCS raises and distributes thousands of dollars to local and national non-profit organizations. For event information or to learn about membership, go to, find them on Facebook or email

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