Showcasing the diversity of places of worship and cultural communities that exist in town, a Huddy Park festival aimed to unite Toms River.
Attendees to the Around the World in Toms River festival, Sept. 2, could “travel” to different tables to learn more about that religion or cultural organization, get their “passport” stamped and receive a prize from the Toms River Police Department stand.
Representatives from St. Barbara’s Greek Orthodox Church, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, the Toms River Jewish Council, the Unitarian Universalist Ocean County Congregation were among the dozens of community leaders present in a day meant to share pride, fun, games and information.
Music and dance performances, free actvities and games, plus a variety of food trucks helped round out the day.
Sponsored by Toms River UNITED (Uniting Neighbors in Town Everyday), the community day aimed to bridge divides and celebrate Toms River’s diversity, said Police Chief Mitch Little, in a press release ahead of the Labor Day event.
Little announced the formation of TR UNITED after tensions arose in neighborhoods seeing an influx of Orthodox Jewish residents. The group has since held community meetings with local and business leaders to discuss plans for events such as the festival.
Check out our Shorebeat video to get a glimpse of the activities of the first Around the World festival.